‘Entertainment’ – Akshay Kumar On Dogs, Wife, Life
Bollywood superstars hardly ever play second fiddle to anyone – be it heroines or villains. They dance with beauties who are often just icing on the cake and they bash carloads of villains. Yet now we have Bollywood biggie Akshay Kumar deferring to – a dog!
In ‘Entertainment’, a fun comedy being released this week, it’s a dog’s life for the swashbuckling Akshay as he competes with man’s best friend for his family inheritance – and what can one say but – may the best dog win! Yes, this dog does everything – even get married! And the Big Fat Indian Wedding is quite hilarious. The Punjabi lyrics say it all ‘Saddey Veerey De Wedding, Twitter Pe hai Trending – Our very own Veerey’s wedding is on Twitter trending’.
Here’s an interview with Akshay Kumar on dogs, wife and life…
Akshay Kumar in ‘Entertainment’
A Chat with Akshay Kumar
Akshay Kumar has no big star airs and is down-to-earth and funny – that’s why he’s loved by just about everyone from college kids to cabbies. I still recall a time when I passed a crowd near Central Park in Manhattan – lots of cabbies had hoisted Akshay on the roof of a cab to greet their favorite star! This was outside a swanky hotel where Akshay had just done a press conference. So just about everyone loves this easy-going actor.
This time he was in New York to talk about his upcoming film ‘Entertainment’ where he’s always in danger of being upstaged by Entertainment, an adorable golden retriever. In this whacky comedy they start out as rivals for an inheritance – and then the plot thickens! It should be a fun movie, a zany doggone caper with Akshay, Entertainment, assorted canines and villains and a bevy of beauties.
So here goes – Akshay on – dogs but also on marriage, children, life, on lots of other things you knew nothing about. This was via a short phone interview but by talking New York fast, both of us packed a lot into it!
Questions for Akshay Kumar: Dogs, Wife, Life…
Q: Akshay, how does it feel to be in competition to a dog?
A:Well, it is a nice competition, and I can say he is the main lead, I am the second lead. Agar film ko kuch ho jata hai, 19-20 ho jati hai, film nahi chalti hai tho blame the dog! (If something happens to the film and it doesn’t succeed – blame the dog!)
Q: That’s a good way of putting it. So being the main lead, does this dog have to do everything that you do – including romance?
A: Uski bhi shaadi hoti hai, uski bhi bahut sari chize hoti hai, aur kamal ki baat yeh hai ki (He also gets married, lots of things happen with him and the amazing thing is that ) this whole film, this whole idea was inspired by a real life event. It happened in India. Ek Parsi family thi and woh aadmi marne se pehle sari jaydad apne kutte ke naam kar gaya aur woh apne bete ke naam par kuch bhi nahi de gaya tha. (There was a Parsi family where the man before dying left his entire estate to his dog- and left nothing for his own son).
The director and the writer, they got inspired from there and they made the script around it and I love the way they made it – it is so real and at the same time so entertaining. I love the fact that they teach you about what a pet actually means to human beings. It starts on a negative note but then goes towards positivity and changes the concept and makes you realize that it is very important for every child to have a life with a dog.
Q: In real life how comfortable are you with animals? Do you have pets and are they like Entertainment?
A: I have three dogs at home – two German Shepherds and one Golden Retriever, who is very close to the dog in the film.
A Dog’s Big Fat Indian Wedding
Q: What was the most difficult part of the movie for you?
A: Well there was nothing difficult with the film. The whole film went in one schedule, we shot in Bangkok, and this went very smoothly. We didn’t even realize it. I thought it would be a little difficult to work with the dog, because you know, to make the dog understand and to make him work, but the directors and the producers were intelligent enough to get eight identical dogs on the set. If one dog got tired in a long shot, we could use another one. We have never had the main dog do more than three hours of work a day.
Q: So it is almost like having a stuntman or understudy for the dog?
