"Contestants are real heroes; I am just a host with a whip" - Akshay Kumar

By Joginder Tuteja Bollywood Hungama News Network

Come September and Akshay Kumar would be back with the Level 2 of 'Khatron Ke Khiladi'. The participants this time around? Bruna Abdullah, Sushma Reddy, Carol Gracias, Jesse Randhawa, Mandira Bedi, Nauheed Cyrusi, Rosa Catalano, Rupali Ganguly, Sonika Kaliraman, Shonali Nagrani, Pia Trivedi, Shveta Salve and Anushkha Manchanda.

With the show promising to be much jaw dropping and awe inspiring with dare devilry stints being the order of the day, 'Khatron Ke Khiladi' is already ensuring a high adrenalin drive. Currently stationed in Italy for the shoot of Sajid Khan's House Full, Akshay Kumar talks to Joginder Tuteja about what makes KKK twice the excitement, the temptations that he curbs with stunts all around him and how he would never attempt the kind of dangerous stunts that he did a decade or so back.

The promotion of KKK proclaims that this time around, there would be twice the excitement and twice the danger. Do you want to elaborate?
There is nothing to elaborate! Level 2 is double the amount of everything this time round. You wanted more danger? You have got it! You wanted it to be more gruesome? You have got it! You thought it was possible to enjoy more excitement on your TV? You have got it all on KKK Level 2. If you don't believe then watch for yourself; what's stopping you? Have you got what it takes?

The world knows that you have tried to take 'khatra' throughout your professional career. What kind of 'khatra' did you face yourself while doing KKK-2?
Well, as you can see, just to get you guys started I have swung from a flying plane to a chopper, I wrestled with some not so friendly crocodiles, and that was after jumping from the moving chopper into a very cold lake. Fear excites me, that doesn't mean I am not human or less scared than the next guy. But I believe we are here to live life, and I intend on experiencing everything one possibly can in life before I die.

In the last season, people expected you too to get involved a little more in the stunts. Do we see more of Akshay Kumar, the action hero, in the new season?
People, please remember that this show is not about me; it's about what Indian woman are really capable of, the fact that they don't belong only in the kitchen. This show proves many times just how much a woman can outdo a man, not only mentally but physically too. If you want to see me in action then watch my movies. That's because KKK is about the Power of our sexes, not 'Ooh let's see what Akshay Kumar gets up to this time'. My stunts are just a bonus, a little treat for my fans. The contestants are the real heroes on this show; I am just the host with the whip (smiles).

With so many stunts happening all around you, were you yourself tempted to get into the ring for some of the exciting stunts?
Tempted? Are you mad! I loved every stunt that we created; I would play this game every day of my life if I could. Even when it wasn't required of me, I would put a wet suit on and dive down with these girls and boys and freeze my bits off just to give them encouragement so they wouldn't feel alone down there in the cold waters, I gave these guys my all. I may have pushed them to their limits but I was with them every step of the way.

When these girls are performing stunts and they are not quite getting it right, don't you ever feel like jumping in helping them with their moves?
Oh God yeah, when you see them crying and struggling with the most petrified look on their faces, of course you wish you could take their pain away. But I know making them conquer their fears will make them stronger, will make them proud of themselves, me rescuing them is not going to help them become better people. There is nothing more satisfying than when you achieve something purely by yourself, all my contestants walked away from this show with back bone to be proud of; that's something that I can assure you.

Have you ever felt that perhaps good old days were better when there was actually a 'fear factor' involved while doing stunts since there were no cables and other precautions, hence making it all really raw?
Now being a father, I am very glad that India has caught up with the proper equipment and cables and has learnt some kind of health safety on set. It is required, we are actors, we are not super humans. Yes, we want to make it as real and as breathtaking as possible, but it's not fair that we should risk our lives for the sake of a cinematic shot. We have families and we need to take their feelings into consideration also. Back in the day when I was fresh off the streets and didn't carry any care in the world apart from my work, I was very dangerous. But I wouldn't dream of reliving those moments today. I was lucky I got away with it once; I don't ever want to judge God's power like that again.

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