100 plus films, over 20 years in the business, a consistent success rate, a stable position amongst the top superstars and the only one to be releasing three to four films at an average every year – No wonder, Akshay Kumar has chartered a unique path for himself where he is driving the show merrily. His Baby stays on to be the only major grosser that Bollywood has seen this year and now he is ready to release his Gabbar Is Back this Friday.

In this exclusive conversation, the actor bares his heart about picking up the mantle against corruption and still ensuring that the entertainment quotient for audience stays on.

Akshay Kumar at an event
Akshay Kumar at an event

The film is releasing almost 100 days after Baby, which incidentally is the only major Bollywood success of the year. Guess you would be the one who would set the wheels in motion again for Bollywood?
Yeah that’s me, the insane one that releases two films before others have released their one. In fact I will have released three by August (Brothers). Haha, and I wonder why I get tired! Na, I’m kidding, I’d be lost without my hectic schedules, that’s what’s great about the way I plan things. There’s not a day that goes by where someone doesn’t need me. Eventually that’ll come to an end, but hopefully it will be when I’m good and ready and not before. Until then, I will keep the Bollywood wheel turning till I can’t turn it no more (winks).

No wonder, you are being respected and loved by all in the industry since your films continue to bring in moolah for everyone in the supply chain at least once every quarter of the year. That is well earned, right?
Thank you for noticing, not many realize that by working the way that I do, the annual income I make for my industry is far more than if I followed my peers and made one extravagant film a year. I am much happier generating more work and not being at the top, than fighting for my film to be number one every release. I like making movies, I can’t handle the top slot; all people ever want to do is knock you off. Being a good breadwinner is all the stability I and my industry needs. Let the champions rule, I’m happy being a content runner up (smiles).

Moreover, there are great expectations from the film as it is expected to bring industry out of the lean period it is going through. I know that you are usually stoic in such situations but as an experienced actor, you can see where the wind is blowing, isn’t it?
Only a fool would predict the strength, wind or expectancy of one’s film! If I give myself targets, I will only end up being stressed and full of even more anxiety than necessary. Neither do I get hurt nor too attached. I have to stay grounded. I may think it’s a wonderfully inspirational film, but who is to say what the audience will think. Any film has its own destiny; there’s no point in me even attempting to calculate. Until I learn to predict the future I need to keep my mouth shut and my predictions to myself (smiles).

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