Year 2019 has turned out to be another excellent time for Akshay Kumar with the super success of Kesari, Mission Mangal and Housefull 4 behind him.
Now, Good Newwz is set for release and if the early reviews are any indication, this could be yet another major winner for Akshay Kumar. Joginder Tuteja had an exclusive conversation with the superstar, who has given 11 hits in a row since the release of Airlift in 2016.
Q. Eleven hits in a row — now that's one extended ‘Good Newwz’ for you, isn't it?
A. It is nice to know someone is counting. In the spirit of Christmas, Good Newwz really is a blessing for so many and I can only hope to make it 12. It’s been a special year for me and my family, lots of projects as well, but I cannot wait to celebrate my wife’s birthday with her and all our family in South Africa as soon as Good Newwz is delivered safe and sound!
Q. With such good successes being scored, how do you balance emotions between being ecstatic, content, relieved, greedy and hungry, when it comes to making films?
A. Firstly, I never feel half the emotions you just mentioned. I have never been ecstatic, contentment is for lazy people, relief never lasts long, greed always backfires and the only hunger one should feel is for more work and not more food. As for your question about balancing, I believe if you can juggle balls then you can juggle life, emotions, family, work and charity. There is time for everything, you just have to make time.
Q. While you have seen ups in your career, there was also a down when 13-14 of your films flopped. Now, in your current phase, there are 11 successive hits. Which phase has taught you more?
A. 100 percent you learn far more from failure than you will ever learn from success. I would not rewrite my past even if I could. Everything that happened to me had to happen, I neither regret anything I chose to do, nor feel anything but gratitude about my flops, my films and my journey. It made me hungrier than anyone in the industry -- a hunger that I am still feeding to this day. I will never forget what it felt like to carry continuous flops on my shoulders, but what I will also never forget is that even with my record of flops I was never not even for a day out of work. Directors and producers still wanted to work with me and that has made me live a career making sure I give others as much opportunity as I was kindly given.
Q. Now that Good Newwz is coming, there is great deal of positivity. In fact, it is one of those films where everyone is already praising unanimously. Does this ever help with pre-release nerves?
A. You think it would, but strangely it increases because with high expectations comes even greater responsibility. As much as it warms my heart to know how much everyone has enjoyed our trailer and cannot stop dancing to our songs, what will happen come December 27 is still out of my hands. But, if I was really honest, with Good Newwz it is not the praise that is making me smile inside right now, it is my own goosebumps that assure me what a wonderful movie this is. That alone excites me for people to experience it. For Kareena (Kapoor Khan), Diljit (Dosanjh), Kiara (Advani) and me, this is such a perfect Christmas movie about life, love, family and the miracle of birth. Now if that is not what Christmas is about then I do not know what is.
Q. In fact, just a few weeks ago, you came up with a whacky comedy Housefull 4 and now Good Newwz is in a different kind of a comedy zone. Where do you find yourselves more at home?
A. You will never be able to squeeze that out of me. I have had the best year and a half shooting both these movies. After so many heavy, socially aware and historical films, to kick back and let loose with my friends in both movies has been such a happy time for me. It recharges me to dig my heels into something else, which I am already looking forward to sharing with you next year.
Q. There is a great deal of comfort that one can see between you and Kareena in the film. Considering the fact that, exactly a decade ago, you were holding each other's throat in Kambakkht Ishq, to be playing a married couple must be relief, right?
A. Relief? Never! Fighting Kareena or romancing Kareena is just as much fun, even from our very first film together, they have all been some of the most memorable joys and roles an actor can have. Even when she throttles you, she is beautiful, especially when she is angry. Saif (Ali Khan) is a very lucky man, but this industry is even luckier. Kareena is in a league of her own. To have the pleasure of working with her in multiple movies is just brilliant. She was made for this, a true diva without an ounce of diva in her.(Joginder Tuteja is a trade expert and film critic. Views are personal)