He is famous as ‘Khiladi Kumar’ thanks to his action image. But considering the risky sequences and his insistence on not using body doubles, the makers of Rowdy Rathore, Prabhudeva’s stunt-laden film, had no option but to insure the star. And it’s believed that Akki’s insurance value is around Rs 50 crore.
"Right at the start, when Prabhudeva narrated the script, Akshay was kicked about the raw action scenes. But everyone was worried about him doing the scenes himself, considering they were a bit dangerous. And since we all know how much he loves action, we thought of insuring him at a heavy premium even before the film started. We knew he’d insist on doing most of the stunts personally, so we’re happy nothing tragic happened during the shoot," says an insider from the movie’s unit.
In Bollywood, the concept of insurance is yet to catch on in a big way. While filmmakers like UTV, Karan Johar and Yash Raj Films have begun insuring their movies, the concept of insuring the movie’s stars as well is still novel to the Hindi film industry.
Some time ago, though, Sanjay Dutt, Imran Khan and Shruti Haasan were insured before they carried out a stunt on top of a speeding train in Namibia for Luck (2009). But such cases are few and far between.
Although Akshay remained unavailable for comment, the makers of Rowdy Rathore confirm the insurance but will not talk about the value. "Akshay is a daredevil who does the riskiest of stunts by himself. UTV has always taken care of its actors by insuring them beforehand and so it’s the same for Akshay in Rowdy Rathore. However, we wouldn’t like to comment on the insurance value," says Shikha Kapur, senior vice president (marketing), UTV Motion Pictures.
What’s interesting is that Akshay’s insurance value is higher than that of personalities from another field — cricket. For the ongoing Indian Premier League tournament, England batsman Kevin Pietersen has the highest insurance cover among foreign players at Rs 30 crore while Virat Kohli tops the chart among Indians with a cover of Rs 35 crore. Following him is Chennai Super Kings and India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni at Rs 30 crore while Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar is insured for Rs 14 crore.