The Bol­ly­wood su­per­star’s lat­est avatar shows him flaunt­ing a saltand­pep­per look in all its glory. The ac­tor ‘doesn’t want to be an old man who is try­ing to look 18’

HT City - - FRONT PAGE - Prashant Singh prashant.singh@htlive.com

Re­mem­ber see­ing any top Bol­ly­wood star — past or present — proudly flaunt­ing a stylish saltand-pep­per look? Chances are that you wouldn’t have, es­pe­cially in an in­dus­try that’s ob­sessed with a star’s im­age, pub­lic per­cep­tions, and youth­ful looks. But Ak­shay Ku­mar is clearly in the mood to smash the stigma at­tached with it (we’ve got hold of an ex­clu­sive im­age of his new look), as he ac­quires a chic grey mop of hair à la Hol­ly­wood star Ge­orge Clooney. In a can­did con­ver­sa­tion, Ak­shay talks about his new avatar, fash­ion­able out­ings and fam­ily va­ca­tions. Your salt­and­pep­per look is ab­so­lutely stylish and suits you a lot. How did you de­cide on it?

To start with, thank you for your kind com­pli­ments and se­condly, for be­ing so open­minded about my salt-and­pep­per look (smiles). Ac­tu­ally, my stylist and I have been plan­ning this avatar for about a month now and were try­ing to see how imag­i­na­tive we could be. We or­dered sil­ver hair wax from China — which is made of nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents — and ex­per­i­mented with dif­fer­ent tones, but I was most ex­cited about be­ing a Sil­ver Fox, so we cut [my hair], styled it and played around un­til we got the look that made us go, ‘Hell, yeah!’

Since I play a Lon­don-based bar­ber in House­full 4, I was re­ally ex­cited to push the bound­aries of my char­ac­ter [vis-à-vis my look] and play a bar­ber that In­dia has never seen be­fore.

Also, when I see my­self now, it gives me a sneak peek into what I’ll look like in roughly 10 years (smiles) . As for my sil­ver beard, that’s as real as it gets — I’m now the proud owner of a fully salted beard with only a dash of pep­per (laughs).

You are at the peak of your act­ing ca­reer. Didn’t you think even for a minute be­fore go­ing for this look, as we hardly see any top star in Bol­ly­wood do­ing it?

Oh, it was def­i­nitely a gam­ble, but one that I was com­pletely will­ing to go ahead with. Be it men or women, In­dia is very ob­sessed with a thick, full mop of black hair. So, men must be styled with a full head of hair for eter­nity, and women’s hair must be lus­trous and blow­dried at all times (laughs), and heaven for­bid, if you lose hair or worse still, if it turns grey.

But you’ve never been afraid to ex­per­i­ment with your looks… Well, I’m hap­pily go­ing to do what I do best and try and break the stigma at­tached with [grey hair]. Salt and pep­per not only works well on eggs but I gen­uinely be­lieve that it’s an awe­some shade to wear — loudly and proudly. I don’t want to be an old man who is try­ing to look 18. As they say, ‘old is gold, but sil­ver is sen­sa­tional.’

The best com­pli­ment you’ve got? I was told, ‘OMG, you look younger with sil­ver hair than with black; there’s no way you are 50.’ I was rather chuffed with that re­sponse. But the best thing is my kids love it, and I can’t tell you how good it feels to be cooler than my son (Aarav) at the mo­ment. He has full-on teenage swag that I never pos­sessed, so when he says that he wants to copy my look, that’s the ul­ti­mate com­pli­ment. Im­i­ta­tion will al­ways be the big­gest form of flat­tery, so go ahead and copy!

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