Brushing aside rumours that the upcoming espionage thriller, Baby, is anti-Pakistan, the cast of the film — that visited HT House on Monday to meet the winners of the Stars in the City contest — said that it isn’t about Pakistan ­bashing at all.
"Baby is not an anti-Pakistan film. In fact, it has three Pakistani actors who play very important roles. See, some ­elements in Pakistan can be wrong but a whole nation cannot be wrong. Terrorism has no religion, and we believe that religion and country are two different things," said the film’s director Neeraj Pandey, whose last directorial was Special 26 (2013).
Meanwhile, Bollywood’s quintessential action star, Akshay Kumar, said that his stunts in the film are realistic. "Neeraj has a thing for logical things, so all my fight ­sequences are very believable. For my film Holiday last year, I performed stunts that went a little overboard, but keeping Hindi cinema in mind, we had to do them," Akshay said.
Applauding Akshay’s performance, Anupam Kher, who also plays a pivotal role in the thriller, said, "This is one of Akshay’s best performances so far!"
Talking about the film, producer Bhushan Kumar said, "Baby will be our first action-thriller and it is ­definitely a unique film. It has an ­edginess, fast-paced action sequences and has been shot par excellence."
There couldn’t have been a better time for Akshay Kumar to come to the city where he grew up. As the actor ­himself said, he loves Delhi ­winter and considers the city home. Akshay was in HT City office on Monday to promote his upcoming film Baby, and to meet the winners of the Stars in the city contest.
Accompanied by co-star Anupam Kher and the film’s director Neeraj Pandey, Akki spoke to Sonal Kalra, national editor (Entertainment and Lifestyle)about playing a secret agent and doing ‘believable’ stunts in the film that releases January 23.
Anupam, why is it that Neeraj ­refuses to work with anyone except you and Akshay?
I am very happy that I have done three movies with Neeraj. He is like a bad habit that is very ­difficult to get rid of. He’s one of the finest directors that I’ve worked with. Akshay is a bit miffed though as he’s not in Neeraj’s next film (laughs).
Akshay, you are known to be an extremely intelligent producer. You believe in the film that you decide to put your money in. What is it about Baby that got you so interested as a producer?
The first thing was the ­character that I am playing, that of a secret agent. This film is dedicated to the unsung heroes who have given their life for the country. That’s what I loved about it. Neeraj’s clarity and vision is the other thing that got me interested. His direction is about ­narrating a story perfectly and not just about taking beautiful shots.
Neeraj, your film will clash with Dolly ki Doli at the box office. Does it give you any jitters?
With the large number of films getting made these days, it is not possible that a film doesn’t clash with another. We have to live with it. The only way out is to make a good film and not bother about the other.
Akshay, you keep doing ­daredevil stunts in films. Does your family not ask you to refrain?
They have given up. Kyuki fayda nahi hai, sun na toh hai nahi humne. (There is no use because I won’t listen) Have any of you tried bungee jumping and water sports? Aap log to paise de kar ye sab karte hain, mujhe toh paise milte hain yeh karne ke liye! Toh koi paagal hi hoga jo nahi karega. (You guys pay money to do these, while I get paid to do them. One would be mad then, to not do it!).
(Compiled by Aayush Sharma)