PLEASE DON’T LA­BEL ME: AK­SHAY

The ac­tor hates get­ting type­cast with only a ‘cer­tain kind of films’

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Yashika Mathur yashika.mathur@htlive.com

I’ve gone through a lot be­cause of im­age is­sues. In the first 14 years of my ca­reer, I had the im­age of only be­ing an ac­tion hero. AK­SHAY KU­MAR, AC­TOR

When Ak­shay Ku­mar im­pressed fans with Hol­i­day...(2014), Baby (2015) and Air­lift (2016), the ac­tor was touted as the new pa­tri­otic flag­bearer. Now that his up­com­ing films Toi­let: Ek Prem Katha and Pad­man bear a so­cial mes­sage, he’s be­ing called the star that takes up causes. Ku­mar, how­ever, isn’t happy with ei­ther of the tags.

“I am do­ing dif­fer­ent kinds of char­ac­ters and they are not cho­sen on the ba­sis of a par­tic­u­lar mes­sage to give in a film. Which­ever script I find ex­cit­ing, I take it up. Last year I did com­edy with House­full 3. I keep ex­per­i­ment­ing with gen­res. I don’t want any par­tic­u­lar im­age for my­self, I don’t want any­body to say that I am an ac­tion or a com­edy hero. I want peo­ple to think ki ye koi bhi role kar leta hai (He can do any kind of a role),” says the 49-year-old Na­tional Award win­ning ac­tor, whose next film deals with the is­sue of open defe­ca­tion, and prop­a­gates the mes­sage of Swachh Bharat Ab­hiyan in an en­ter­tain­ing way.

He ex­plains the con­se­quences of be­ing trapped in a cer­tain im­age. “I have gone through a lot be­cause of im­age is­sues. In the first 14 years of my ca­reer, I had the im­age of only be­ing an ac­tion hero. It came to a stage where I started hat­ing ac­tion films. When you get type­cast in a cer­tain im­age, it’s very dif­fi­cult to come out of it,” he says. On the sub­ject of sup­port­ing causes, he re­minds, “I have pre­vi­ously also ex­per­i­mented with dif­fer­ent kinds of films. I did an off-beat film like Sang­harsh (1999), which ev­ery­one called a great film, but it didn’t do well on the box of­fice. I did a film 8 x 10 Tasveer (2009) but not even 4 by 5 peo­ple came to see it in the­atres (laughs). Thank­fully, I got a lot of chances to prove my­self but (break­ing an im­age) it’s quite hard ac­tu­ally.”

Jus­ti­fy­ing his de­ci­sion to do mul­ti­ple films every year, he says, “Every year I have to do 3-4 films. I have al­ready signed films to shoot till the next year end. I just know what I want to do. Whether it is a right de­ci­sion or a wrong de­ci­sion, only time will tell.”

PHOTO: SU­NIL SHIRSEKAR/ FOTOCORP

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