Crowd pleaser

Ak­shay Ku­mar says his pri­or­ity is to please the au­di­ence, not crit­ics.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - SHOWBIZ - By AN­JALI RAGURAMAN

IN­DIAN ac­tor Ak­shay Ku­mar is un­fazed by neg­a­tive re­views of his lat­est film Rus­tom.

The fea­ture, where he plays a naval of­fi­cer on trial for the mur­der of his wife’s lover, is an at­tempt at a se­ri­ous, dra­matic role for the star, who made his name play­ing ac­tion and comedic roles. His pri­or­ity is to please the au­di­ence. “For me, it will al­ways be my au­di­ences’ per­cep­tion – it is them whom I work hard for,” says Ak­shay, 48, in an e- mail in­ter­view.

He adopts a prac­ti­cal at­ti­tude to­wards crit­ics and re­views, say­ing: “The re­views are a hand­ful of opin­ions made by a hand­ful of peo­ple. An ac­tor must spend his ca­reer tak­ing what­ever is thrown at him and turn it into but­ter – let that stuff slide, whether it’s good, bad or in­dif­fer­ent.

“Box- of­fice tak­ings are the cherry on a suc­cess­ful cake,” adds the ac­tor, who has a 25- year ca­reer in Bollywood.

Ac­cord­ing to In­dian me­dia re­ports, Rus­tom is his fastest film to hit the 100- crore mark ( RM60mil) – in nine days, beat­ing his pre­vi­ous film Air­lift, which man­aged the feat in 10 days. The film opened in In­dia on Aug 12.

His role in Rus­tom, which is based on a real- life case, is part of his plan to give ev­ery genre of cin­ema an “equal op­por­tu­nity”.

While he is bet­ter known as the ac­tion star of the Khi­ladi se­ries of films, Ak­shay has in re­cent years ven­tured into more se­ri­ous, char­ac­ter- driven roles such as a busi­ness­man in war- torn Kuwait in Air­lift ( 2016) and a mixed martial arts fighter in sports drama Brothers ( 2015).

“I will al­ways adore ac­tion and come­dies, but there will al­ways be a place in my heart now for some­thing with an edge,” says Ak­shay, who is mar­ried to ac­tress Twin­kle Khanna and has a son and a daugh­ter.

Next up for Ak­shay is the role of a vil­lain­ous sci­en­tist op­po­site Kol­ly­wood su­per­star Ra­jinikanth in 2.0, a sci- fi fol­low- up to 2010’ s En­thi­ran.

The film is ex­pected to be re­leased next year. It also marks his first foray into the Tamil film in­dus­try.

Ex­plain­ing that he treats ev­ery role as a gift, Ak­shay says: “I choose to make films that push my bound­aries, not ones that I’m pushed into.

“Age has taught me one thing – never look a gift horse in the mouth. So I promised my­self I’d give ev­ery genre of cin­ema an equal op­por­tu­nity and never say no be­cause no mat­ter how scary a de­ci­sion may be, faith is all you need.” – The Straits Times/ Asia News Net­work

— Ap

While Ak­shay is bet­ter known as the ac­tion star of the Khi­ladi se­ries of films, he has in re­cent years ven­tured into more se­ri­ous, char­ac­ter- driven roles.

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