Akshay Kumar is indeed quite proud of the journey that he has taken with PadMan. One can sense that from ever conversation with the superstar and the very fact that he is willing to shed his superstar persona for being a common man instead in this R. Balki directed film is a testimony to that fact. As the release date comes closer for the film, Akshay Kumar’s passion in PadMan is sounding more and more apparent. This is what the man of the moment has to say about the film which is designed to be watched by men and women alike.
When Toilet – Ek Prem Katha was made, many wondered if audiences would be comfortable watching matters of ‘shauch’. Now it is about watching sanitary pads in PadMan. Do you think the audience would be receptive enough?
I truly have faith in the people of India today. With the escalation of social media that has reached even the remotest of places, people’s voices are heard a lot more now than before smartphones were invented. Opinions are shared, atrocities are brought to the forefront and good causes are spread by the brave. There will always be a certain audience that still cannot speak of toilets or pads, let alone go and pay to see it at the cinema, but they can always quietly catch it at home when it comes on TV so they can finally witness what it was about. As for the youth & the strength of female empowerment nowadays, I am really looking forward to the women of this country wanting to stand loud and proud by my side throughout this menstrual hygiene journey. I am hoping they will have the courage to be bold with me!
Absolutely, that’s indeed needed since a subject like this has never been explored before in Bollywood.
Yes, and I feel from the bottom of my heart that when the audience comes to terms (through the power of entertainment in our film to some extent,) the fact that sanitary pads are indeed a social topic and there is no need to have fear or bring justice to the table, I’m sure the freer women of all ages will feel. However, if we continue to act like crucial subjects are still too taboo to discuss or appreciate, the mothers of our nation will continue to suffer and so will our children’s children.
Guess the taboo could well be broken since the film is merging entertainment with the right message?
Some, of course, will try to dampen the campaign, but the braver I am, the braver others become, when people see that this is a topic about ‘natural’ bodily behaviour. The monthly struggle for every woman in India, who again suffer at the hand of men who refuse to better their situation, our mothers, wives & sisters unfairly endure hygiene diseases due to lack of money in the home or sanitation provided.
As an actor I feel the power of awareness through entertainment is one of the most likeable forms of education people listen to learn and enjoy, especially when done with the right amount of love & laughter. Plus you don’t get popcorn at school to help you study, at the cinema, it’s literally a learning feast (smiles)
Your wife Twinkle Khanna is the producer of the film and has employed you as an actor. How was it to be following the needs of your producer here who is also your wife?
Strange yet brilliant, she is by far the most beautiful producer I’ve ever worked for (smiles) and she is the only producer to date that has ever wanted me to leave the set and come home. When she would be upset I was away in the village for so long, I would have to remind her whose film I was shooting for, then she would laugh and say “You better get on with it then and save me some cost”. The best part was knowing how and what my wife wanted to create on a level you never quite understand from someone you don’t love. Making this a baby she would be proud of was of the utmost importance to me, this is something I wanted to give her more than anything, a dream of hers that I could actually help make come true with the effort from my heart, not the money I have in my bank means so much to me.