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This article was first published 12 years ago

Akshay Kumar: I don't have a rapist side

Last updated on: March 22, 2012 17:11 IST

Image: Akshay Kumar and Asin in Housefull 2
Patcy N in Mumbai

Akshay Kumar's last few films did not do well, so, much rides on his first release this year, Housefull 2, which will be released in April. It is said to be in the typical Sajid Khan and Akshay mould -- a fun and laughter-filled entertainer. 

When Patcy N met Akshay at his house in Juhu, he seemed to be in a similar mood.

He cracked jokes and gave us some hilarious insights into his film Housefull 2. He also spoke about certain things actors never talk about, like his remuneration per film.

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'I stare at women till they are out of my sight'

Image: Asin, Akshay Kumar and Ranjeet in Housefull 2
"It is difficult to explain my role," Akshay says. "If you have seen old movies of Ranjeet and you know the type of character he played, you will know what I am talking about."
Bollywood's famous yesteryear villain Ranjeet is incidentally Akshay's father in Housefull 2.
Though his character is like Ranjeet's, it is "minus all negativity and raping and smuggling. I don't have a rapist side, but I look at women very closely; I stare at them till they are out of my sight," Akshay reveals.
The characters Ranjeet played in films had this habit that when he looked at girls, his tongue would automatically pop out. "I am like that in this film. As Ranjeet plays my father, so naturally I had to have some traits of him in me," Akshay explains.

There's one funny scene in the film between Akshay and Ranjeet in which Akshay introduces his girlfriend to his dad. "So I enter and say loudly 'Daddy inse milye' (Daddy meet her). My father looks at the girl, feels his chest, and says, 'Beauty beauty beauty!'
"Seeing that my father has his eye on my girl, I say, 'Yeh meri girlfriend hai, aapki bahu hai' (She is my girlfriend, your to-be daughter-in-law). So he immediately changes the exclamation to 'Oh! Beti beti beti (daughter)'."
Ranjeet plays the role of a therapist. The signboard displaying his profession has the 'e' crooked so it looks like 'The Rapist', so naturally there is a dearth of clients. "My father doesn't know why people never come to his clinic. He doesn't know that the 'e' in Therapist is crooked since the signboard is on the top of the shop and he doesn't see it," Akshay explains.

'Even though this is a slapstick comedy, it is a story-driven film'

Image: Akshay Kumar in Housefull 2
Like its predecessor, Housefull 2 is also situated in a big house and there are lots of characters that come and go, and there is much confusion. The tiger of the earlier film is replaced by a crocodile, which Akshay wrestles with.
"Even though this is a slapstick comedy, it is a story-driven film. It is not heavy on drama and emotions but there is a story, there is a reason why everybody comes to the house," Akshay insists.
The story of the film in one line is that Riteish Deshmukh's character wants to get married but his father (Mithun Chakrborty) is a very strict man. There are four father characters in this film, played by Ranjeet, Mithun Chakraborty, Rishi Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor.
Brothers Rishi and Randhir Kapoor have worked together for the first time in their careers and their names in the film are Chintu and Dabboo Kapoor.

'Sajid works with his instinct; even though he has a bound script'

Image: Riteish Deshmukh, Akshay Kumar, John Abraham, Shreyas Talpade in Housefull 2
Has Sajid Khan improved in any way as director over the three-film association? 

"I think Sajid should not improve, he should be the way he is. Sajid works with his instinct; even though he has a bound script, he doesn't follow it exactly. Comedy is what instantly comes to his mind, his films are not tech-savvy. He tweaks the dialogues even while we are shooting," Akshay says.
What happened to Akshay's declaration when shooting Desi Boyz that he is bored of doing comedies? 

"I've always enjoyed working with Sajid besides during the shooting also he makes you laugh all the time on the sets. But, yes, I am shifting away from comedies. Soon you will see me in action films like Rowdy Rathore, Special Chabbis, Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai 2, Joker."

'There are directors like Neeraj Pandey, Milan Luthria who don't want their actors to come prepared'

Image: A scene from Housefull 2
What sort of preparation does he put in for his various roles? 

"There are directors like Neeraj Pandey (Special Chhabbis) and Milan Luthria (Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai 2), who don't want their actors to come prepared on the sets. For such directors, if you go prepared for your role and the director wants it in a certain way, then there is a clash. 
"You have to just know your script and your dialogue before you go on the sets; they will themselves act and show you what they want in a particular scene. While shooting with such directors there is no place for improvisation.

"Then there are other directors like Sajid, Rajkumar Santoshi, Mahesh Bhatt, with whom you can sit and improvise," Akshay analyses.
So which type does he prefer? He's easy with either, he says. "I have just worked with Neeraj in Special Chabbis. If I suggest even a small change, he will not accept it. He would say 'you don't do your homework, I will do it for you."

