Akshay Kumar on Kareena Kapoor: ‘Fans have been waiting for us to reunite, nothing could be more perfect than Good Newwz’
Akshay Kumar is one of the few actors who have successfully struck a fine balance between commercial and content-driven cinema. And his next, Good Newwz, offers both. With three back-to-back hits this year, the 52-year-old is looking to end 2019 on a high, with a comedy that is based on an in vitro fertilisation (IVF) goof-up. The film releases on December 27. Excerpts from the interview:
The trailer of Good Newwz has been received so well, did you anticipate such a response?
Actually, no. Nowadays, I don’t think you can really predict what clicks with the audience. Internally we all loved the trailer, but since you watch it so many times before it’s finalised, you tend to lose perspective. I’m glad and grateful that it’s doing so well. I believe it’s trending since it’s day of release. We know that we have a good film in hand, and it’s a simple film with a big goof-up which will make you a little teary but will mostly leave you in splits. Good Newwz is high on content, low on budget!
The trailer is hilarious, but at the same time it looks to be a meaningful comedy, not the regular kind we see in Bollywood. Your thoughts...
It reminds me of why I love humour and films so much. Good Newwz is such a well rounded balance of comedy, romance and drama — a mix that I think everyone loves to enjoy especially around Christmas and New Year. What I like about the film is that it doesn’t matter what happens, or how many lemons or whose lemons they are, love is what really matters, so make lemonade and stop fighting; what will be will be. A resolution I think everyone should try next year, less opinions of people and spread more love. Let positivity unfold...
Watch Good Newwz trailer here:
The film tackles IVF in a way which has not been explored before. Whose idea was it?
Of course it’s director Raj Mehta’s vision, who is debuting with this brilliant story. He came to me with this script, when I was in the Himalayas shooting for Kesari, and I fell in love with it. Shooting for battle scenes all day, and then coming back and listening to this script felt light, something that I needed at the time. So if that’s how I felt, I’m sure it will give others just as much happiness as it gave me.
Is this film an effort to make people more aware of IVF?
Absolutely, I think IVF, adoption, are incredible miracles of giving and creating life for others. There’s so much that can be done nowadays. I pray this film gives hope to those who need it. Women have fought long and hard for their rightful stand in workplace; now there isn’t a biological rush to conceive right after marriage. Of course a healthy age is encouraged, but women can now enjoy their careers knowing that when they think the time is right, science can help them become mothers — if stress, fertility or time is a factor.
How did you research on the subject? Did you find anything new?
For my films, I like to follow my gut and heart, but with subjects like PadMan (2018), Mission Mangal, and now Good Newwz, one must learn about the background, and not because of the role, but out of respect for the subject. Worldwide there are over 8 million successful IVF babies born and still counting.Our film may be based on a goof-up, but like many others, I believe awareness begins with humour. That’s why satire is admired and comedians help to generate awareness of almost all subjects. Though the movie is based on a goof up, the moral behind it is that love conquers all, and it will for eternity.
For many couples, IVF is a new ray of hope to become parents. But it is a costly procedure. Do you think there is a way to make it more accessible?
Unfortunately this is where my power ends. I can’t control the expense of science, I can give people hope, and donations, and spread awareness, but I sadly can’t do everything. But there are grants, and loans that can help those in need, couples must research as much as possible about reputable clinics and organisations before going through anything. As much as I wish the creation of life was free, this procedure takes a lot of expertise in specifically-controlled environments. The price of life is unfortunately out of my hands...
I wouldn’t say I’ve always associated myself with meaningful cinema. It wasn’t a long time ago that I was portrayed as an action hero and was told to stick to my day job. But, with perseverance and patience, the time came where I could extend my want to do more in this industry. It took a lot of courage, because no matter how good a script is, if the audience isn’t ready, your good intention will pass. As much as I love action, using comedy for social messages is fulfilling. I guess, I’ve grown as much as my audience has, and this is where I believe the change starts. I think everyone has the power to create greatness.
You and Kareena Kapoor Khan are coming back on screen almost after a decade. how was it to reunite with her?
Making movies with Bebo is like going on a wild picnic. She is fabulous at everything she does. Even when she goofs up, Kareena is enigmatic. With sound of one clap, she switches from being a mummy, friend and co-star to a professional queen of cinema. I know fans have been waiting for us to reunite, and nothing could be more perfect than this film for both of us, right now!
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