He’s called Khiladi Kumar for a reason. Maybe that’s why when Akshay Kumar hit the small screen with the action-based reality show, Khatron Ke Khiladi in 2008, audiences lapped up the concept.
With Prabhudheva’s Rowdy Rathore (RR), Akshay is returning to his much-loved genre — action — on the big screen. And now he plans to go all out with the stunts. So much so, that he has put all his TV outings on hold for an entire year. “As much as I loved hosting TV shows, I now want to focus on action films. Giving back-to-back dates for the small screen seems almost impossible this year, but there’s always the next,” says Akshay.
Besides action films, the Housefull 2 (2012) star also wants to concentrate on his new production house, Grazing Goat Productions. “But don’t worry about action. I’ve waited for years for such a huge film (RR) to come my way and now I have about six of them to look forward to in the next two years,” he says.
The 44-year-old actor, however, insists that he had never completely “deserted action”. “I’ve been quietly practicing behind the scenes. Parkour is a big part of my son, Aarav’s and my life,” says Akshay, who has recently been labelled Crazy Kumar. “Maybe because no man in his right mind would do an action film like RR in his forties,” he says, laughing.
Most of the film’s action has been shot sans stunt doubles or special effects.
Akshay also credits director Prabhudheva for bringing the genre back to the movies with the Salman Khan-starrer Wanted in 2009. “I genuinely think it’s one of the best action films of the decade,” he says, adding, “The action in RR is raw, but that’s what I live for. I was battered, even bloodied on some days. But then you just grab an icepack and carry on.”
Ask Akshay what took him so long to return to action and he smiles. “What people must understand is that I’m a family man now. That’s one of the main reasons why I stepped away from action; besides the fact that I was yearning for a perfect script,” says the actor, before adding, “I have a son and a wife (Twinkle) who need me to be fit and healthy. Now Aarav has grown up, he’s, in fact, as head-over-heels over action as I am.”
Akki not approached for Hera Pheri 4?
He played the bumbling Raju with élan in Hera Pheri (2000). Later, he also starred in Phir Hera Pheri (2006). But now, even as talks of Hera Pheri 4 do the rounds (Hera Pheri 3 has mysteriously been skipped), Akshay insists he knows nothing of it. “I haven’t been asked, so apparently it looks like I won’t be (doing the film),” he says. A few days ago, director Anees Bazmee, who takes over from Priyadarshan and Neeraj Vora to direct the film, confirmed that the film is very much on.