What’s Next, Akshay Kumar?
His PadMan is a huge hit and Akshay Kumar has been heralded as a social icon. What’s next for this hit machine? In a candid interview, AKSHAY KUMAR talks about his work, films, future plans and more…
Do you think Bollywood is finally ready for realistic cinema? Post the success of Toilet and PadMan, it has proved that we can touch impactful issues, do you think things have changed? Toilet was a much easier subject to accept but PadMan was not. People are not that open about sanitary pads. There were a lot of places where women were discouraged to watch the film. However, people are accepting the change though it is not so fast.
Do you think that on the personal front, you have done your bit? Yes, I am trying to do my bit. And this is not the end of it. I still do a lot for the construction of toilets. For me, this is not just any film, for me, it is more of a feeling.
Any incidents while shooting that you remember? While shooting, there were some incidents which happened and it was really unbelievable. I was shooting with a local guy who was asked to hold a pad in his hand. But he just refused and in fact, he ran away. When we called him to ask the reason, he said, ‘ Humarein yaha paap ko haath nahi lagate’. So this is the kind of mindset people have and all we can do is break it and by the grace of God, this movie has succeeded in a lot of places. Akshay, Twinkle somewhere mentioned that her next venture would be on reproductive rights of women. Do we expect to see you in that project? I have no idea! She plans her own things and later on, gives me a surprise!
What is the next issue that you’d like to take up? I haven’t decided as yet. I am also doing a war movie called Kesari. Then I am waiting to start Housefull4. It is going to be like a three-month vacation.
Do you think you have evolved as an actor 27 years down the line in the industry? As a human being, these social issues have impacted me, I don’t know about the acting part. I do films for the cause of it and not for the acting part.
Your 2.0 co-star Rajinikanth is now in politics, your father-inlaw was in it too. Do you have plans to join politics? No.
After such thought-provoking movies, do you need to take a breather and do a movie like Housefull4? Yes, I need to keep on changing. I don’t want to give a chance to anyone to form an image of me. I had to go through this a lot earlier when I was only known as an action hero and I wasn’t selected for any other role. I always wanted to do different films but nothing of that sort happened. So that has impacted me a lot and so now I am making it a point to keep on changing my image.
Recently, Sudhir Mishra said that we need to have a calendar for Bollywood so that the films don’t clash with each other at the Box office... A clash is inevitable but I don’t believe in the word ‘clash’. There are two or three movies which release together. There are 180 films and 52 weeks in a year. So I don’t know if there is any math which can separate the films. You have to come together. Till 2000, films releasing on a Friday used to continue till silver and golden jubilees. Abtohchaardinka dhandahai.
Is 2.0 release date getting pushed again? I have no idea. That is one movie I have no idea about.
Do you think a film’s credibility is defined by Box office figures? No! For me, the most important thing is that the movie should be liked and appreciated.