MUMBAI: Akshay Kumar, the undisputed kingpin of slapstick comedy in Bollywood, has set tongues wagging about his upcoming film Entertainment, which features an eponymous dog in a lead role. The dynamic actor, who is known to not fraternise with fellow stars beyond the sets, has developed camaraderie with his furry co-star from the film.
As one of Akshay’s favourite co-stars Katrina Kaif once said, “He is a lot like me. We are both very friendly on the sets, but after pack-up, we like to head straight home.” But it seems like that is no longer true. “His name in the film is Entertainment and he and I will be buddies for life,” said Akshay, speaking eagerly about his connection with the canine.
The two bonded while shooting for their film together. He commented, “I made sure he didn’t feel just like a dog being made to do tricks for treats. I would spend a lot of time playing with him off-camera. As soon as he accepted it, we were pals and not just co-stars.”
“He’d let me sleep on his belly during breaks, which was the most blissful feeling in the world,” he said. The duo also got sporty on the sets. “He loved it when I played ball with him, as his attention toy was a tennis ball, which I carried everywhere with me. He’s a beautiful dog,” added Kumar, who recommends a dog’s presence in every household. “From the bottom of my heart, I feel every gentle child should have a dog. There is no companionship like [that of a dog’s].”
Even before befriending the star dog, Kumar was a dog person. “My homes are full of dogs and that has been the case for years. I have two German Shepherds named Oaky and Clio in my Mumbai home, and a Golden Labrador who looks after my little Portuguese Villa in Goa.”
Kumar shared that even at his mother’s house, which is right above his, there lives a “little funny crossed-eyed Beagle that is [his] niece’s pet. She adores him to bits.” For Akshay, canines are the most dependable creatures. “For me, dogs are where the heart is... at home, looking after your family while you can’t,” he said. We hope that Entertainment is a ‘woofing’ success.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2014.
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