'The cost of the film increases as soon as the cost of the actor is added to it'

Image: A scene from Housefull 2
Akshay turned producer a while ago but it doesn't affect his acting work, he says, because his partner Ashwini and others take care of it for him.
Akshay gives a curious reason for turning producer. "I thought of becoming a producer because when other producers would come to sign me for a film, it was difficult for me to tell them my price. 

"The price of an actor differs from film to film and sometimes it may happen that the actor will say he wants Rs 10 for a film but that may be too much for the producer to pay and sometimes it may happen that Rs 10 was much less than the producer was prepared to pay. 

"The cost of the film depends on what kind of film is being made and it increases as soon as the cost of the actor is added to it."
Tags: Ashwini

'Actors make their own films so that its cost goes down'

Image: Housefull 2 poster
So, according to him, most actors nowadays have decided to make their own films so that the cost of the film automatically goes down because his remuneration in the film is zero, as he won't take money from his own production.
Once the film is released, whatever the film earns is the profit of the actor. Akshay says that if you produce your own film, it never goes into loss; whatever money you have put into the film is always recovered. It is no profit no loss even if the film doesn't do well at the box office. All the actor loses is the time he puts in.

"That much one can sacrifice, but look at the brighter side: the exhibitor, distributors and theatre owner don't go in losses. Films make a loss because of the actors' cost but if you remove the cost of the actor, there is no loss."

'Flops don't bother me'

Image: Rowdy Rathore poster
Akshay also works in films outside his own production; in such cases, does he bargain on territory? 

"I don't prefer bargaining on the territory. I would rather sit and make my own film. Having said that, I am working in films produced by others, too, such as Rowdy Rathore made by Sanjay Leela Bhansali." 

Rowdy Rathore, a remake of the Telugu film Vikramkuddu, will be Akshay's first action film in six years. His co-star is Sonakshi, "a wonderful actress, beautiful and professional with a great memory for dialogues", and his director Prabhu Deva, is "very quiet and speaks little. Technically he is very sound and it is his specialty, he gives space to improvise."
Not all his films have been successful but Akshay declares that "flops don't bother me, I just work harder in my next film. Every human being has to go from high to low from low to high. If you understand that, then you will never have a problem."

'Seven years ago, I delivered 14 flops'

Image: Twinkle Khanna, Aarav, Akshay Kumar
Bollywood films nowadays bring in collections of over Rs 100 crore but he sees this as just another record waiting to be broken. 

"Seven years ago, I delivered 14 flops. Big deal. You just keep on working, records will keep on breaking. I was the first guy whose film Singh is Kinng raked in Rs 70 core but soon some film brought in Rs 100 crore. This is my challenge to you: within five years Rs 400 crore collection from India will happen," he says confidently.
He doesn't want his young son Aarav to be immersed in films. "I want my son to be away from films. I want him to enjoy his childhood. I want him to go and play football. Go on the beach and enjoy life, what has he got to do with my work?"

Akshay leads a disciplined life and doesn't change his rules for anyone. "I don't enjoy partying. I don't understand why they play music so loud. I like to sleep early. I go off to sleep by 9-9.30. I have my dinner by 6:30, and I don't drink tea or coffee. I get up at 4.30 in the morning."
What does wife Twinkle think of these early hours? He laughs: 'Twinkle sleeps by 8.45. This is the only similarity that I and Twinkle share. Life becomes very calm when your partner sleeps at the same time. We share this one thing in common, sleeping early and getting up early."
He lists his hobbies as volley ball, trekking, rock climbing, swimming and all water sports. He follows cricket.
Tags: India

'I have no regrets in life'

Image: Twinkle Khanna and Akshay Kumar
Many actors who exercise rigorously have ended up with back and knee problems, but Akshay is a firm believer in exercise. "When you work out, the most important thing is to warm up and after finishing the work out, cool down. Ninety-nine per cent avoid this. If after exercise you don't cool down for 10 minutes, it may harm your body."
Other fitness tips? "Nowadays we rely on shortcuts and supplements rather than home-cooked food. Dieting is good but that doesn't mean you give up food; eat whatever you want but don't eat after 6:30 or 7. After 7 you are eating slow poison," he advises
He is a believer in the good effects of ghee or clarified butter. "Ghee is good for health. Your bones and joints need this oil. My grandmother lived till 98, and every day she ate two spoonfuls of ghee. I also eat it. It is wrong when people say if you eat ghee you will become fat. If you eat ghee and don't exercise then you become fat." 

Akshay Kumar seems to be satisfied with the way his life has turned out. "I have no regrets in life," he says.