The Star Quotient Never Works For Any Film - Akshay Kumar | Exclusive Interview

The charming actor with a heart of gold, Akshay Kumar has been in the news for all the right reasons. He has an interesting line up of films and a packed schedule all the way up to 2018. This year too shall see the actor in 3 - 4 different avatars, ranging from a lawyer to a toilet owner and a sci-fi baddie. While he has been making all the right noises on the professional front, Kumar hasn't allowed his duty as an alert and responsible citizen to take a backseat. For someone who has been actively involved in social causes and philanthropic activities, the Khiladi rightly stood up for important causes and made good use of social media to voice his opinion. Although he shies away from talking about charity, the actor, who is also on the Forbes list of World's Highest Earning Celebrities, has always taken a step ahead to support social causes. Be it empowering the girl child or supporting drought hit farmers, Kumar has done it all. More power to him!

In between a long day of promotions for his upcoming film - Jolly LLB 2, which is now just two days away from release, we caught up with Akshay Kumar to discuss films, family and more. Excerpts from a candid conversation: 

Your films usually release on national holidays. How come you opted for a date in February instead?
 It is a strategic decision because two big films (Raees & Kaabil) had already released.

You are working with film maker Subhash Kapoor for the first time. What was your experience of working with him like?
He used to be a political journalist before turning into a film maker. Subhash is a very well read person. He has done a lot of research for this film. His language is very good and he also writes very well. I am confident that the audience will like this story. I feel the star quotient never works for any film. For me, the real hero of a film is the story. The audience today is very smart and they only want to watch a good story.

And what about Huma? You are paired with her for the first time as well.
She is very beautiful and also talented. In the film she is the man of the house. I make drinks for her and also cook for her. For Huma also this is a new genre. Off camera whenever we used chat with her she always tells me even she wants a husband like this in real life too! 

For me, the real hero of a film is the story

Fan Questions

Jolly LLB 2 is a tale of lies and truth. It is almost like a chess game. The story revolves around many things. Not just corruption, but it has several other aspects of genres like thriller and murder mysteries. What excited about the role is the fact that this is the first time I am playing a lawyer. So, I am definitely looking forward to the film.

It's a new story and a new thing for me to do. It's a space where people have not seen me. In our country, we have 3.5 crore cases pending and only 21 thousand lawyers. So, there is a huge gap. Still, citizens of our country have immense respect towards our legal system. Even today, when two people fight on the road, they will tell each other - 'I will see you in the court'. 

Jolly LLB 2 is a tale of lies and truth. It is almost like a chess game

You recently took to Twitter and condemned the Bengaluru mass molestation through a video, followed by another one dedicated to the Indian soldiers. These videos went viral within minutes. What are your thoughts on social media playing a key role in creating awareness today?
 See, I have realised one thing.  India has a huge population. So much, that it is impossible to change everything in just one go. It took years to pile up the garbage, so obviously, nothing can change in one day. What we can do is hope that people become sensitive and intelligent enough to understand this. I do my own work, by putting up small videos, where I ask people to think about our country. I never criticise them. When people think of their family and friends, so why not for their own country?

Go on...
That's why as an actor,  I take a lot of initiatives. See, cleanliness is the main problem in our country right now. I feel ashamed when I see people spit on the road. They throw things on the road from an auto, cab or car. My house is at the beach, and around 3-4 years back, I literally used to ask people to clean the beach whenever they made it dirty. Now, if you see almost a kilometre on the left and right side of my house, you will see no garbage. My next film (Toilet: Ek Prem Katha) is also about that. It has a commercial side along with a strong message, and focuses a lot on cleanliness. And I am sure people do learn from all these aspects. 

Cleanliness is the main problem in our country right now. I feel ashamed when I see people spit on the road

Image Credit: MW Magazine
Both Twinkle and you have given 'relationship goals' a whole new meaning, and the two of you recently completed 16 years of marital bliss. What keeps your bond strong?
 It's all about the friendship that we share. That's exactly what keeps us going. Whenever there is an outdoor shoot, I always feel the need to come back. The space is also very important for a couple. 

 And what about your kids? How do you bond with them?
Due to my hectic schedule, I don't get the chance to spend enough time. But, Twinkle does take care of the kids fully. When it comes to outdoor activities like swimming or martial arts, I am the one who takes them out (smile). 

I enjoy challenges. That's why I have got something different in all my upcoming films

You have got a diverse range of films coming up, with unique characters and subjects. 
I enjoy challenges. That's why I have got something different in all my upcoming films. Be it Toilet: Ek Prem Katha which takes inspiration from the Swacch Bharat initiative or Crack, which focuses on schizophrenia. Then there is 2.0 (Robot 2), where I play a completely negative character, Gold - which is a biopic, and Padman, for which I will start shooting soon. I like taking up characters that are different.

(with inputs by Priya Adivarekar)

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Priya Adivarekar

Priya Adivarekar - Founder and Creative Director at Diary of a Dancebee. She is also a renowned Voice Actress and award winning artiste, with serious passion for dance. When not working round the clock, she can be seen reading, enjoying a movie-binge or listening to music.
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