He has just finished dubbing for Aitraaz. Why is Akshay Kumar more excited about Aitraaz than any other film before?
Akshay laughs. “I’ve to admit I’ve never been more charged about any role. That’s because the film is not similar to anything I’ve done. It’s definitely bold, yes. And the promotional clippings on television do give out erotic signals. I’m not apologetic about the fact that Aitraaz is more sexually charged than any film I’ve done before. At the same time, let me tell you it isn’t a hot film. Rather, it tackles a very sensitive subject. Sexual harassment of a male employee by his female boss.”
All of the film industry is agog about Priyanka Chopra’s take-off on Demi Moore in Disclosure as the man-eating boss. Akshay laughs. “Yes, Priyanka has quite a role in the film. Aitraaz is going to take her career to another level. But let me tell you, Kareena Kapoor who plays my wife is also dynamite in the film. We’ve worked together in two other films. Each time she has taken me by surprise.”
Akshay Kumar’s career has been going spectacularly steady in the last few years. His last big hit was Andaz where again he was paired with Priyanka Chopra.
“I hope we prove lucky for each other again,” laughs Akshay, not willing to let the unsavoury rumours about the pair affect his professional relationship with the girl. “Why should I let such loose talk affect me? Everyone knows who’s instigating such loose talk. The target isn’t me but Priyanka. I just got caught in the crossfire. Now that the newspaper which wrote about a public fight between me and my wife in Goa has very graciously admitted that their information was wrong, the truth is out in the open. My family life remains untouched by these malicious elements. I’d rather concentrate on my career than get into these useless controversies.”
And right now Akshay’s entire concentration is on Aitraaz which opens during Diwali. “What I really like about my character is, he isn’t a super-hero. When he’s in a crisis he doesn’t tell his wife, ‘Okay, watch me take on the bad guys.’ Instead he takes her into confidence and fights back the problem, like any ordinary working-class man. I like that. I like the idea of a man seeking his family’s support in a crisis. Though my character is a fighter he isn’t unbelievable. Throughout he remains credible. I'd call him an ordinary man fighting an extraordinary circumstance.”
The actor has great hopes pinned on the film. “But to me, what’s important is to play different characters all the time. It isn’t enough to just have successful films. They should offer me a challenge as an actor. In Aitraaz I’ve played a role I’ve never done before. The same is true of my forthcoming films like Anil Sharma’s Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo and Vipul Shah’s Waqt. In both I’m teamed with Mr Bachchan again, and I get to do things I haven’t done earlier. At this stage of my career, success is as important to me as moving ahead as an actor.”
Akshay had to regretfully back out of one of his favourite directors Suneel Darshan’s next project Barsaat. “I’d have given anything to be in it. How can I say no to Suneel who’s much more than a filmmaker to me? Unfortunately my dates are totally jammed until next year. Suneel had to start his film next month. I’m glad my buddy Bobby Deol is doing the film. I’m very possessive about Suneel Darshan’s films. If I had to choose one person to replace me, it had to be Bobby. He’s my close friend. And he was my wife Twinkle’s first co-star. Coincidentally that film was called Barsaat.”
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