Akshay Kumar: Superstars no longer rule the box office
Akshay Kumar enjoys an enviable position in the film industry -- neither flops nor criticism affect his stardom.
Putting his last dud, Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobaara behind him, Akshay is getting ready for his next release, an out and out commercial entertainer called Boss.
Sonil Dedhia catches up with the superstar to know why he chooses the roles he does, why he thinks the father-son relationship is neglected in films, and much more.
Your last film Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobaara didn’t fare well at the box office. What do you think went wrong?
I don’t think much about what went wrong. Whenever my film releases on a Friday, by Saturday I come to know the collections. If they aren’t really up to the mark, I feel bad till Sunday but then from Monday I move on.
There are times when things don’t work out but that doesn’t mean it is the end. In fact, I take it as a new beginning.
It was reported that your relations with Ekta Kapoor (the film’s producer) went sour after the release of the film.
If one flop affects a relationship then it is a foolish thing. I share a very good relationship with Ekta.
Image: Akshay Kumar in Boss
'People are making more commercial cinema than character driven films'
Shouldn’t you move away from playing larger than life characters in masala entertainers and do roles like Special 26 and Oh My God which did well for you?
But I have to do a film like Rowdy Rathore. People are making more commercial cinema than character driven films.
I would love to do character driven films but the roles have to come to me. You have to like the script.
Do you do films like Rowdy Rathore to sustain your stardom?
I don’t do them because of any reasons. My priority is whether I like the script or not.
I am doing a film called Holiday which is based on sleeper cells. One would have never heard of it. It is completely different. It is made by A R Murugadoss. I am very excited about it but unfortunately I can't talk about it.
Image: Akshay Kumar in Special Chabbis
'Unfortunately, we don't have any films which highlight fathers'
But a lot of things depend on big stars. If your name is attached to a film it automatically creates a lot of buzz.
It is not that if a name of a big star is attached to a movie it will automatically become a hit. Only good films do well. If the script, the content, is good then the film works.
Films of even big actors don't work at the box office sometimes. Gone are the days when films of superstars did well or ruled the box office all the time.
As I said, it is all about script and whoever is part of the film and does a good job.
Your upcoming film Boss is a remake of the Malayalam film Pokkri Raja. Have you made any changes?
No. When I saw the film I loved it the way it was. The film has entertainment, comedy and 12 hard core action sequences. It is the story of a father and his relationship with his two sons, which is the prime reason for me to do the story.
I like the story of father and son as I shared a great rapport with my father and that is why I made films like Waqt: A Race Against Time, Ek Rishta, and Janwaar. This is my fourth film in this space.
A lot of films or songs are being made on mothers but unfortunately we don’t have any films which highlight fathers. I feel they are taken for granted.
In the promos the focus is on action rather than the father-son relationship.
We don’t want to make the father-son relationship in your face. The film has action, comedy, romance and we wanted to show a mix of all the elements.
Image: Prabhudheva and Akshay Kumar in Boss
'I am a superman for my son'
What kind of a relationship do you share with your son?
I share a great bonding with him. He likes all my films, especially the action films. For him, I am like his superman.
Do you share a formal father and son relationship with him?
No. He is like my friend. He respects me as a father and doesn't take things for granted. I like it this way.
Image: Akshay Kumar with his son Aarav.
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar
'I would like to be like Danny Denzongpa'
This is your second film with Anthony D’Souza. The first film, Blue, was a dud. What made you work with him again?
I don’t think technically there are many directors who can do what he is doing. He is outstanding in this space. If given the right script, he can come up with flying colours.
I think Blue was technically far superior to any other film. No one could ever think about treasure hunt, sharks, under water fights -- it was a largely scaled film.
Even though the film did not do well, I still trusted him and worked with him in Boss.
Danny Denzongpa is in the film. What did you learn from a veteran actor like him?
I purchased my first office from him and since then my good time started. He has been lucky for me.
I want to be like him in that even today he looks so young, just like a 25-year-old boy!
I have so many things to learn from him. He works on his own rules and conditions; he doesn’t work for four months during the summer.
He is not bothered about work. He goes trekking, plays the flute and loves to be in his own space. I would like to be like him.
Image: Akshay Kumar and Honey Singh in Boss