I've great regard for Akshay sir: Arjun

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Mumbai, Sept. 19 -- Remember the Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif-starrer hit, Namastey London (NL; 2007)? Now, a decade later, film-maker Vipul Shah is set to make Namastey Canada (NC). But instead of Akshay, the new film will star Arjun Kapoor. In fact, a few days back, reports suggested that Akshay is upset with Arjun for signing NC.
"All such talks are created. When nobody speaks, people start talking on your behalf. In this case, 'replacement' is the worst word to use. At the end of the day, it's a franchise. I have known Akshay sir for a long time; and he is one of the nicest people I have ever interacted with. I have great regard for him," says Arjun.
The Ishaqzaade (2012) actor adds that before the film offer came to him, the "chapter was sorted and closed between Vipul Shah and Akshay." "I never - not even once - tried to get into that discussion. But I am fully aware that Akshay sir and Vipul sir spoke to each other before the film was offered to me. I am sure they have clarity between each other and eventually, that's what matters," he says.
Adding that he's just "taking the franchise forward", Arjun says that what's most important is that Vipul and Akshay "are on the same page." "If that is fine, then I know everything else is fine. I am excited about the film because I loved Namastey London. And of course, as we all know, it was also one of the sleeper hits of that year," he says.
Arjun feels the film (NL) "had come out of nowhere and had great music with fantastic storytelling." "Plus, you could relate to the characters. Katrina was amazing. This time too, everything fell into place nicely and when I heard the script, it resonated with me as a continuation of that world," he says.
At the same time, Arjun clarifies that it's "obviously not the continuation of the same story." "For me, it's always about making good films and the idea with NC is to make sure that the film matches the level of the first one. There is pressure but I would call it good pressure," he says.