Akshay Kumar, the host of Colors’ Fear Factor — Khatron Ke Khiladi Level 2, gets into action...
You look exhausted..
I’ve been on my toes the last couple of weeks, haven’t seen my family in days. And I must have slept just three hours in the last two days (August 26 and 27). I can barely sit straight.
Before Level 1 of Fear Factor — Khatron Ke Khiladi, your biggest fear was answering questions. Has that ‘darr’ been conquered?
(Laughs) Yeah, thanks to two-three flops and plenty of grilling sessions. Now, after spotting Farah (Khan) in the hotel lobby, I’m scared she’ll give me difficult dance steps for one of the Housefull songs.
‘Ladkiyaan aur Riteish (Deshmukh) to kar lenge’, what will I do? (Pulls a funny face).
I thought you’d be more nervous about Level 2 of KKK that goes on air from Monday?
No, I have no butterflies in my tummy and I ain’t biting my nails either. I never think how many people will give my show or film the thumbs up or thumbs down. I did the show last year because ‘jahaan stunts wahaan main’. It was a hit because it was honest. No one was doing it for hefty paychecks or TRPs.
Several reality-game shows since have been inspired by KKK..
Really? I haven’t watched any. But any show that doesn’t play on negative emotions and helps people to overcome their fears is welcome. Even today, when I’m doing a stunt at a height or underwater, I get scared, for a few seconds. Then, I carry on.
You once said that women are stronger than men. You really believe that?
Yep, men can carry bricks on their shoulders but women take on the responsibility of a household, husband, children and a job too. My wife Tina has her own business and also looks after my family and her business besides Aarav and me.
She keeps the house in perfect shape. Men can never multi-task as beautifully as women who are gifted with the ability to create new life. Doing stunts on a show is cakewalk for them.
This time a couple of the girls saved the lives of their male counterparts too.
But the girls were scared of your manic laugh?
(Laughs) I got a sadistic thrill in watching them swim with crocodiles and hang out from a bi-plane at 10000 ft. I’ve even made them eat creepy Chinese delicacies. They must have hated my tyranny. I saw them fall, cry, get stitches... Then say, “I’m over this fear now,” And felt like an achiever.
Last year, we knew well in advance that Nethra Raghuraman had won. This year, if the buzz is to be believed, it’s Anushka Manchanda.
The finale is yet to be shot. So, who can say who’s the winner? Sometimes, you have to let the spoilers pass.
This time, instead of army officers, you have common men paired with the girls..
(Cuts in) Once the camera is on, even the girls and I cease to be celebs. When you’re with a snake and it’s posed to bite, it will do so regardless of who you are.
Apparently, you’re already conceptualising stunts for KKK Season Three?
Yeah, the stunts were simple the first time, this time they’re grueling, next time, if I’m still around, they’ll be scary. And I will perform them before any contestant does.
This time too, I’ve put some stunts together and performed them first. It was my dream to swim with sharks. I did that on this show and in Blue, my next film.
Sanjay Dutt says he won’t go near the sea coast after Blue.
Why pick on Sanju? There are plenty of artistes who may not find stunts captivating. I love them, others don’t.
What about Aarav?
He asks me, “Dadda, when will you jump next and from where?” He’s used to me diving from heights or into the deep sea. This time he and Tina were with me in South Africa during the KKK shoot. They’ve seen the action ‘live’.
Blue and London Dreams were scheduled for August 14. But Blue has been pushed up to coincide with KKK Level 2.
(Smiles) There is no connection between the two. One is a movie that I’m looking forward to, the other a show I’ve put my sweat and blood into.
Both have stunts galore and their promos hit the air simultaneously. ‘Ab uska main kya karoon sarkar?’