2012 could easily be called the year of Akshay Kumar. He had a lot of great releases like 'Rowdy Rathore', his home production film 'Oh My God!' and now 'Khiladi 786'. On the personal front, he's more than happy playing the role of doting dad to the little twinkle of his eye, his baby girl Nitara Khanna-Bhatia.
There seems to be no stopping when it comes to this man. It clearly shows that while the rest of the clan try to bicker amongst themselves he's the silent hero at the top of his game scoring the best projects, looking better by the day, thanks to his disciplined fitness regime and charitable heart. On the acting front, while some of his colleagues tend to stick to one genre, he's experimenting with all sorts of genres available. And the best part of his strategy is his return to full time action.
Masala! has a tte--tte with the actor on getting back and filling the shoes of his Khiladi title...
Returning to the Khiladi series after 12 years with 'Khiladi 786', how does it feel? Were you hit with nostalgia upon this return?
I feel great about it! It had never gone away from me. I always used to take risks and it's great because khiladi is a word which means a player, a sportsman. You can connect it with anything, so it's great coming back to it. I never thought I would be doing one more Khiladi because for quite some years action films were out of fashion and I was also doing comedy films. This is my seventh Khiladi film. After almost 12 years I am doing one. So you could call it my comeback as a khiladi! As for the nostalgia part it's something I cannot escape from because working on this film certainly brought back memories. But I am ecstatic because I have got this opportunity to bring this project 'Khiladi 786' to a 21stcentury audience.
You have worked with Asin twice; what about her acting prowess makes her such a bankable co-star?
Asin is a great actress. She is a talented performer, who always gives her best to any project she is involved with. We had a great time making 'Khiladi 786', and hopefully, our onscreen friendship and great working relationship will be visible to all our fans who, come to see the film.
What kind of pointers is taken into account while tackling your role in 'Khiladi 786' to make it different from your earlier Khiladi releases? Was it an easy role to play?
We just wanted to make the freshest and most fun film that we could. We didn't draw too much on any of the other Khiladifilms, as we wanted to make a film that was part of the franchise, but was also unique in its own right. It was an easy role to play in some ways because it was like resuming my old character.
Tell us about the X factor of 'Khiladi 786'? Why is this film so close to your heart as an actor?
That's simple! It's me... jumping off tall buildings, making the fans cry with laughter and getting the girl in the end ... what more could you ask for?! (Laughs) 'Khiladi786' is a culmination of all the other seven Khiladi films so you will see a combination of romance, drama, comedy and of course action. 'Khiladi 786' is my gift to the millions of fans who have supported me throughout these years, through thick and thin.
Driving at a speed of 150kmph on a highway, between the sands, and romancing Asin; did it come easy as a romantic bid? How hard did you two try to make it look real?
I don't think there's ever a greater moment in a man's life than when he gets to drive a Ferrari sports car at 210 km per hour on an open road to Muscat with a beautiful woman by his side! Not only is 'Long Drive' my favourite song, it has my favourite sequence in it too. We tried not to overdo it and make the scene look contrived - you tell me if you felt we were convincing!
What was working with Himesh Reshammiya like? What is he like as a person?
Himesh really is a music maestro and he has done a fantastic job. As a person, he's a great individual; such a creative person it's unbelievable. It was a joy to work with him.
He's also done a great job with the music of the film. Your views?
Himesh is a music maestro. In fact, I am quite a big fan of the song 'Saari Saari Raat' because it has such a wonderful romantic feel to it.
With 2012 being an eventful year with so many releases, what will the year 2013 look like in terms of projects?
Once again, I have lots in store for the upcoming year. I would call it a thrilling year of films. I'm going to be a busy man with great projects like 'Special Chabbis', 'Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai' Part 2 and 'Naam Hai Boss'.
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