“Well, you live in a flat? Are there dogs on the street? What do you do when they bark? You ignore them. And if they come to bite, laat maarke bhagaatey hai na? What’s there to react?” says the 46-year-old.
Instead, it’s his friends in the industry that he chooses to concentrate on. “See, everyone is busy with their lives. But we do call up pals to ask ‘kahaan hai bhai? New Zealand mein? Achha meet up when you are back’,” he says. In the same breath, he tells us that he is happy that his good friend, actor Paresh Rawal, is now a member of Parliament from Ahmedabad (East). “It’s good he has become one. He deserves to be. He has an opnion about things, he would say, ‘kya chal raha hai, yahaan ye theek nahi hai, road theek nahi hai. Good he is in the system now, he will be able to bring about a change,” says Akshay.
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Unlike some Bollywood actors who dwell on the not-so-great ‘side-effects’ of stardom, the Boss actor is quite happy with his profession. “Being a celebrity is like being on a paid holiday all the time,” he smiles. He acknowledges that there are some expectations from a ‘star’ but says it’s nothing compared to the perks of the job. “Yes, when we work, we work really hard. We have to be good at our job. We should be aware of what’s happening. We should be healthy. Our skin should glow. Our lives should glow. But again, if our producers are making us work hard they are also taking care of us,” he says, appreciating the good things about being in Bollywood.
“When we promote a movie, or go for an outdoor shoot, we are given luxury presidential suites. We travel business class. So, where is the tax to call it taxing? They give us enough opportunities to relax. But still, if I choose to crib and complain, then there would be no one more ungrateful than me, right? I won’t take names, but people who crib are the ones who make their own lives difficult. Some careers work, some don’t,” he smiles.
Remind him about the pressure and scrutiny, and he laughs. “They are fooling you, kaahe ka taxation yaar. If someone asks you a question, simple — dil se jawaab do. Nahi pata, say we don’t have an opinion on it. Gyaan dene ki kya zaroorat hai!”