It was a special occasion on Friday as HT City’s new endeavour, Stars in the City, kicked off with a bang. The star cast of the upcoming film, Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara, Akshay Kumar, Imran Khan and Sonakshi Sinha, visited the Hindustan Times office to meet 25 lucky contestants who won the online competition.
The conversation was kick-started by the HT City editor, Sonal Kalra who first asked Sonakshi how she felt working with two ‘perfectionist’ co-stars in the film. “I have worked with Akshay before, so I know how he is on the sets. But I am working with Imran for the first time and we had a lot of fun”, Sonakshi said.
Actor Akshay Kumar, on the other hand, had a stern remark for film critics when the 45-year-old was asked about the state of affairs and critics’ credibility. “There are people who don’t know the ABC of films, and then they come out criticising movies. I like critics who sit with the audiences while the film is playing in a cinema hall and then review it depending on the audiences’ response. Not someone who has just passed out of college and says ‘ab toh sabki band bajaunga’,” the superstar quipped.
Imran Khan, on being asked about big films clashing on the Box Office said, “ I don’t think it matters. The comparison and competition between movies is media created. Gadar and Lagaan released on same day, and look how successful they both turned out. If a film is good it will work.”
The floor was then left to the 25 lucky fans who got a chance to interact with the stars. Imran, on being asked about the need of sequels and remakes in Bollywood said, “I think certain people make sequels without thinking, but then I think if you have a story and if you have an option, then why not? Dabangg is a great example of that. We love the characters, so if the story goes on, we will like it.”
Akshay Kumar, who had fun while he asked the girls in the audience if they are okay with him having a bad boy image, also gave a very important piece of advice regarding physical fitness. “I have seen a lot of youngsters taking shortcuts by taking steroids or protein shakes. In the long run they affect your health. Don’t do that. Take the long route. Do it the right way. I have my dinner latest by 6.30pm and my next meal is my breakfast. Watch what you eat in the night,” he said.