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'I won’t angry my fans’
With Rowdy Rathore's box office success, Akshay Kumar is back in the spotlight. But the bad run has taught him a good lesson, he says. He will now stick to the roles his fans love to see him do.
It has taken Akshay Kumar almost four years to reclaim the spotlight. Trade analysts have declared Rowdy Rathore a big blockbuster, which means that Akshay Kumar has managed to end his bad run as a solo hero at the box office. He is finally getting to enjoy his moment in the sun. But the actor chooses not to crow. "I don't want to say anything to anyone at the moment, let alone my critics. I obviously know I'm only as big as my last Friday. My latest experience has been absolutely wonderful, but one can never say when bad luck will become a fact of life once again. The egotist in me wants to say 'not bad, yay!'. But deep down I am grateful for criticism. After all, that is what made me do Rowdy Rathore at the end of the day, " he says. Akshay says he spotted Rowdy Rathore for a winner the moment he read the script. "I didn't need any convincing at all. I loved the superb story and the dialogues. " He pauses and adds, "The line 'Don't Angry Me' from the film will follow me for the rest of my life. "
Rowdy Rathore has been directed by Prabhu Deva, the actor-choreographer director from down South, who also delivered a huge hit with the Salman-Khan starrer Wanted. So what did Akshay learn from him: apart from dance steps, of course? "Dance steps? He taught my entire body how to move again. Believe me, the man has no bones. Watching him live is an absolutely incredible experience. I had been waiting for the perfect action movie, and it was he who gave it to me, " he says. There was a time when Akshay could do no wrong. In 2007-08, he gave a series of huge hits including Namastey London, Heyy Babyy, Bhool Bhulaiyaa and Singh is Kinng. Then followed the phase when nothing he did would go right. He delivered a string of flops but the actor says failure is not unknown to him. "This was not the first time that I had experienced a rise or fall in my career. So I knew how to deal with it, " he says. "I kept as quiet about my failures as I usually do about my successes. And thrilled as I am right now, I know it's only a matter of time and movies before the curtains come down. I will have to fight really hard to impress again. "
Looking back on his bad patch, Akshay says there was no particular reason why his films like Chandni Chowk to China, Kambakht Ishq, Blue and De Dana Dan tanked. But he refuses to blame his fans. "I enjoyed every single movie I made. In fact, I made some personal favourites that, unfortunately, weren't loved for the right reasons. They were disliked for the wrong reasons. I guess what I did wasn't what the audience either wanted or expected from me, which is fair enough. I don't deserve appreciation if I fail the very people I aim to impress. "
Akshay also attempted to break away from his star image but the venture didn't work. Nagesh Kukunoor's thriller 8 x 10 Tasveer appears to have put him off alternate films. "It's not fair to give my audience films they don't understand or appreciate. I wanted to push my talents in a different direction. That was good for me as an actor, but not so good for my ratings or my hardcore fans. "
Although Akshay experienced several solo failures before Rowdy Rathore came along, he did deliver multi-starrer hits like Housefull and Housefull 2 in between. Since a solo starrer's success is attributed to one actor whereas that of a multi-starrer is shared by a few actors, does he feel any difference between the two forms of successes? The actor explains, "When you know it's mostly you who has won a match for a team, for instance, there's no better feeling in the whole world. But then, there's nothing more fulfilling for an actor than to share screen space with his or her mentors, legends, or dearest friends. "
Not many people are aware that Akshay co-produced a film Breakaway which became the highest grossing film in Canada in 2011. But the film's dubbed version Speedy Singh was both a commercial and critical failure in India. Why Canada, you ask. "Right from the beginning, I knew that Breakaway was going to work abroad, especially in Canada, since ice-hockey which features prominently in the film, is to them is what cricket is to us. Indians were not going to enjoy the film so much as it was set in a different world altogether. "
Akshay doesn't intend to produce any similar film in the near future though. He wants to keep his focus on acting and since wife Twinkle is pregnant with their second child, he is not keen to be away from home for long periods.
Among his forthcoming films is Joker, a sci-fi adventure film. He is also returning to the old Khiladi series with a new release, Khiladi 786. "Joker is more for children than anyone else. I know how much my son and his friends will enjoy the aliens, the music and the special effects. As for Khiladi, it's a franchise that will never leave me. It has made me what I am, and I intend to keep it alive for as long as I am. "
One story doing the rounds is that Akshay has been spending a lot of time with Shah Rukh Khan. Are the two actors planning on a collaborations years after Dil To Pagal Hai? "Both, SRK and I are sports fanatics. Our paths crossed during the recent IPL season. In fact, I always see more of him more during IPL than any other time of the year. As for collaboration, who knows what the future holds?"
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