For the last six years, Akshay Kumar has been part of every second comedy that’s been made in Bollywood. But after a return to action films with Rowdy Rathore, Akki now seems determined to do more than beat up bad men and make you fall off the couch laughing.
Akki says he’s going “serious” with his forthcoming project, director Neeraj Pandey’s (of A Wednesday fame) heist drama, Special Chabbis. The film will be based on a real incident — a daring 1987 heist pulled off in broad daylight by someone masquerading as a CBI officer, at the Opera House branch of jewellers Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri.
“It’s too early to talk about Special Chabbis since we’ve shot only for 20 days. But it’ll be special. To start with, I’ll be silencing all those people who keep nagging me to do a serious film. This will also be one of my first films based on a real-life incident,” he says.
Ask Akshay why he works with new directors like Pandey and he says, “No one is more passionate than people who want to prove to the world what they are made of. Plus, I owe a lot to this industry. If it weren’t for people with the courage to sign me up for films, I wouldn’t have been in this position today. And the least I can do is give similar opportunities to whoever is willing to prove their mettle.”
Even Akki’s return to his super-successful Khiladi franchise with Khiladi 786, will be directed by debutant Ashish Mohan.
“Khiladi is a title that I can only hope follows me around forever, whether I make one (Khiladi film) every two years or after 10 years. It’s a title that gave me a place in this industry and I plan to do justice to it as many times as I possibly can, until retirement kicks me out,” he smiles.
A few months ago, Akshay launched a second film production company, Grazing Goat Productions. “My original company (Hari Om Entertainment), which is mine and my son’s (Aarav), is for cinema meant for family audiences. Grazing Goat will be an open house (sic) of cinematic dreams for those wishing to learn, explore and create what’s not been done before,” he explains.