Akshay Kumar has a sixth sense of his own in his latest film â€˜8 X 10 â€“ Tasveer’. But what does he make of all things supernatural? Read the full interview here.
Tell us more about your role in the film?
Jai is a very serious Canadian forest ranger, thereâ€™s almost a disturbingly eerie feel about him. He experiences an almighty trauma as a child which haunts him through childhood,
enabling him to have a psychological 6th senseâ€¦but like any man it takes a woman to make him feel alive inside, for richer or poorer till death do they part.
What was it like working with your co-stars especially Ayesha and Sharmila Tagore?
It was my first time acting with Ayesha and I must say she is an extremely good actressâ€¦very sweet, always professional, even when she was afraid of the water she composed herself very well.
It would be a pleasure to work with her again. And our beloved Sharmilaji whoâ€™s playing my mother, what a sweetheart. I remember having posters of her and now Iâ€™m starring with her.
Sheâ€™s such a darling So how was it working with Nagesh Kukinoor? Are the speculations true about the sour feelings between you?
Not at allâ€¦ You see, what people need to remember is Iâ€™m at work to make good cinema, not to make lifetime partners with people. We had a job to do and both Nagesh and I knew it wasnâ€™t going to be easy. It was like forcing a person whoâ€™s afraid of heights to jump out of a 10 storey window, thatâ€™s how hard it is for me to be psychologically involved in a deeply unnatural character.
But I salute his determination, man how persistent he was to get me to do it his way, Iâ€™m seriously so impressed with that man, he may not allow us to play cricket on set, but since the day shooting was over weâ€™ve done nothing but laugh about our journey. Nagesh has a brilliant personality, but I agree, when itâ€™s work itâ€™s workâ€¦ Do you believe in the supernatural? . Listen, Iâ€™m gonna be honest with you, the most supernatural thing that has ever happened to me was me becoming a Bollywood hero.
Though I do know a few people that have had extraordinary circumstances happen in their lives, Iâ€™m afraid Iâ€™m not one of them. Iâ€™m not saying itâ€™s a myth, but Iâ€™m not going to sit here and lie to you about some random hocus pocus, just because I have a movie releasing.
Iâ€™m not doing this movie because I think itâ€™s real, Iâ€™m doing it because I fell in love with the script and the concept.
At the end of the day itâ€™s just a movie. Itâ€™s a group of creative proâ€™s working together to produce 2 hours of different cinema, in a genre that even I never saw myself doing.
What was it like working with Bohemia again?
Bohemia is an extremely talented artist, he is the â€˜Punjabi Rap Star of all rappers,â€™ his voice is like no other, his beats are so hardcore, but itâ€™s his lyrics that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand.
Which is why weâ€™ve put subtitles through the video of 8×10 because itâ€™s so important that people understand the words to the song so they can really connect to our vision.
We gave him a one page concept of the film and within 3 days he came back with a song that blew us all away. I swear he couldnâ€™t have made a better connection for love or money, thatâ€™s how talented he is.
Do we get to see any of those famous Akshay stunts in the film?
Strangely enough, even though this is a psychological thriller, I still happened to be throwing myself over a 200 foot cliff and being pushed off the back of a boat with my hands chained behind my back while being left to drown at the bottom of a lake.
Itâ€™s amazing how much action can go into thrillers that even I wasnâ€™t aware ofâ€¦. And you think my director was ever going to let me get away with just acting in this one!!!
What was it like filming in Canada? This movie took a long time to shoot, why was that?
Ah various reasons, we werenâ€™t jinxed or anything, a lot of people would say that shooting a thriller can be like shooting yourself in the foot.
It wasnâ€™t as dramatic as that, we shot such a large portion in Calgary in Canada, but then we had a lot of weather issues when we travelled to the mountains in Banff, so most of us were evacuated from there and flown back to Bombay.
It wasnâ€™t an easy shoot to do anyway, itâ€™s very much a Canadian movie as well as an Indian movie, we had a lot of international actors/ production/ and so on, so the whole schedule becomes time consuming. Plus I was backed up with prior commitments so finding dates for everyone was a hard task, but hey, from the words of Nagesh himself, â€œOne canâ€™t rush perfection, can one!!â€
What is your favourite song in the film? We hear you have sung a song?
The song sung by Bohemiaâ€¦.and no I havenâ€™t sung any song.
Supernatural movies seem to be the fashion recently, how do you feel 8×10 will work?
I would and wouldnâ€™t call 8×10 a supernatural movie. Iâ€™m not playing Superman or Batman, nothing like that, â€˜I have a secretâ€™ – a 6th sense, shall we say!
This by far a psychological thriller â€¦ When it comes to movies like mine, no matter how great the effects are I feel itâ€™ll never work without that killer script/screenplay.
Audiences have seen so many special effects now that I reckon itâ€™s emotions they want to feel, rather than Oooing and Ahhhing at the screen. Thatâ€™s where my confidence lies in this movie,
the screenplay has blown me away, it had to, or I wouldnâ€™t have attempted something so extreme for me.
How does Akshay Kumar jump from senseless to serious?
It aint easy believe me… Because basically I live like a child, I make my work fun, my training fun, and my play time even funnier.
I really enjoy making even the saddest of people â€˜laughâ€™, because apart from money itâ€™s all I have to give in life.
Thatâ€™s why I was in my element in â€˜CC2Câ€™, regardless of any outcome. But I had already signed a psychological thriller and was halfway through filming.
What a split personality I had to have, one month it was like a teddy bearsâ€™ picnic, the next I was trying not to slit my wrists… 8×10 is a genre Iâ€™ve never touched before,
to be so deep in thought, so negative, literally dead inside everyday was agony for me.
So Iâ€™m hoping all those out there that wanted to see me in a different light, I pray Iâ€™m giving them what they are asking for. Letâ€™s hope I donâ€™t lose my funny fans along the way ay!!.
The film seems to be quite off-beat and unconventional in Bollywood terms. Which types of audiences do you feel the film will appeal to?
Itâ€™s very rare that you see a movie that scares you, intrigues you, and plays with your mind.
Though I know it doesnâ€™t appeal to everyone, there are people that have been in the industry for years who I know wouldnâ€™t dream of seeing a slightly scary movie, but I also know
people out there that are dying to watch something gripping, itâ€™s each to their own. of all people, I know that you canâ€™t cater to everyoneâ€™s needs.