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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Think of the Aam Aadmi, Mr FM!
Sonal Kalra, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, February 27, 2011
First Published: 15:28 IST(27/2/2011)
Last Updated: 12:26 IST(28/2/2011)

Who says our ever so busy Bollywood stars don’t see beyond themselves and their films? Akshay Kumar has an answer to questions about all that’s happening under the sun, be it the cricket world cup, the Academy awards or the Union Budget to be announced today.

“You are talking to the highest tax payer in the industry, you can ask me anything about the budget,” says Kumar, in Delhi on Friday.

“I would like the finance minister to announce a budget that keeps the interest of common man in focus, it is they who suffer the most,” he says.

Prod him for one specific wish that he could place before the FM, he says, “I fail to understand why in India we have different entertainment Akshaytax in different states. We make films for the entire country, and we are one nation, so we should have one entertainment tax.”

With the Oscars telecast and the Union Budget getting announced today, Kumar plans to be glued to TV all day.

“I just spoke to Rahman Saab (AR Rahman) and wished him luck for the Oscar ceremony. He has two nominations and he’s always made India proud. Something tells me he’ll bring it home this time too.”

Just back from Bangladesh where he’d gone for an event, the actor can’t stop gushing about the buzz around the cricket world cup.

“It’s amazing. Everyone’s talking just about cricket. I try and catch up on all the matches,” he says, rattling off the schedule for the next few days.

Talking of cricket, his last movie Patiala House in which he played a cricketer failed to set the cash registers ringing at the box office. He seems to be oblivious…rather detached.

“I’ve got a great response for Patiala House. Have you watched the movie?”

Tell him ‘not yet’ and he shakes his head.

“People have loved it. Please watch it and then we can talk about it.”

On an afterthought he adds, “Anushka Sharma is brilliant in the film. I’m fascinated to see how these young girls work without any stress at all.”

He has another young heroine, Sonakshi Sinha, opposite his next film, Joker, produced by Farah Khan.

“Sonakshi is too good. She’s a natural actor…even I’m learning so much from her.”

Ask him if the decision to make Joker in 3D was made to counter rival Shah Rukh Khan’s 3D super hero flick Ra.One and he shows utter surprise.

“Really? Shah Rukh’s film is also 3D? I had no clue.”

Moving on to ask him about his son Aarav’s recent medal-win at a martial arts tournament and the proud dad in him takes over.

“When the father is a black belt in Karate and has a tournament named after him, why won’t the son do well? I’m so proud of Aarav.”

In town to promote tourism in Canada, the country Kumar calls his ‘favourite’, he says, “When I went to Canada in 1994 for Khiladion Ke Khiladi, I told people that I love this country so much that someday I”ll buy a home here. And it is in Canada itself that I fell in love for the last time in my life, to the woman who I call wife for ten years now. So Canada will always be special.”


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