Akshay Kumar reveals why he gave up his original name Rajiv Bhatia
The team of Naam Shabana —producer Akshay Kumar, actors Taapsee Pannu and Manoj Bajpayee, co-producer Neeraj Pandey and director Shivam Nair — visited HT City on Monday to meet winners of the Stars In The City Contest. In an interesting conversation with Sonal Kalra, National Editor - Entertainment & Lifestyle, Hindustan Times, Akshay revealed why he changed his name from Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia to Akshay Kumar.
When a fan asked Akshay what made him do it, he replied, “No one has ever asked me this question. My first film was Aaj (1987) which was directed by Mahesh Bhatt and starred Kumar Gaurav. The name of Gaurav’s character was Akshay. I had a 4.5 second role in it and I would only observe Gaurav and his acting. I don’t know what happened but one day I just went to the court and got my name changed.”
The actor said that though he was a nobody at that time, he got a visiting cards made with the name ‘Akshay Kumar’ and went looking for work.
“I don’t know why I changed my name .... I just went to the Bandra East court and got it done. Main kucch bhi nahi tha us time pe phir bhi maine visiting card banwaye. Then I went out to get work, time was in my favour, and I got films after that,” said Akshay.
During the session, the audience also got a self defence lesson from Taapsee and Akshay.
Talking about self defence training, Taapsee said, “Unfortunately, it’s the need of the hour right now. I didn’t take self defence classes when I used to live in Delhi, but thanks to Baby and this film, I have enough confidence now that I don’t need a bodyguard and I hope I don’t feel the need to have one in future. Girls are very much aware about what happens on roads and I hope aisa nahi hota. You need to be your own hero and you should not depend on anyone.”
The actor , who plays the protagonist in the film, a prequel to Baby (2015), shared how excited she was to know that the film was based on her character.
“ I didn’t know there was a discussion between Neeraj and Akshay about Naam Shabana during the post production of Baby. When I got to know about this film, it was a surprise for me. It was too good to be true. It’s not just a title role but a story on me with these names attached it. I believed that this film is happening only when I reached the sets,” she says.
Elaborating, Neeraj said, “It started during the post production of Baby and Taaspee’s portions in that film worked brilliantly for us. This led me and Akshay to think how it would be if we chronicled her journey. We were waiting for the success of Baby and once the film was received well, we started working on Naam Shabana,” he says.
Nair, who has directed films such as Ahista Ahista (2008) and Bhaag Johnny(2015), praised Pandey, who directed Baby. “Neeraj’s writing has so much clarity on paper that there was no confusion in directing this film. Neeraj narrated the film to me and it was super. I had no problem in understanding the characters,” he says.
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