AKSHAY KUMAR SPORTS THE CLOONEY LOOK, GOES GREY
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’
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!