'I feel every 10 years there is a bus that leaves.'
'You have to run and get into that bus, which will take you to the next 10 years.'
'Then you have to catch the bus again.'
We can learn a thing or two from Akshay Kumar's long-lasting, successful career.
The actor may attribute some of it to "risk", but it is definitely much more than that.
As he gets ready for the release of Bell Bottom, Akshay tells Rediff.com Contributor Mohnish Singh, "Till the moment you enjoy your profession, there is no burnout. The day you start thinking, 'Oh, God! I have to go to work today' is the time when you actually start getting burnt out."
Lara Dutta said you called her and said she should play Indira Gandhi in Bell Bottom and she kept laughing because she thought it's a prank. What convinced you that she was perfect for the role?
Because of her perfect body structure.
I know her for quite sometime now. She has that perfect poise, which made me feel she can carry this off.
She thought I was pranking her, but I genuinely wanted her to do this role.
Even I was scared when I saw her.
When an Akshay Kumar film trailer comes out, he steals the show. This time, Lara Dutta has stolen the show.
I am glad she did.
Did you expect this reaction?
Absolutely! My sister has watched Bell Bottom twice. After watching it for the second time, she asked me, 'Where is Lara in the film?'
That's when I realised that she didn't realise where Lara was in the film.
So I told her that the Indira Gandhi character is Lara, and she was shocked!
She performed very well, and Vikramdada, who did her makeup, did an amazing job.
What is the thought process that Akshay Kumar puts in while choosing a film?
It's not a thought process. It's something that comes from the heart.
Creativity comes from your heart. That's what I follow.
It doesn't involve too much of thinking.
Also, I am not that kind of an actor who takes one to two months to get into a character.
Today, if I am doing this film, tomorrow I'll move on to another and then, the third.
Like, I finished shooting for Raksha Bandhan and the next day, I am shooting for Cinderella.
Once this gets over, I'll be shooting for Ram Setu.
Have you ever regretted saying no to a film?
Yes, but that time I didn't have dates.
That film was Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
I was doing Houseful (2) at that time.
Do you ever watch your films?
When I am doing my makeup or eating food in my van, if something is coming on television, I watch it.
But nothing like, 'Oh! Today I am going to watch my own film.'
I was watching Phir Hera Pheri the other day.
I find it very funny -- all those scenes of Rajpal Yadav and everything.
It was coming on television, so I just sat and watched it.
Hera Pheri is a cult film. That kind of film just happens.
Any update on the third installment of the franchise?
You have seven projects in the pipeline.
Ten, not seven.
There are rumours that you have the remake rights of the Tamil film,&Rakshasudu.
Rakshasudu is being remade as Cinderella, but the script has been completely changed.
It happens more often than not that actresses end up playing older characters with actors who are probably way older or the same age as them.
In the case of Bell Bottom, Lara Dutta is playing a character that is nowhere close to her real age. Isn't it peculiar?
What's wrong with that?
It's just a character.
I remember Amitabh Bachchan and Raakheeji playing husband and wife in Bemisal and a few years later, she played his mother in Shakti. And both films did quite well.
What, according to you, has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
The proudest moment of my career is to be in this industry for as many years as possible.
I feel every 10 years there is a bus that leaves.
You have to run and get into that bus, which will take you to the next 10 years.
Then you have to catch the bus again.
You have to keep working hard so that you do not miss that bus.
My proudest moment is when I get on that bus.
But isn't there a burnout that happens because you are constantly trying to achieve something?
Till the moment you enjoy your profession, there is no burnout.
Till the time you take your profession as passion, there is never a burnout.
The day you start thinking, 'Oh, God! I have to go to work today' is the time when you actually start getting burnt out.
Before going to bed every night, I excitedly think, 'Okay, tomorrow I am going to work on this project and do that scene.'
That excitement and greed is still there.
Have you ever had a role that stayed with you?
Ek bhi nahi (Not a single one).