Akshay Kumar is elated. His latest film Sooryavanshi hit screens at a time when films were finally greenlighted to have a theatrical release. Its success has brought a wave of joy into Bollywood. The film’s lead star Akshay Kumar feels that director Rohit Shetty deserves full credit for all the accolades pouring in. Reminiscing the times when Rohit was an assistant director, Akshay shares, “I have known Rohit since he was an assistant director. During those times, assistant directors used to come to tell the actors that the shot was ready. But then he was a brilliant lad and also hard working. There are very few directors like him, who not just work but also take an active interest in their work and consider it a passion. He feels every emotion of the character first and then puts it in the film script before making it.”
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Akshay adds, “Whenever I did the motorcycle stunts – Rohit used to perform the stunts alongside me. I have not seen many people do that. The director is usually perched on his chair and is calling the shots – but he is always alongside the actor briefing the person – walking and talking. He has always been this hard-working throughout his career.”
Akshay is of the opinion that the scriptwriter is more important to a film than star power. “I completely understand that the audiences today want to watch all kinds of movies and all kinds of genres of cinema. So, to be honest, I do feel that star power is not as important as the script and screenplay. The writers – be it for the story, screenplay and dialogues should come first, and then the director and the actors should come in. In my opinion, writers are the most important cog in the wheel,” Akshay says.
The actor believes that there is no fixed formula for a film’s success. “No one has got this formula till date, and no one knows. No one can tell why a film works and why it doesn’t. In my career, I have seen that the script is good, the film also looks good, people go inside the trial shows, but no one comes to watch the film, and I do not know why,” Akshay says.
The actor then goes on to spill the beans on what he has seen over the years at trial shows. “Sometimes, after a trial of the film, people run away, hiding their faces because they are afraid to give their reactions as they do not like the film. But, the film goes on to be a hit. I haven’t understood that even now. I think one should work hard on a good script, make a film happily and leave the rest to destiny,” says Akshay, who has taken multiple risks in his career.
The daredevil star is known to perform most of the dangerous action sequences in his films. One wonders if he ever gets scared while shooting for such scenes. “I am not just scared of stunts, but everything. Even if you ask me to jump now for a short distance, I will be scared because fear is important. Good fear is important. If you want to jump and you are not scared, you can get hurt. A stunt is a stunt – just like you have good cholesterol and bad cholesterol in your body. Cholesterol is cholesterol. In the same way, a stunt is a stunt. Then there is good fear and bad fear. Good fear is always good. For example, before doing a stunt, we check on things thoroughly to ensure that everything is in the right place. Is there any moisture? Are there any banana peels? Is the landing soft enough? There is fear in everything, but it is a good fear,” Akshay confides.
In an industry where most stars are almost always late, Akshay is also known to be rather punctual during his shoots. He is a very early riser and does not attend any filmy parties at night. “I am punctual, and hence at times, I have to wait for others. While it happens very rarely — I tell the director to take my solo shots first, and we manage to be efficient,” Akshay reveals.
Akshay does not discuss work with his son Aarav. “I have never asked my son which of my films he has liked, and he never told me as well. He is young and is studying now. Let him be,” Akshay signs off.
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