New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) Nagesh Kukunoor is all praise for Akshay Kumar, who plays the main lead in his first action flick "8x10 Tasveer", describing him as a "no nonsense actor" who would come to the sets on time and do his work without any fuss.
According to Kukunoor, 41, Akshay was an obvious choice for the role of Jai, who has the ability to peek into people's past.
"The foremost reason to cast Akshay was that he is known for his action films and his stunts. Then I wanted to see him in a role he has not done in the past, precisely the reason why even he got interested in this project," Kukunoor told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
"Also, I needed an A list star for '8x10'," added Kukunoor.
The thriller revolves around Jai, who has a supernatural gift to see into the past by touching the 8X10 sized photograph of dead people.
The action thriller releases April 3.
"Working with Akshay was terrific. In spite of being a star he is a no-nonsense actor. There were no delays since he would be on the sets on time, work for the requisite hours and go home without any tantrums," said the director.
Explaining the reason why he chose to direct an action thriller, Kukunoor said: "I like to dabble in different genres; action was one I had not explored till now. Definitely, making an action thriller did have challenges attached to it, but it was equally exciting to make this film. You need a completely different mindset when you make an edgy film like '8x10 Tasveer'."
The film also features Sharmila Tagore, Ayesha Takia and Javed Jaffrey in pivotal roles.
Though Kukunoor's films "Hyderabad Blues", "Iqbal" and "Dor" have fetched him critical acclaim, the director maintains he would also be happy if all his films set the cash registers ringing.
"When I compare, the box office definitely matters more than critical acclaim. A film should work at the box office because only then can I keep making films," he said.
"When you get critical acclaim, you feel nice about the appreciation, but box office success helps you make more films. My main motive is to keep making films; if because of any reason I'm denied to do that, I will feel horrible," he added.
While choosing the cast did not pose hassles, finalising the title did require a lot of thinking.
"We had decided the name of the film as '8x10' initially but then we thought that the Hindi audience might not be able to connect with an English title. Then I decided on 'Tasveer', but we again thought that the people might get confused thinking that this film is some social drama and not an action film. So eventually we merged the two and called it '8x10 Tasveer'," he explained.
Asked which his favourite genre was, he said: "When I'm doing a film, I feel excited and seem to love that genre. But when I complete the film, I'm done and over with it and I move on to something else.
"There are so many things that keep inspiring you and you want to do. Like at the moment I am quite thrilled about action and actually am thinking of taking out some of my old action-packed scripts to make another action film," said Kukunoor.
The director is planning to take a short break before he starts working on post-production of his next film, "Yeh Hausla".
Kukunoor has two releases this year, "Aashayein" in June and "Yeh Hausla" in August.