Akshay Kumar
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Akshay: There are no complaints from 2016

By HT

Mumbai, Dec. 31 -- In 2016, Akshay Kumar was clearly on a winning streak when he delivered one '100 crore blockbuster after another - Airlift, Housefull 3 and Rustom.

The actor, on his part, maintains that he has "been trying to create a balance of sorts" in choosing a variety of films. Excerpts from HT Cafe's exclusive interview with the actor:

2016 has been a fantastic year for you...

Definitely! It has been one helluva good year and I'm nothing less than grateful. With the constant change in the way movies are consumed nowadays, I'm happy to get lucky thrice this year. So, there are no complaints from 2016.

What, according to you, has been the high point of 2016 for you?

On the personal front, my son (Aarav Bhatia), who has been training since he was four, got his first-degree black belt in Kudo, Okinawa and Gojuryu Karatedo earlier this year. It came after nine years of hard training, so that definitely tops the list. With my darling daughter (Nitara Khanna Bhatia), every moment is a high point. So, you can't really pick one (smiles). On the professional front, besides being an actor, I also wear the producer's hat, so, the success of my films is of utmost importance to me. The fact that all three of my releases were successful this year, ought to be the high point.

At this stage of career, what matters more - commercial success or critical acclaim?

I'd be lying if I said either of them isn't important. Hence, I've been trying to create a balance of sorts in order to feed both the masses as well as the classes with a dose of entertainment as per their taste. In short, I am happy with commercial success as well as critical acclaim.

You have been mixing your film choices very intelligently for a while now. Has it been a conscious move?

In a way, yes, and I feel this sort of mixing up also helps feed the actor as well as the entertainer in me. In the recent past, I've been lucky with the varied subjects that have come my way. I'm a bit sad that this fantastic year is coming to an end, but I'm also very excited about the future line-up. So, I'm also looking forward to the year ahead.

Do you feel this is the most exciting and interesting phase of your career?

Yes, surely. And it's not true just for me. I feel this is a very exciting and interesting phase for our film industry, with the kind of films that are being made and appreciated.

You are a happy family man. Does that contentment show in your work too?

I've always been happy and grateful for whatever that has come my way. For me, being in the movies itself happened by sheer luck, so to spend 25 years [in the industry] and counting, is in itself, a sign of success for me.

2017 seems exciting for you with films such as Jolly LLB 2 and Toilet: Ek Prem Katha lined up. Any pressure to better what you did in 2016?

Not really. Of course, I want both the films to do exceptionally well. They are very different from each other and excite me a lot. I'm trying to bring out different stories from different parts of our country with relatable characters, facing common issues and situations, which I think may strike a chord with the audiences. I am keeping my fingers crossed (smiles).