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Akshay Kumar: It is the writer who makes the film a hit, not an actor!

Akshay Kumar on the importance of a solid script and why he doesn’t want to stick to one genre in movies or on TV

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Akshay Kumar: It is the writer who makes the film a hit, not an actor!
Akshay Kumar
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There’s been a lot of speculation about who is essaying the role of mathematician Anand Kumar in a biopic on him. Earlier, Hrithik Roshan was slated to do it, but he has opted out and reports suggest Akshay Kumar is doing it. However, the Khiladi denies it saying, “So far I haven’t been approached for it; I have no idea.”

Action again?

The actor, who is almost done with the shoot of Padman, will soon be revisiting his action avatar after Brothers. He will be getting into the fighting mode with a film based on the Battle of Saragarhi. Tell him that Ajay Devgn also is planning a film on the same subject and he says, “I have no idea who is doing what, all I know is that I will start shooting for this yet-to-be-titled film in December.”

‘It’s about the connect’

Akshay’s last few releases like Jolly LLB2 and Toilet: Ek Prem Katha were based in small-towns with him playing characters from the heartland and they turned out to be big hits. Even his next film Padman will see him playing a small-town guy, who invented the low-cost, sanitary pad-making machine. When asked if he is choosing small-town films and heartland characters because they have a bigger connect with the audience, he says, “It is not about the connect, it is about the story. There have been so many heartland films that haven’t connected. A film like Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, which wasn’t a heartland film, connected with the audience. It doesn’t matter where the film is based — Bihar or Brazil — the story has to connect. I have been lucky in the sense that the last four-five films have connected and I got good stories. The most important aspect is the writer. They  (the writers) are the main people, who make the film a hit, not an actor. The director and actor come in later on. But it is your writer, his screenplay, the script that makes the actor a big actor, it is not because his acting is good. Pehle ye toh bata tu acting karega kis pe? For me, that is the number one priority. Then comes who is directing it, who is producing it, who is the co-star, etc. What is important is whether the story has touched me, and if it has, I do it,” says the actor.

Laugh out loud

Unlike most actors who have just one or two releases a year, Akshay has multiple releases as he shoots for several films through the year. This year, he has also made time for a TV show. He will be seen as the super judge on The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. Ask him how he manages it and he says, “When it comes to films, I am a producer’s actor and don’t want to waste their time and money. I try to be on time always for shoots hence they happen fast. As for this show, I find it relaxing. I get to sit down quietly and watch people coming from different places like Bihar, Odisha, and Bengaluru with the mindset to make you laugh. It’s the most difficult genre. To make someone cry is easy — Ek dukhbhari kahaani bol di. This is challenging and I find myself laughing all the time when I am on the sets.”

Genre, no bar

Interestingly, unlike Salman Khan who is associated with Bigg Boss and Amitabh Bachchan, who is the face of Kaun Banega Crorepati, Akshay has not remained with any one show for long. He started as the host of Khatron Ke Khiladi, then did Masterchef followed by Dare To Dance. And now it’s comedy for him. “Yes, I have never been associated with any kind of genre. I don’t want to be stuck with a certain image. This has happened to me in the past. Early in my career I used to do so much action that I got stuck with that image and nobody would cast me in a different film. That time I learnt my lesson, never to cast myself in one image. So I started doing films in different genres and that’s how I want it to be on TV, too,” reasons Akshay.

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