“They (Khans) deserved it, I didn’t”, Akshay Kumar holds nothing against those filmmakers who chose Khans over him earlier

The Good Newwz [2019] actor candidly admits that he didn’t earn those plum opportunities early in his career

Karan Johar and Akshay Kumar (r) at Good Newwz [2019] trailer launch in Mumbai on 18 November, 2019.

By Mayur Lookhar

If one looks back at Akshay Kumar’s career, he’s one actor who has often worked with new directors.  This was also pointed out by Dharma Productions head honcho Karan Johar at the Good Newwz [2019] trailer launch in November.  A few weeks later, Kumar had a group interaction with the media. A journalist pointed out to Johar’s comment of Kumar working with new filmmakers. Good Newwz, as claimed by Kumar, is his 21 film with a new director [Raj Mehta].   Before the scribe could complete his question, Kumar said cheekily, “Did he [Johar] tell you why? Because he never took me [in his directorial]”.

Jokes apart the actor then stated in a serious tone, “No big director took me earlier. So, I had to work with new directors. That is the truth.  Look, I don’t dream about working with new directors. When big people don’t take you, you have to start your own journey”

Kumar used the media as an analogy to explain his point. “If you don’t get a job in a big publication, you have to work in a small organisation.  That is how you make your life. You can’t be sitting at home and waiting for a big opportunity,” said Kumar.

Working with new filmmakers has its advantage too. Kumar reckoned that the greed for good work is far more among new filmmakers than a lot of old directors. 

A journalist then questioned Kumar whether he didn’t get those plum opportunities earlier because the then top directors went with the Khans – Shah Rukh, Salman, and Aamir.  

“I don’t know where they went, but they [certainly] didn’t come to me,” said Kumar. The Good Newwz actor though doesn’t hold anything against the Khans or those filmmakers.  He is candid enough to admit that he perhaps didn’t deserve plum opportunities then.

“They [then noted filmmakers] went to the people who deserved it. I didn’t deserve much.  I got it through another way. It just wasn’t the Khans, there were Kapoors [Anil, Rishi] too. People who deserved their opportunities got them. I presume, I didn’t deserve it and so I got it my way,” explained the superstar.

That was another era but today most producers, filmmakers want to work with Kumar. What has triggered this change?

“I still don’t have big directors,” Kumar says bluntly.  He continues, “They are not directing, but only producing now.  You should ask Mr. Karan Johar and Mr.Aditya Chopra”.

Early this week, a picture of Akshay Kumar holding Shah Rukh Khan’s hand and engaging in a few minutes of friendly conversation was cheered by onlookers and fans of both superstars. If no bonhomie, it reflected the respect that the two seasoned actors have for each other.  

If one look backs at Kumar’s early years, the actor was largely confined to action roles,. A few clicked but some didn’t. The terrible run even saw Kumar contemplating quitting films and heading to Canada. 

Also read: Canadian passport trolling ends, Akshay Kumar applies for Indian citizenship

But despite the prolonged loss of form what was it that saw the industry keep their faith in Kumar?  Is it his professionalism? Is it his discipline?

“That was perhaps one of the main reasons. I had films ever after 14 flops . I once overheard a producer say that let’s take Akshay. At least, he finishes a film on time. That does make a lot of difference. You can be lacking a bit in ability, but if you are a good man then this industry can take you to great heights,” the-52-year-old disciplinarian opined.

His work ethics haven’t changed but what does he make of his transformation as an actor.  Is there a change in his acting process?

Kumar though downplayed all such talk simply underlying that he’s learnt on the job, learnt from his failures.  

He’s one super star who does quite a few films every year. Is it difficult to switch from character to another?

“Everyone has their own style, their own process.  It takes a little more than half a day for me to get into a character.  I can lie and say that I had to confine myself in a room for a month.  No one should talk to me.  At the end of the day, it is just acting.  It shouldn’t be that difficult.  People have their own individual way. Three days back, I wrapped up Sooryavanshi [2020], and now I started shooting for Prithviraj [2020]” said Kumar.

Good Newwz is set to be released on 27 December.

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