He himself has a well-toned body and exercises regularly, but actor-turned-producer Suniel Shetty says when it comes to the fittest body in tinsel town, Akshay Kumar wins hands down as he has maintained his physique throughout his 18-year career.
"Akshay has the fittest body in Bollywood, and all these years we have seen him getting better day by day," Suneil Shetty told IANS.
"He is very flexible, lean and fit and to maintain this level of fitness he has worked out with dedication and discipline over the years," said Suniel, who was in the capital to launch a gym.
Suniel, who is currently working with Akshay in De Dana Dan, teamed up with the action hero for the first time in Hum Hain Bemisaal followed by hits like Mohra, Hera Pheri and Dhadkan.
Suniel added that Akshay does all his stunts himself and doesn't think twice before jumping from a cliff unlike other actors.
"I know so many actors who claim that they do their stunts themselves, but the scenario is completely opposite. To know the reality, you should check with stunt masters. That's why I believe fitness just doesn't come with appearance, it is something that is inside you," Suniel said.
Akshay entered Bollywood in 1991 with Saugandh and earned the action hero tag with movies like Khiladi and Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi.
Suniel feels it is a good trend to see stars like Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan displaying their six-pack-abs and eight-pack-abs for Om Shanti Om and Ghajini respectively, but adds that it would be even better if they are able to maintain that physique.
"Body-building is not a difficult task; what in fact is tough is to maintain that sculpted body. It is really a good sign that actors are giving due attention to their fitness levels, but the most important thing is to see how long they can sustain that look," the actor said.
"The other good thing that has come out of this whole eight-pack-abs promotion is that people now want to achieve a certain level of fitness," Suniel said.
But Suniel has a word of caution for people who want to acquire eight-pack-abs.
"Fitness necessarily does not mean achieving eight-pack-abs, it requires lot of dedication, focus and good eating habits - all this can help you in getting a perfect body. But one should not go in for shortcuts like steroids because it can be harmful in the long run," Suniel added.
The actor candidly admits that when he forayed into films, all he had was his well-built muscular body and that fetched him roles. Now after spending 16 years in the industry, he feels his achievement is the result of his sincerity and dedication towards his work.
Suniel turned producer in 2003 and his Popcorn Motion Pictures Ltd has produced films like Khel, Rakht and Bhagam Bhag.
The actor will next be seen in Inder Kumar's comic caper Daddy Cool, Anthony D'Souza's Blue and Priyadarshan's comedy flick De Dana Dan.