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Risky business

His presence in a movie assures box-office success. And now he'll train 13 gorgeous women on stunts and risky tasks. Akshay Kumar, the face of Fear Factor, speaks to Rachana Dubey.

entertainment Updated: May 07, 2008 12:04 IST
Rachana Dubey

He's in his element, no matter what he does. He's singing for a film and has reportedly signed on a Hollywood project. His presence in a movie now-a-days assures success at the box office.

His last release Tashan was not well received, but he did walk away with all the applause. Now, he will train 13 gorgeous women on stunts and risky tasks on a new channel.

So here's Akshay Kumar, the face of Fear Factor, absolutely live from Bangkok in a gabfest, with Rachana Dubey

Bangkok must be your second home.
Yes it is. I'm shooting here for most of the year. I've just shot for two films.. another one will start rolling soon.

One thing that hasn't changed here is the traffic. It used to be as congested when I worked here as a waiter. The only difference I see are the bridges. Even today, I do get nostalgic about this city.



So now why have you chosen to be on television?


It wasn't for any extra publicity or the money but because I wanted to do something on action - I'm an action freak.



<b1>

But you have women on the show. Chances are you might be sorting out catfights more than teaching stunts.

I don't think so. I won't be in their rooms certainly to sort such things. And please, there's more to a show than catfights. They're not a part of our action. There will be real-life dare devilry.. nothing fake.



So what's your fear?


Interviews.



No, I mean in terms of action, which has been the scariest stunt for you?


None at all. I believe there's nothing scary and non-scary. I think even jumping from a sofa or from a height of five feet can be scary because I've seen people injure ligaments in such minor things.



Does your son Aarav enjoy your stunts?

Yes, he loves them all, he prefers to watch them over his Tom and Jerry shows. He claps loudly when I jump from high rises.



Doesn't your family get apprehensive when you perform stunts?


No, they've given up on me now. My mother, sister, wife and mum-in-law are all quite brave women. My stunts go down well with them now.



<b2>

You've suddenly switched gears from comedy to action.

Not really, I'm doing a combination of both.

Chandni Chowk to China

is my autobiography. It's funny and light with generous doses of action.

Singh is Kinng

is also funny.



Plus there's

Blue

which has a lot of action sequences. I believe action is easier than comedy. You cannot pull off a funny film if no one laughs at a single joke you crack.



In

Blue

, you've performed action sequences a la

Jaws

.

Let me clear this, there's no such thing happening there. It's just that we've experimented with underwater stunts. It was thrilling for me because it was new.

Apparently, you were sidelined during the promotions of

Tashan

.. they were completely focused on Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor.

Look Ms, I wasn't in town when they were promoting the film. So I can't comment on who got more visibility and who didn't. I was here in Bangkok shooting.



But you did walk away with all the applause.


I'm thankful for that. But the fact that the film didn't do well makes me think that I have a lot to work on in terms of my acting skills.

Why didn't you bid for a team in the IPL series?
I'm supporting Delhi Daredevils. They are the kind of team I can relate to. As far as bidding is concerned, I don't believe in jingoism. I'm not into trading and bidding rackets.

Cricket is a religion in India. I don't need to make a noise about or awaken people and tell them to start watching the sport. I'm a sportsperson and a sports lover.

I don't believe in converting the game into a war between teams. It's not correct. The game has to be played with a certain spirit. It's fun to watch matches as long as they don't become war fields.

<b3>What's the report on the Tatya Tope movie?
I'm not doing that project anymore.

And Billoo Barber?Why did you drop out of that? Is all well between you and Priyadarshan?
Of course, all's well. I wasn't even offered the movie.. how can I say no?

Considering that you are very close to Vipul Amrutlal Shah, would you be a part of his London Dreams?
No, I'm not a part of that project. There are over 200 movies made in a year, I can only be a part of three or four.

Lastly, as showtown's best selling hero, wouldn't you like to see your statue at Madam Tussauds?
I was offered to have my wax model there. But I refused it because I don't think I'm fit for such an honour right now. I don't think I've achieved enough to be among the achievers there.