Akshay Kumar sets the record straight about Fear Factor, death defying stunts, awards, rumours, Sylvester Stallone, Vipul Shah and of course Singh is Kinng.
First things first, Fear Factor – Khatron Ka Khiladi is already making waves in India. Was it an easy decision to sign up for your new TV show and how do you think the show has shaped up?
'KKK' is through and through me. It agreed instantly to host the show. It has my kind of a concept, my passion, my area and oh, yeah, even my kind of women also. Big screen or small screen doesn't bother me. As long as I entertain people, I'm happy. I believe the show is doing incredibly well and the channel Colors, has had the biggest opening a channel has ever had. When you've got something good like this then it makes all those crazy days worth it.
Which has been your most difficult stunt till now, you know, the kind when your heart was in your mouth?
I wouldn't say it was my most difficult stunt but it was definitely the most dangerous. Recently, I was shooting for a film titled, Blue, in Bahamas. It was just like any other day of the shoot with me diving down to 80 ft and being surrounded by 40 bated sharks. I was told to kungfoo a goon inside the deep waters and I was doing just that but the force of the kick I gave him propelled me up which caused me to crack the top of my head open on a rusted roof of the ship wreck on which we were shooting. Since I was bleeding, the stunt coordinator feared that the bated sharks will smell the blood and probably eat me alive. So he was trying to keep the sharks as far away from me so that they could take me to the surface safely. I'd definitely say my heart was in my mouth. They don't call us heroes for nothing, you know!
Now to Singh Is Kinng, what do you think makes a person a king?
Anyone who can put others happiness before his own, someone who can give joy without demanding anything in return and someone who can pick up others even when they maybe falling themselves is worthy of being a king. All it really takes is a good positive attitude to make you a king.
You are the first leading man to play a Sikh in a film, how did that come about?
See, I don't know whether you've noticed or not but I've always tried to break the mould. My heart beats for films and my heart told me that I must make a difference and show my true Punjabi colours in a loveable manner. I wanted to play a Sikh who can stamp his love on people's mind. I got the title for the film from the back end of a truck so in a way you can say that people of India gave me the story.
Was it tough to handle the beard and the turban?
Let's put it this way, the second I wore my pagdi, I felt like a king. The honour and the pride that seeped through my veins turned me into a Sardar. It was an honour to wear the turban. Even though I did have slight difficulty in rescuing my heroine, KK (Katrina Kaif) while wearing a pagdi but aside from that I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Lately, it's been reported that you are now the highest paid actor in India and the current reigning superstar. Do such tags hold any meaning for you?
Tags, labels, headlines just exist for the moment. It's the memories that I can give to my fans that last forever. That's why I'll never buy an award. If my fans love my work then that's more than any material in my hand is ever worth. Maybe honours and awards don't come my way very often but whenever I receive an honourable award I know it comes from the right hearts and not from my own heavy wallet.
Recently you gave a fiery interview regarding certain elements that you feel bring down your film, why do you think you are being targeted?
Why would you think I am targeted? You only ever really hear crap about people when they are doing well, its sod's law, the minute you rise a little there's always someone that wants to drag you down. I take it as a compliment nowadays, I must be doing really well considering the recent garbage that's been floating around. We live in a fickle world. Some people are only ever happy when they are complaining about something, I'm not worried though, it's like water off a ducks back to me now.
What did you and Sly Stallone talk about during the Kambhaqht Ishq shoot, any tips, banter?
I cannot and will not repeat what me and Sly shared behind closed doors. I could never reveal two stuntmen's secret ingredients now could I! But I can tell you that he is such a wonderful gentleman, so many stunt stories and experiences to tell, he could talk for hours. As for tips, I think, it was my coach that was giving him tips on how to look after his body after everything he's been through. He's had such an incredible life, even he's shocked he can still walk.
Certain reports have come up that there are differences between you and Vipul Shah, true?
Don't worry it was probably just another dig at me and my movie to divert my attention before the release. As always it failed miserably as me and Vipul are and always have been on the greatest of terms. I'm not one to shout my love for him from the rooftops but I will say that he is a dear friend and a wonderful director and producer, what more can one ask for?
Who is the real King of Bollywood?
Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, hands down. When a man after reigning for more than 40 years can still be loved, treasured, cherished and admired by all from across the globe then it has to be him. And I must say, that with his humble attitude and his wonderful soul that protects him, nobody in my generation can touch that man's status, nobody can even come close. Yet anyway only the future holds that information.