Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar had interviewed Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019, perhaps for the first time that the country’s premier was sitting down for such a question and answer session.
Ahead of the release of his period drama Samrat Prithviraj, the actor, recalling his 2019 interview with Modi for which he received both bouquets and brickbats, said he had refrained from putting forward policy questions to the PM as it would have looked "fake".
"I asked him questions straight from my heart, things that I wanted to know, just like a common man would ask. Things like why our PM wears his watch upside down? I just wanted to know it (the manner in which PM Modi ate mangoes). Otherwise, what difference would there be between me and others? I would not go and question him about policies. That is not my job. If I had done so, it would have looked fake. I just wanted to ask him simple and straight questions. We just talked and I cracked jokes," Akshay said in an interview to ANI.
The Toilet: Ek Prem Katha actor recalled that he was taken aback when he got the opportunity to interview the prime minister. In a candid conversation with the actor, Modi had dwelt on little known details about himself, like disclosing what his favourite fruit was, his preparation for the first UN speech and so on.
"I was taken aback, I did not know that I would get a chance to do that and I was honoured to sit and talk with him. I was a little bit nervous but after I began conversing, he made me not feel nervous and then everything just flowed. I was just enjoying talking to him," Akshay added.
The actor said PM Modi's ability to "mould himself" was a great thing that helped the actor during the interview.
"I think the best part about our prime minister is he knows how to mould himself. If he is talking to me, he will mould himself towards me... If he is talking to children, he will (mould himself) according to their age. I think the ability to mould himself is a great thing in him."
The actor had missed out on attending the 75th edition of Cannes Film Festival held in France recently after he tested positive for Covid-19. Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur led the Indian delegation at the Cannes 2022 Red Carpet last month.
When asked if the Indian film industry has arrived on the global scene, Akshay lauded the prime minister's leadership and said things are changing for India and that Indian cinema was going big in the international arena, and credited Prime Minister Modi's leadership for it.
"I am sure and all thanks to our prime minister who has taken us so big in such a huge way internationally. Things are changing for our country," he added.
India was named as the official 'Country of Honour' at the Marche' Du Film, which was organised alongside the Cannes Film Festival, in France. This was the first time that this honour has been bestowed on any country and came at a time when India is celebrating its Aazadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.