Winning and losing are merely incidental to playing the game, believes Akshay Kumar. Filmfare cheers the khiladi for all seasons
Q. Rowdy Rathore is a huge hit. So was Housefull 2. You seem to be a permanent resident of the 100 cr club.
Come on! Me? A permanent resident? I don’t think so. I’m more of a passing visitor with ‘fireworks’ every now and then. But I must say this definitely is the most memorable, not to mention, humbling year of my life. I have been showered with so many blessings, Housefull 2, Rowdy Rathore, my first solo banner film Oh My God! and the best blessing of all, becoming a dad for the second time. What more can a man ask for? Whether my films made 100 crores or not, it’s the positive support, the buzz and the excitement that came along with them, that was the best thing. I’ve felt a lot of love so far this year. How long will it last? I wish I had the answer. But if it all ended today, I would still be a very grateful man.
Q. After each lean phase, you strike back with huge hits. What keeps you going?
The ‘lean phases’ are what keep me going. They keep every actor going. Look at any one of us, we’ve all had to sink before we were able to ride the 100 crore wave. Salman and I are perfect examples. (Laughs) He had Veer and I had Tasveer. Look at him now, he’s storming the box-office charts. Hats off to him, he deserves it more than anyone else. I seem to be riding a steady wave as of now but like all waves, they must all crash on the rocks at some point.
Q. You’re being touted as the man for all seasons, a man who’s constantly working. How do you view yourself?
I’m like the weatherman. I venture out to play come rain or sunshine. Work is not a chore for me, it’s my calling. I would be nothing without it. I live to keep it alive. I love being at home, I adore my family more than anything in the world. But I haven’t learnt to take it easy yet. As long as I have fuel in my tank, I can work day and night. When so many people rely on you for a living, it’s enough to push you out of bed every day.
Q. How would you describe your success? What do you attribute it to?
My success has always come and gone with the wind, one minute I’m like a storm that everyone enjoys, next minute I’m like a calm breeze that goes unnoticed. But each of my successes is purely based on a lot of effort from many people including myself. My name may hold a film together, but it takes many great people for it to get there. I owe a lot to everyone behind the scenes, which is why I like to work so much. The more I work, the more work people get.
Q. You’re doing Khiladi 786 now. We believe it’s the highest franchise in the world. It’s your eighth Khiladi movie.
I know. I’ve even beaten Harry Potter. I owe so much to this title. Khiladi is what invented me, it’s been a massive influence on my entire career, which is why it feels good to be back where I belong. Being a khiladi again.
Q. What are the excitement levels like at home with the second baby coming?
Absolutely wonderful. It’s the most exciting time and there’s not much time left now. Tina has just finished refurbishing the house to make room for our new baby. My wife may be pregnant but even she can’t stop working. I guess when you love what you do it has to be a part of your day otherwise you just don’t feel fulfilled.
Q. How excited is Aarav about playing big brother?
Oh, he’s loving it. He has gone to town buying baby clothes as a surprise for his mum. He’s fully into the baby thing, doesn’t want to leave his mum’s side as he’s very protective about her. He has told me everything he’s going to teach his new sibling. I don’t think anyone could have a better big brother. I know our baby will be in safe hands as long as Aarav is around, no harm can come to the little one. That’s all a father needs to know.