Akshay Kumar -- who has worked for nearly three decades in Bollywood and recently delivered back-to-back hits like Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Gold and Kesari -- spoke about the good and bad phases of his career, and how one should learn from both experiences as everything is temporary. In a group interview during a promotional event for his film Mission Mangal, Akshay revealed how some people had written him off after several flops but he has made a successful comeback each time. He said, “I have been through this phase three times. So I wouldn’t be surprised if I go through it again. The best way is to keep working hard. When I had delivered 14-15 flop films, everyone said ‘Gaya Gaya’ and then after giving hit films, I heard them saying, ‘Aa Gaya Aa Gaya’. I remember these words.”
“It is part of life and this happens to everybody, be it in personal or professional life. Basically, you have to take it all in your stride, be bold and face the next day,” he added.
The 51-year old actor further said that the audience today is bold and speaks their mind and that he was glad his fans called him Guarantee Kumar but “there is no guarantee of anything.” He said that there were times when he would see a film and think that it would do wonders at the box office but it didn’t, adding that one can never know the fate of a film till it releases. He said that while hard work is important, a person’s success was based on a combination of both good luck and hard work. “I believe 70 per cent in luck and 30 percent hard work,” he said.
Akshay Kumar is currently busy with the promotions of his next release Mission Mangal, based on the story of real-life scientists at Indian Research Space Organisation (ISRO), who launched India’s first interplanetary expedition, Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) in 2013. The film, directed by Jagan Shakti, also stars Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu, Nithya Menen, Kirti Kulhari, Sharman Joshi, H. G. Dattatreya and Sonakshi Sinha in the lead roles.
During his interview, Akshay revealed that India’s premiere space agency, which has been around for 50 years, has recently started gaining recognition from everyone and praised the current government for this. He said, “I was reading an article in which it was written that earlier two to three percent of the budget was given to space and science. Now it is 18 percent. This government is going to focus on space science and all. So we see something like Chandrayan 2.”
On Gender Equality
He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s is doing well in terms of gender equality and gave the example of Union Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, who is currently the Finance Minister of India and previously was the Defence Minister. Akshay added that “there was a perception that only men can be a scientist or engineer but I believe a woman can be an equally good scientist or engineer.” The Hera Pheri star also spoke about providing equal opportunities to children and letting girls enter male-dominated professions. He said "things are changing in India" and that is why a woman is “holding an important portfolio like finance or defence ministry.”
Akshay further revealed that Mission Mangal has a commercial aspect and will be appealing for the masses. He said, “I have not made a documentary film. I have made a commercial cinema where there are elements of laughter, fun, emotions and two-three songs. When I made ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’, I did add commercial elements to make it more appealing. You have to bring such stories on the big screen but in a commercial way.”
The film will hit the screens on Indian Independence Day, 15th August 2019. Akshay has previously highlighted issues pertaining to women, in his films Padman and Toilet: Ek Prem Katha. Mission Mangal -- jointly produced by Akshay Kumar, R. Balki, Aruna Bhatia, and Anil Naidu -- also focuses on the struggles of five female scientists but Akshay does not want it to be categorised as a 'women-oriented' film. He said there should be no labels like male-oriented or female-oriented film, as everyone is equal.