Known for his no-nonsense approach towards making films, staying away from controversies, taking out ample time for his family and standing by his friends and associates from both within and outside the industry, Akshay Kumar is truly a gem. And he’s respected by one and all for his professional demeanour. It’s no wonder that when it comes to biggies being announced in Bollywood, Akshay continues to be on the wish list of many filmmakers. Now, in the times when newer films are getting increasingly difficult to go on floors due to Bollywood’s success rate going down alarmingly, Akshay is maintaining his reputation of being a mini-industry in himself.
Says his close friend and co-actor from many films, Riteish Deshmukh, “Akshay as a person is the one of the most secure people that I have met. This also reflects in his choices. He does a solo hero, two heroes or a multi-starrer film, as long as he likes the script. He depends on his gut while choosing a script. Then it could be directed by a newcomer, an established director or a director who might have given a failure before. None of that matters to him. He has been around for more than 25 years and yet to be relevant as an actor is an achievement in itself. There is no genre that he hasn’t done or mastered.”
“I feel his uniqueness lies in the fact that he has not stuck to one single image as an actor. Also during my experience of working with Akshay sir, I have realized that his biggest strength is that he is a very secure man and that shows on screen, which is why I believe he has chosen to play the most unconventional main leads,” adds the Agneepath director, Karan Malhotra, who has just wrapped up the shooting of Brothers with the actor.
Everyone who has worked with Akshay, swears by him. Umesh Shukla, who got a new lease in his career with the actor giving him a go ahead for OMG – Oh My God!, says, “Akshay is truly a versatile actor, a great improviser and spontaneous also too. He can adapt to varied roles effortlessly.”
This is the reason why industry is hopeful that with Gabbar Is Back, Akshay Kumar would revive the industry again in a year which has seen only one major grosser so far, Baby (which stars Akshay!). Considering Gabbar Is Back has collected over 13 crores on the opening day, Akshay is clearly living up to everyone’s expectations.
Sums up distributor and film business analyst Girish Johar, “Akshay Kumar is definitely one of the most versatile stars of recent times. Where stars do one or at maximum two films in fifteen months, he gives four in twelve months, which is huge! For the trade, he is one the most preferred stars as he regularly ensures the rotation at the box office. Even with an average of 75 crore per film, he alone gives 300 crore in a single year, which is amazing. This roughly is 30% of our annual net box office. Also overseas, with good content films, he does well and attracts good value. He has definitely created his own path, worked on his own set rules and is hugely successful too. He is definitely a strong pillar for the Indian box office.”
Not to mention, the movie also stars the super talented South siren, Shruti Haasan. Says an industry trade source, “Gabbar was a litmus test for Shruti Haasan who’s proved her mettle with numbers as good at 14 cr on day 1. Gabber has been getting a superb response in the single screens where the film is running packed houses. It sure paves the way for her forthcoming films which combine commercial and content driven cinema. She’s got an interesting line up and people have been talking about her as a name to watch out from a numbers point of view, especially given the fact that she is the only actress today who promises a pan India market due to her popularity in the South.”
Here’s to Akshay and Shruti!