Naach, gaana with team Naam Shabana
The team of Naam Shabana — producer Akshay Kumar, actors Taapsee Pannu and Manoj Bajpayee, co-producer Neeraj Pandey and director Shivam Nair — visited HT City to meet the winners of the SITC contest on Monday. The team sang, laughed and danced with their fans. In a conversation with Sonal Kalra, National Editor - Entertainment & Lifestyle, Hindustan Times, Akshay talked about his stint as a producer, and Taapsee about taking up hard-hitting roles.
Why did you change your name from Rajiv Bhatia to Akshay Kumar? Akshay: No one has ever asked me this question. My first film was Aaj (1987), which was directed by Mahesh Bhatt and starred Kumar Gaurav. The name of Gaurav’s character was Akshay. I had a 4.5 second role in it and I’d only observe Kumar and his acting. One day I just went to the court and got my name changed.
You have maintained a record of finishing a film in 30-40 days. As a producer, how have you to retain this position? Akshay: There’s no particular formula for all these things. What I am doing today will also change. To get yourself in the industry is still an easy job but to sustain yourself is difficult. Every morning I get up and think what to do next. People ask me why do I get up at 4 am, aadha time to yehi sochne mein nikal jata hai ki aage kya karunga.
Taapsee, after Pink (2016), now you are doing Naam Shabana. The roles that you’ve been getting are different and there’s less objectification in your roles. Why is that? Taapsee: After Baby (2015), I started getting a lot of women-centric films. I didn’t do it because if I’ve to take up anything in action, it has to be at par with Baby or better. I didn’t get the cliché roles, which I’d have loved to do. I got these hard-hitting films so I took them up. But now, I’m getting a good mix of films.