FROM CHANDNI CHOWK TO FORBES...
...it’s been surreal, says Bollywood star Akshay Kumar, about being one of the world’s highest paid actors
For many in the industry, a crucial part of being a star is about projecting a carefully cultivated image of oneself, and building a perception that being famous is quite harassing.
However, actor Akshay Kumar, who tends to wear his stardom lightly, is a breath of fresh air.
For instance, he finds it “embarrassing” to talk about his name being one of the top ones on the Forbes magazine’s recently published list of World’s Highest-Paid Actors. “When I saw the list, I was shocked to see my name on it. I find it embarrassing,” he says. But the list, wherein the ranking reveals that he earns more than Hollywood biggies such as Johnny Depp and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, couldn’t have come at a better time. The 47-year-old completes 25 years in the industry this month. “Yes, from Chandni Chowk to Forbes, it’s all been surreal,” says the actor, who makes no big deal about earning more than many Hollywood legends, just like he makes no fuss about his stardom.
Akshay says that his life is nothing short of a dream. “My journey has been the greatest rollercoaster any young boy could have ever wished for. When I entered this industry, did I think I would be here 25 years later, celebrating one of my best years at nearly 50 years of age? No! Anyone would have thought I was mad for even thinking that. But dreams do come true, you’ve got to work like your life depends on it though,” smiles Khiladi Kumar, who will soon be seen pulling off some daredevil stunts in director Karan Malhotra’s upcoming film.
In his signature humility, he credits his parents for everything he’s achieved. “All my qualities come from what my parents imbibed in me, I’m a product of their humility. They brought me up well, and I’m full of gratitude for that. Now, I am trying to teach my own kids the same values. If I do half as good as them, I’ll be the happiest man” he says.
When I entered this industry, did I think I’d be here 25 years later, celebrating one of my best years at nearly 50 years of age? No! But dreams do come true, you’ve got to work like your life depends on it though Akshay Kumar, actor
PHOTO: SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP