Lime interview - Screen
Akshay Kumar's return to action roars at the box office as 'Rowdie Rathore' stamps bollywood stars's huge appeal with fans worldwide.
Bollywood’s original action hero, Akshay Kumar, has once again wowed audiences across the globe with new film Rowdy Rathore, which marks his eagerly awaited return to the action movie arena. With a substantial absence from the stunt-laden, action-packed films we are used to from ‘Akki’, he has come back high-kicking with Rowdy Rathore, which has become the biggest non-holiday Friday grossing film and Akshay Kumar’s biggest box office smash hit to date
Rowdy Rathore marks Akshay Kumar’s return to the classic Bollywood Masala film, and tells a thrilling story, packed with action, death-defying stunts and Akshay’s characteristic dose of comedy, showcasing his skill and versatility as an actor. The romance factor sizzles too, as Akshay and co-star Sonakshi Sinha (Dabaang) exude chemistry in the film. The film is directed by renowned Tamil choreographer and actor Prabhudheva (Wanted, Shakti – The Power.)
How was it working with Sonakshi? What do you think of the chemistry between both you and Sonakshi? What works between you both?
Sometimes we are like innocent small kids, screaming and shouting while playing cricket match and making fun over each other’s run rate. Then we’re romancing one another on screen, which is easy because we’re both so comfortable with each other, there’s no nervous tension. Both of us are probably just thinking how long it is until lunch ;o) Then we are busting our moves on the dance floor and ripping one another apart for dancing like a mad person ;o) We have lots of fun together, that’s what makes the two of us work better. We don’t like getting bored so we’ll do anything to pass our time, from chasing goats in the street to competitive volley ball matches, you name it we’ll be up to it !
What did it feel doing an out-and-out action film after several comedies?
What did I feel! I felt a lot of pain, a lot of satisfaction, but I felt right at home… This kind of film is exactly what I’ve been waiting for, action with not just a slice of comedy but a bucket load of rowdyness!! It’s my perfect movie cocktail, all my favourite aspects of cinema rolled into one. So to answer your question I would say: “I feel great” and these are words I don’t tend to use so easily about anything. Whether people love the screenplay and action and all the wonderful characters as much as I do is neither here nor there, the fact is, even if only one person goes to see this film, I would still treasure everything about it as dearly as I do today ;o).
Tell us about the action in the film – Any life threatening stunts performed?
Depends on who you are asking!! ;o). To me nothing is life threatening as long as you have checked your safety ;o) But on a serious note, sadly even the simplest of stunts can go horribly wrong on many sets. Thankfully because this is such a raw film there was no need for any fancy hi-tech once in a life time ‘on your knees praying to survive’ stunt required. This film comes right from the streets I was brought up in, no guns, no cry for help, it’s about man on men, fist on flesh, human punch bags basically. There’s one massive jump I do off scaffolding with a deadly crank, but that was too much fun for me to remember to fear for my life though. Plus these South Indian stuntmen are a credit to their industry, they had my back the whole time, and that gives you confidence even when you might be lacking your own ;o)
Tell us about your role in the film
I am Rowdy Rathore!! So “Don’t Angry Me!!”
What was the most challenging part of shooting Rowdy Rathore?
Doing action in India’s insane heat, having big strong men come at you with their fists and their stomachs all day every day, having to get up every morning knowing I was going to have to fight another 20 men was not easy even when I was 24 let alone at 44. But what an experience, even if only my son comes to me and says “Dad you kicked ass” I’ll be the happiest man in the world. This was not an easy shoot by far, and I’m not afraid to admit that, as long as I can walk I can do anything, but I swear there were days I thought I couldn’t walk let alone fight. But what I was really afraid of more than anything in this film was Prabhu Sir’s famous dance steps, I walked on set with two left feet, and walked off set with what felt like three. The man moves at the speed of light and I’m yet to find bones in his body, he truly is India’s magic moving man…
Rowdy Rathore is receiving such positive feedback, from your look, to your moustache, to your dance moves, were you as confident before the shoot?
I’m a confident man because I believe in people, Shabina Khan co-producer and stylist of the film has been a designer for like 20 years, probably more, I knew she’d give me a look India’s general public would connect to. For sure people in offices won’t be copying my look but their cooks mostly probably will ;o). As for the moustache, everyone in India loves a good moustache!! And for the dance moves they were as hard as I had expected them to be, but surprisingly I had way more fun in the songs than I thought I would, purely because it’s so nerve racking learning South Indian steps in front of a South Indian dancing legend ;o). So you can imagine my anxiety, but what energy Prabhu Sir gives you, not that I ever need any, but wow!!.......