Art

Akshay Kumar Says Other Heroes Won’t Sign Multi-Starrs: ‘I Don’t Want To Take Names But…’

Actors can be proud to label themselves as a director’s actor and sing the praises of how a particular writer managed to do their best. However, superstar Akshay Kumar sees it differently. He describes himself as a producer actor, attributing this to his longevity in the film industry. They’ve been in the industry for over 30 years and should know. as Akshaykumar is preparing for the release of his Holi pe Goli release, a gangster comedy Bachchan Paandeyhe sits down to talk about his process of completing multiple films in a year and how he refuses to do a film that takes him longer than 45-55 days to shoot.

“In my opinion it’s important that the budget of the film is Faith, only then the film is Faith. I firmly believe in it. I’ve shot all my films on this continent, so budget and time are of paramount importance to me. I don’t waste my time, I don’t waste my co-actors’ time because everyone’s time must be respected.”

Has Akshay started making films on a business model, or is he even considering the art behind it? The actor replies, “It’s both. I don’t just make films for business; I make films with social messages, comedy. I make films that do well at the box office, that are win-win for everyone – the makers, the actors, everyone.”

At a time when other actors in Akshay’s league are struggling to stay relevant, the Khiladi Kumar seems to have cracked the right formula to produce hit after hit. But he insists that there is “no such formula” for the success of his films. He continues: “I can act like this great intellectual and tell you that this is how a certain film works and that this is a formula for success, but no, there isn’t one. Everything has to do with luck and I was very lucky. Some movies work, some work really well, some don’t work at all, I’m the one who gave 16 flops at once and then no one asked me what my formula for failure was. So basically there is no recipe for success, it all depends on luck and hard work. One thing that leads to success is hard work, never give up. In some people’s lives, the night lasts longer, but that doesn’t stop the sun from rising the next day. It is the same with work and success. Of course there are trends, sometimes films with social messages work, sometimes masala films work, but otherwise there is not much to analyze.”

“I don’t use too much emotion and thought behind signing films, I don’t intellectualize my films that much. When I sign a film, I see what’s different about the film and how it offers something new. I also see what causes it highlights when it does, and if I’ve done anything like this before. I also see why my friends and my co-stars signed this film and what they think about it. Budget is the last thing I think about before signing a film,” he adds.

Akshay shares how he manages to shoot several films in one year. He says: “In my personal opinion, you can’t give a film more than 45 to 55 days. When you control these aspects of the film, the budget is also controlled. I can never work in films where you have to commit 100-200 days. I’m a small person, I make small films.”

Akshay has directed multiple star films throughout his career, a decision his contemporaries balk at. He says: “I don’t want to name names, but there are many actors who don’t do a 2 hero or 3 hero project. I’m scratching my head, I don’t understand why they don’t want to do these films. I think it’s wonderful when there are stories with more actors. Doesn’t that happen all the time in Hollywood? I do them because they are beautiful scripts. I want to be a part of successful films. When movies like this do well, it works well for everyone, then what am I going to do with one good character all to myself?! If it’s a 3 hero theme, the story is awesome, and my character is just okay, it works. If I make a film with a great main character but the film bombs, ‘achar daalunga my apne character ka?’ I don’t understand their math.”

With South India delivering pan-Indian hits, has the competition arrived at Bollywood’s doorstep? Akshay, who was among a handful of mainstream Hindi actors to have worked in a southern blockbuster (Rajinikanths 2.0), says there will be more collaborations, not competition: “We all want to get to the big screen, make good movies and make money from movies. We all want to make big, big films. And why only South and Bollywood collaborations? We should go west, see French films, it should just keep expanding.”

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