A: Stuntman to fir bhi becharo ko bahut kaam karna padta hai, yaar. yeh to, matlab 8-9 actors, as though 8 stuntman for one. (The poor stuntmans have to work a lot for 8-9 actors) We normally have one, but this one has eight duplicates!
Q: It would have been nice for you if there were eight Akshay Kumars to do your work for you, isn’t it?
A: Then there would be 16 films of mine coming out every year!
Q: Okay, tell me about your early life, I am very curious about that. I mean when you were growing up, were you passionate about movies, did you go for a lot of movies?
A: There has not been a single week that I have not gone and watched a film with my family. My mom and dad, they don’t come from this industry but we were great lovers of watching films. From Dev Anand, Dharmendra, to Amitabh Bachchan, to Rajendra Kumar to every one of Mehmood’s, I watched every film. I still remember I was about four years old and we used to go every Saturday to Karke Theater in Sion, around 6.30 pm.
Q: In Sion? I thought you grew up in Chandni Chowk in Delhi, didn’t you?
A: No I was born there, then my dad shifted to Bombay.
Q: Okay. So it was always about going to the theater for you?
A: Mein abhi bhi jata hoon. Har Saturday meri family ki booking rehti hai. (I still go – my family has a booking every Saturday) So I also go to PVR and watch it.
Q: Are your children also into the movies, like you were?
A: Well, I would say I’m 100% , my children are about 60%.
Q: You have done everything from action to romance to comedy. What do you enjoy the most?
A: Well I enjoy doing action and obviously the toughest one is comedy but that’s another genre I enjoy.
Q: I would love to know a little bit about your life with Twinkle, I know these are personal things but readers love hearing about that. So what’s a typical day for you both like?
A:Well, we don’t bring work at home and we respect each other’s space. We like to go out for dinners, because we both are foodies. We have a very early night and call it a day by 9 o’clock. We are more into our family and that’s it.
Q: So for you, what is the typical day for you like, when you are in Bombay and you are working?
A: I don’t work more than eight hours, Sunday I don’t work and Saturday is a half-day for me.
Q: What would be your dream movie, I mean, what would you feel you haven’t done yet and you would like to do?
A:Well I am doing always different kind of characters, every character which I have played becomes my dream at that moment and you could say my dreams keep on changing after every Friday of my new release.
Q:Are you planning to do anything with foreign movies? Everybody seems to be having one foot out in Hollywood, are you planning that?
A: No, no, both my foots are in the film industry in Bollywood, I don’t have any foot in Hollywood!
Q: Okay, but you have got your own production company, so are there any plans on doing something off the beaten track or unusual?
A:Well I just released the film called ‘Fugly’. It was completely offbeat. If anything else comes up, I surely will, because I would love to make an offbeat film which would make a difference; like I made ‘Oh My God” which was a completely different kind of film. So whenever I get such a script I would love to support it and become a producer for that film.
Q: Akshay, now that so many years have passed, do you get the sense of what life is all about, a sense of where you are going?
A: I don’t think anybody has understood what life is all about. We just keep on reading books and chalking it to our experience, but life keeps on changing. For me, I don’t understand life, I need more and more lives to understand what life is.
Q: So what gets you through your good times and your bad times? I mean is there some kind of philosophy that gets you through?
A: I pass good times and bad with both my dogs Okie and Cleo. They come to me and they give me a nuzzle and my life becomes okay.
Q: Tell me a little bit about your kids, what are your dreams for them?
A: Well, they have their own dreams. I don’t dream for them.
Q: Yes but do you hope for anything for them?
A: No darling, they are too young for me to dream anything for them. I just want them to be like children and to behave like children and enjoy their childhood, rather than me dreaming for them anything.
Q: You’ve made it so big in cinema but if you were to be an entrepreneur or in any other profession, what would you have liked to do?
A: What would I be doing? I would still be struggling to be an actor.
Q: So this means cinema is your absolute passion?
A: Yes it is.
Q: Anything else that you would like to tell me that I haven’t asked you?
A: I think you have asked me everything, from my childhood to my 2014!
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