Highest regard for SRK: Akki

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By HT

New Delhi, June 22 -- He has been away, vacationing in the US. But, Akshay Kumar continues to make news in Bollywood, thanks to the much-discussed shift in the release date of his upcoming release, Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobara (OUATIMD), to avoid a clash with Shah Rukh Khan's Chennai Express - both were earlier scheduled for an Eid release. For the first time, Akshay talks about the altered release date and his equation with SRK.

You have been quiet so far on the shifting of your film's release date.

As an actor, I don't decide release dates. I'm not the producer of the film. So I think all such queries should be directed to the producers (Balaji Motion Pictures). Personally, I feel that they have done a fabulous job in marketing and releasing all their films till date, so I'm sure they know best.

You and SRK have been pitted against each other.

I have the highest regard and respect for Shah Rukh. And honestly, I don't worry about people pitting us against each other. Over the years, I have been pitted against the Khans - Aamir, Salman and SRK. More than anything else, I take it as a big compliment.

So, are you looking at Chennai Express as competition?

I don't believe in competing with anyone else or other films. I only compete with myself. To put things in perspective, I run my own race. I have no desire to play the game better than anyone else. I only play it my way.

You're playing a gangster for the first time in your career. How different was the experience?

It is probably the most self-absorbing role in my career. I never thought that the intensity of my role would thrill me so much.

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