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Akshay Kumar on Padman: I do not mind who I offend, this is not the Stone Age

In an exclusive chat, Akshay Kumar opens up about Padman, breaking social taboos and working with his wife.

bollywood Updated: Nov 16, 2017 12:41 IST
Juhi Chakraborty
Juhi Chakraborty
Hindustan Times
Akshay Kumar,Twinkle Khanna,Padman
Twinkle Khanna and Akshay Kumar with Arunachalam Muruganantham on the sets of Padman.

Padman, which is inspired by the life of social activist Arunachalam Muruganantham, will see Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna reunite in a film, but not as co-stars but as actor and producer, respectively.

Akshay is upbeat about tackling the topic of menstural hygiene in the upcoming film and hopes that it will help in creating awareness about menstrual health in the country, and break the taboos associated with it. In an exclusive chat, the husband-wife duo open up about the film, breaking social taboos and working with his wife.

Sonam Kapoor and Akshay Kumar in the first look of Padman

The subject of Padman is very important, relevant and one might say also bold. What made you decide to tackle a subject that’s never been talked about in Hindi cinema before?
If you change nothing, nothing will change!! It’s not about being bold, but about breaking taboos that hold us back ... it is about education. I have lived with women all my life, yet I have learnt more making this film than I’ve ever known even after being surrounded by women in my own family. I do not mind who I offend, or whose stomach I may turn by being so bold publicly. This is not the Stone Age, menstruating is natural.

If this film can spread awareness about menstruation and menstrual health, I would say I have succeeded in my task. And it is not just about menstruation, Padman is the story of an extraordinary human being who pushes himself against his own limitations to go from an illiterate man to an innovator and inventor.

Padman is another film in the long list of your films which gives a social message. You have successfully created the new genre of entertainment with a message. Was this a conscious decision?
I believe it was a conscious decision. There comes a time in one’s life when substance begins to matter more and more. I have established myself enough as an actor to now be able to venture into things that can benefit, as well as entertain people. I will always want to make my audience laugh, but if I can encourage a new mindset, then I believe that’s the best kind of service I can do as an actor.

The film is produced by your wife. What was the experience like working with Twinkle and was she a strict task master?
I felt even more responsible to deliver my best because she was behind this project. This is her baby right from the concept and she is totally involved all through, right to the marketing of the film. This is something we are doing together for the first time and I am happy that it is not a mundane film but deals with a topic that people don’t touch upon, something that can truly impact lives and a story that will inspire people.

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First Published: Nov 16, 2017 12:41 IST