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Akshay delivers speech at Oxford

Actor speaks at university on request of south-east-Asian students, tells them to be proud of their roots.

entertainment Updated: Oct 09, 2011 15:13 IST
Prashant Singh
Prashant Singh
Hindustan Times

Bollywood actors are used to mouthing lengthy dialogues, but Akshay Kumar has just had a completely different experience. While shooting for Rohit Dhawan’s Desi Boyz at Oxford, he delivered an “inspiring” speech to students at the prestigious university.

The debutant director confirms, “Yes, it happened when we were shooting a song on the Oxford campus. A few Indian girls were passing by. And when they spotted Akshay on the campus, they were surprised.”

Rohit, who is David Dhawan’s son, adds that a little later, they approached him to ask if the actor can deliver a speech to a group of south east Asian students, consisting of those studying at the university. “I checked with Akshay and he was cool with it,” he says, adding that the students weren’t just Indians, but Pakistanis and Bangladeshis too.

“In his speech, Akshay insisted that they should be proud of being ‘desi’. He further added that the students shouldn’t feel that being an Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi is ‘uncool’ in a foreign country. He very intelligently merged the theme of his speech with that of the film,” says Rohit.

Akshay delivered his speech in Hinglish. “It was nice and, at the same time, very inspiring. And for ‘desi’ students, it was a big thing because Akshay is a major star and everyone just couldn’t believe that he was speaking amidst them,” says Rohit.

For the uninitiated, the shoot of Desi Boyz marks the first time that the prestigious Oxford University is been used as the setting for a Bollywood film. The film has Akshay playing a student of Trinity College, Oxford. It also features John Abraham, Deepika Padukone and Chitrangda Singh.

First Published: Oct 09, 2011 15:11 IST