MUMBAI— Akshay Kumar’s views on “2.0” are well-known. He has always said that it was great to be “punched by Rajinikanth.” The top star, who follows his usual pattern of doing three to four films a year, gets vocal about “2.0” and other films to come.
On why he chose to do “2.0”:
“Shankar (the director) narrated me the entire script in over two hours, I was excited, as I had never heard something like this before. I have done many social films, but this one has such an international message that I wondered why no one else had thought like this. Plus, there was THE Rajinikanth and the fact that it was one of our most expensive films.
On whether he knew Shankar had worked with both his in-laws, Rajesh Khanna, and Dimple Kapadia, as assistant to S.A. Chandrashekhar when he directed Khanna’s home production “Jai Shiv Shankar” in the 1980s:
“No, I never knew that! I am going to meet Shankar today, and now that you have told me this, I will ask him!”
On how he spent his time with Rajinikanth:
“We used to talk in Marathi, as I enjoy that and he is a Maharashtrian. He is a great man, who makes every word and line he says in his films epic. Even if he says something as mundane as “Aapka kya haal hai (How are you)?” he will do or say something that is inimitable. He makes every line entertaining. And he is what he is; there is no veneer. He is also never bothered about how he looks.”
On the best part of being a villain on screen:
“I finished the film in 38 days! Rajini-sir must have shot for double that period.”
“Shankar is James Cameron given steroids! Everything is larger than life. In Hollywood, such a film would have needed 17 times more budget, but in 540 crore, they can NEVER make what Shankar has made here!”
On the South film culture:
“The South is advanced and professional. If their shoot time is 7.30 a.m., they begin at 7.30. In Mumbai, it can be stretched to 9.30 or beyond! They shoot 35-40 scenes a day. We barely manage 12-13! I think that every newcomer should do five films there and then come to Mumbai – he can learn a lot! They are fast, don’t take others for granted, and value other people’s time. I have done a Kannada film “Vishnu Vijay” earlier.”
On would he like to do more such big films:
“Why not? I would love to do films, for instance, on disasters brought about by Science gone wrong due to human mistakes.”
On his family’s reaction to his getups in the film and whether that scared daughter Nitara:
“They did a lot of that work on me with my family being around. Nitara knew it was me and that something was being done to her father. We then clicked selfies!”
On his production “Mission Mangal,” a true story with five women along with him:
“The script demands them to be ahead of my character, even though I am producing the film. These five girls were all happy with their own roles and not bothered about the other four’s footage. I don’t think five heroes will come together!
On whether he is doing a film with Priyadarshan, “Hera Pheri 3” and “Rowdy Rathore 2.”:
“The way you are looking at it, I must be doing 35 films! I am just doing “Mission Mangal,” “Kesari,” “Good News” and “Housefull 4.” We are also working on a film on Prithviraj Chauhan.”