PIX: Akshay Kumar's Most Famous Con Jobs
The fun of acting lies in getting under a brand new skin every single time and play as many diverse roles as possible. But in Bollywood, success not artistry is directly proportional to stardom.
In other words, if an actor clicks in a certain role, he or she will recycle their skills till it works.
And so Akshay Kumar is back to playing a con artist conducting an elaborate heist in his new film directed by Neeraj Pandey (A Wednesday). Only Special Chhabis, based on true events from the 1980s and co-starring talents like Anupam Kher and Manoj Bajpai, looks much too promising to be dismissed as standard potboiler.
Here's looking at some of the 45-year-old's other works as a master swindler.
Image: Akshay Kumar in Special Chabbis
One doesn't expect much sense from erstwhile Rohit Shetty assistant turned full-fledged director Ashish R Mohan's Khiladi 786.
One doesn't get any.
So Akshay Kumar plays Bahattar Singh, a harmless crook who along with his folks slips into cop attire and nabs money.
The farce gets even more ambitious when he seeks to marry himself into a respectable family blissfully unaware that they're as, if not more, deceptive than him.
Image: Akshay Kumar in Khiladi 786
In this flamboyant, rationally-challenged remake of Telugu hit Vikramarkudu, Akshay Kumar gets back to his action-packed roots in a double role -- a daredevil cop and uncouth con man.
The latter, with his patent Chinta ta ta chita chita moves robs unsuspecting victims of their valuables.
Despite slamming reviews, this Sanjay Leela Bhansali-UTV production went on to rake solid moolah at the box-office.
Image: Akshay Kumar in Rowdy Rathore
Sajid Khan's star-studded comedies are all about excess and chaos.
For his sequel to the hugely successful and equally inane Housefull, he ropes in the ever-reliable comic Akshay Kumar along with John Abraham, Shreyas Talpade and Ritesh Deshmukh as a quartet of frauds passed off as perfect suitors for pretty girls with rich daddies and how their greedy venture turns into utter confusion with warring papas and cranky crocodiles thrown in for effect.
Image: Akshay Kumar in Housefull 2
Tees Maar Khan
One of Farah Khan's worst-received offering seeks obvious inspiration from Vittorio De Sica's After the Fox but doesn't do any favours to its adept-in-comedy leading man.
Quality issues asides, TMK stars Akshay as a natural born dupe orchestrating a grand train robbery by masquerading as a filmmaker shooting for a film with the entire village and a real-time actor.
Image: Akshay Kumar in Tees Maar Khan
Broke and desperate, Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty and Paresh Rawal are drawn to take advantage of a cross connection to fake a kidnapping and loot ransom money in the hilarious Priyadarshan classic.
Only their con tactics, even if Akshay's Raju is a double-crosser by default, are triggered by sheer despair.
The sequel Phir Hera Pheri directed by Neeraj Vora, however, failed to match the original's goofy, spontaneous wit.
Image: Akshay Kumar with Paresh Rawal in Hera Pheri
Deewane Huye Paagal
In this jaded follow-up to Awaara Paagal Deewana, Akshay Kumar plays a sly, smooth-talking bluff competing with Shahid Kapoor, Paresh Rawal and Suniel Shetty for Rimi Sen's affections.
Crazy antics of Hera Pheri troika notwithstanding, this rip-off of Hollywood's There's Something About Mary failed to take off at the box-office.
Image: Akshay Kumar with Paresh Rawal, Shahid Kapoor, Rimi Sen and Sunil Shetty in Deewane Huye Paagal
As the devious next-door neighbor of newlyweds (Bobby Deol and Kareena Kapoor), Akshay Kumar along with his scorching sweetheart (Bipasha Basu) plots a nasty scheme to extort a fortune and pass the blame of his sinister deeds on another.
The typical Abbas-Mustan thriller attracted crowds without much difficulty besides earning our man his first ever Best Actor in a Negative Role trophy from Filmfare.
Image: Akshay Kumar with Bobby Deol in Ajnabee
The actor goes in over-the-top mold for producer buddy Keshu's Khiladi 420.
Among his most awful in the Khiladi series, he plays a double role of twin brothers with contrasting temperament.
One's an ill-behaved cheat who marries and murders for fortune.
The other is, predictably, nobler in virtue and comes to the heroine's rescue following a series of needless misunderstandings and false alarms.
Image: Akshay Kumar in Khiladi 420
Best remembered for its catchy soundtrack by Dilip Sen-Sameer Sen, Aflatoon, again, features Akshay in a double role and revolves around the dated theme of muddled identities.
Raja (positive Akshay) is an aimless bloke hired as a college lecturer in a moment of confusion.
Meanwhile, his lookalike (negative Akshay) is a dangerous gangster and con man cashing on their physical resemblance to the fullest.
Image: Akshay Kumar with Urmila Matondkar in Aflatoon
A Bollywood hero can never be too corrupt.
And so in this lackluster remake of Sholay, Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan play petty thieves who hoodwink wealthy folks with tact and humor.
And yet, when they feel responsible for the family of a man they may have stolen from, the duo doesn't shy from doing the right thing.
Everybody expected the Akki-Saif jodi to score another winner like Main Khiladi Tu Anari but Keemat fizzled from the word go.
Image: Akshay Kumar with Saif Ali Khan in Keemat