Akshay Kumar's Rowdy Rathore (RR) opened amid much fanfare last Friday, collecting Rs. 15.1 crore on the first day itself. The very next day, he started shooting for his next home production, Khiladi 786, with Himesh Reshammiya as co-actor and co-producer. Clearly, even after two decades in the industry, Akshay shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. We catch up with the actor-producer who seems to be in a perennial rush:
You were back shooting for Khiladi 786 the day after Rowdy Rathore released. Don't you take breaks?
When my film flops, I don't wallow in self-pity. I continue working. Then why should that change when my film is doing well? I am, however, going on a month-long holiday in July for my son Aarav's 10th birthday. How it works is, I keep a globe in front of my wife and she picks out a location and decides where we go.
This is turning out to be a good year for you, with RR and Housefull 2. Your career, however, has been a roller-coaster ride.
I started my career with smaller movies, which were called B-grade films. That was my bread and butter, and I have no shame admitting that. Back then, I used to be nervous before every film. Even now, before every release, I feel like I'm appearing for an exam.
Akshay Kumar in Rowdy Rathore
In 2009, people almost wrote you off after five of your films, starting with Chandni Chowk To China, flopped. How do you deal with failure?
So what if four or five of my films didn't work? Every successful person has faced this kind of negativity. There have been times when Sachin Tendulkar was written off, until he scored a 100 again; then the people criticising him will go ga-ga over him again.
Certain people will always try to distract you, but you must stay away from such negativity. I have learnt to concentrate on my work. I gave my best to Chandni… but it didn't work. And this wasn't the first time. About 10 years ago, I had 14 flops in a row. Good news and bad news are part of life. I don't get bogged down by failure. Given my background, just being on the big screen is a huge achievement. I didn't know what a hit or a flop was. Now I have started to understand all this. I'm a better businessman now.
Your upcoming co-production, Joker, was featured by The New York Times as a movie to look forward to. Yet, reports say that you sold it at a low price.
I signed Joker because I wanted to reach out to a younger audience. I purposely sold it at a low price to UTV so that it is promoted well. I like the idea of aliens and UFOs.
What's next after Khiladi 786?
I will complete one schedule of Khiladi 786 before I go on vacation. Apart from this, three of my productions - Oh My God and two Marathi films - should be complete this year. I'd also like to produce a short film to celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema if someone comes with a good concept.
Akshay @ the BO
Rowdy Rathore - Rs. 48.5 crore
Housefull 2 - Rs. 40.18 crore
Desi Boyz (2011) - Rs. 25.65 crore
Thank You (2011) - Rs. 18.21 crore
Patiala House (2011) - Rs. 4.48 crore