Akshay Kumar, the reigning star of Indian cinema, is inarguably one of the most versatile actors ever to have set foot in B-town. With over 100 films to his name, Akshay has made his mark as a full-blown entertainer. His larger-than-life, action packed and farcical roles have been blowout hits with the masses, but that hasn’t stopped him from experimenting with other genres. The actor, who climbed the success ladder with the Khiladi series, tells The Express Tribune about his acting mantra and the Pakistani talent that he admires in an email interview.
“My secret is that I never act my age. I may be in my 40s but my heroines are usually in their 20s,” said the witty actor. Akshay is famous for displaying va-va-voom chemistry with his co-stars onscreen. For him, the key element to getting the chemistry right is establishing a comfort level with his fellow actors. He believes that if that is disturbed, it becomes evident to the audience. And that is never good. “I don’t act like a superstar. The minute there’s an inferiority complex between two actors, it becomes very uncomfortable to watch,” he said.
Akshay’s latest action flick Boss is said to be yet another South India-inspired film like Rowdy Rathore and Salman Khan’s Dabangg. Akshay considers gaining inspiration from the South to be great: “Hats off to South Indian films! They have the content that the world enjoys; it’s an honour for me to recreate their magic.”
On the question of what he thinks about Boss, Akshay said, “Boss as a film has a lot of heart and a lot of me coming through the screen … you’ll definitely enjoy it.” While the race of copying South Indian films has proven to be a success, one wonders if it will overtake the concept of showing raw and original action sequences, of which Akshay has been a maven. Also, are special effects the end of real action sequences? “That’s one of the great things about Boss; there’s nothing that I didn’t do — its full-on raw action, it’s what I like to call the real deal,” stated Akshay. “I didn’t want to make another flying dramatic CGI masterpiece — it had to be real, people had to relate to its rawness. It’s not a superhero movie; it’s about a man and his family fighting their way through endless problems,” he added.
Boss received wide commercial acclaim in India but a lukewarm response in Pakistan due to the success of Pakistani film Waar. But Akshay is not taken by this. In fact, he is happy to see Pakistani cinema growing and hopes that it will keep thriving. “No matter how great anyone is, there’s always room for improvement. Film-makers should keep experimenting with new techniques and never feel afraid of going back to film school,” he said.
In recent times, a series of Pakistani artistes have crossed the border to explore their talents and Akshay believes that Bollywood owes a lot of its diversity to Pakistani musicians and actors. “From their powerful dialogue delivery to incredible music talent, Pakistanis have made valuable contribution to Bollywood,” he said. He went to say “Some of the most memorable songs of Bollywood have been sung by Pakistani artistes and the opportunities to work together will be endless,” says an optimistic Akshay.
One artiste, who has been a constant source of learning and inspiration for Akshay is none other than our very own Umer Sharif, the famous comedian. “I’ve watched Umer Sharif since I entered the industry over 20 years ago and he is one of the best comedians of all time,” he said. “What I love most about him is his comic timing and delivery,” elaborated Akshay. “You can be the funniest man on paper but unless you’ve got the timing right, your joke will be lost. Mr Umer Sharif, I salute your gift!,” he remarked.
In conclusion, Akshay conveyed his thanks to all his Pakistani fans for the love and support that they have showered him with over the years.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2013.