"SRK, Aamir, Salman, Hrithik, Abhishek - don't worry about me" - Akshay Kumar

kambakkhtishqstill2.jpg

By Joginder Tuteja Bollywood Hungama News Network

Akshay Kumar Kambakkht Ishq has hit the bull's eye at the box office. With Eros International declaring Rs.100 crores gross worldwide in the first week run of the film, hence making it one of the most successful openings in Indian cinema, it is left to anyone's imagination that the film has defied bad press with audiences grabbing the film with both hands. The film has grossed Rs. 70 crores in India (Rs. 42 crores net) and Rs. 21 crores overseas with music & digital platforms grossing Rs. 10 crores, hence making it the most successful outing for Akshay Kumar so far.

So can one say that Akshay Kumar is 'back'? Well, not really, because the fact remains that he was never 'gone' in the true sense. Of course he had setbacks in the form of Chandni Chowk To China and 8X10 Tasveer but if one looks at the dozen odd near back to back successes that he had delivered in the last three years, it was about time that he enjoys a box office winner again.

With the film taking one of the best starts ever in the history of Indian box office (and certainly the 'best' of 2009); Kambakkht Ishq has made Akshay Kumar smile again. While the talks have resumed around his Box Office pull and his progress towards the 'Number One' slot, Akshay Kumar surprises by stating that he has never been a contender for the coveted slot, let alone being anywhere close to it. Talking to Joginder Tuteja, Akshay Kumar bares his heart while responding to critics reaction to the film, allegations around the film being vulgar, Kambakkht Ishq bringing cheers back in the industry and of course the battle for 'Number One'. Over to Akshay...

Just like Chandni Chowk To China, this time too people tried to pull your film down, both before and after the release. However, audiences had made up their own mind for Kambakkht Ishq. Some kind of redemption of sorts for you?
I know I don't seem to be able to sneeze in the street without getting shouted at, this year. No problem. There are always some things in life that no one can take away from me. Even if I make only my own family happy with my movies, that's enough for me.

How about audiences?
The rest of the world liking my movies would be one hell of a huge bonus. I just want my audiences to have fun, and I'll never stop trying, that's my only aim. I am not going to point fingers and rub people's noses in anything. Collections speak louder than anyone's voices or words for good movies and bad ones. No one can predict anything in this life; we have just got to make the best of what ever we can.

There were some who cornered the film calling it crass, vulgar, below the belt etc. etc. Were you prepared for such criticism?
Yes, I am aware that some people were offended by the jokes in the film. See, we all had conviction that this script was funny. It was meant to be a slapstick comedy and that's what we set out to make. In the middle somewhere, the jokes crossed certain lines that made some audiences uncomfortable.

While doing the film, didn't you feel like curbing down the jokes a little fearing the response of the family audiences?
I do regret that 100% of my audience was not happy with the film. Believe me; even if one single fan gets uncomfortable with my film it bothers me. So yes, I am going to be more careful with my scripts and see that 100% of the people in the theatres enjoy them with their families.

Good news though is that the film has succeeded. So what do you think has/have been the factor(s) that made the film click with the masses?
I am overwhelmed at how well our movie has done, and I think it was down to its subject. Every relationship has its mad times, the cat and dog fights, the tears, the fact that one doesn't feel as loved as the other. We all know what men and women behaviour can be like; we just enjoyed blowing it out of proportion and making a joke of it. The youth loved it for its braveness, its spunk, its sexiness; we put it all out there for you so that you could just enjoy the ride. And now with New York and Kambakkht Ishq, I think our industry is back on a very healthy track for sure. This year will be full of hits, I guarantee you all!

Last but not the least, since you have bounced back in a massive way; has the battle of being No.1 resumed?
Do you know what, anyone who wants it please have it! I beg you, be 'Number one', anyone for that matter. I want no part of it. I was happy when I was not a contender; I am the last guy who is interested. Shah Rukh, Aamir, Salman, Hrithik, Abhishek - enjoy, you don't have to worry about me! I just want to make movies and go home, so you guys figure it out. I support you all the way!