Akshay Kumar in this interview talks about his love for Canada, why some of his films have failed at the box office, his favorite films and a lot more. – What made you accept the invitation?
Akshay: I am honoured to have carried the torch on behalf of all my fans across the world. It is a great honour for India. Olympics are a symbol of peace in all continents. What statesmen and politicians cannot do, major sporting events like the Olympics can accomplish. These games bring athletes from over 150 countries together and it means a lot to me.
– How was it running on the streets of Toronto?
Akshay: I loved it. Toronto is my second home. It has given me so much love. Carrying the Olympic torch is my way of reciprocating the love to my Canadian fans. It is a bonus for me that I have family in Toronto.
– How did you feel when the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper met you in Mumbai and invited you?
Akshay: It was a great feeling. There were so many children present at the occasion. Children always bring joy and enrich our lives. It reminded me of my own childhood. Children have all kinds of dreams. I know that from my own experience. So I must say it was a great feeling to see those children present who came to greet me.
– Did you speak to Harper about the film industry and the role it could play in strengthening relations between the two countries?
Akshay: Yes. He and I discussed a few issues. I told him what a great country he leads. He was very complimentary towards my accomplishments and invited me to visit his cottage at the Harrington Lake.
– What did you think of Harper’s keynote address in Mumbai on Canada-India relations?
Akshay: It is great that Canada has finally put India on the list of its top trading and tourism partners. How can any country now ignore India’s economy, its manpower and middle class buying capabilities? It is absolutely a win-win situation.
– You have acted in about 125 movies, some of which failed at the box office.
Akshay: We work hard in every movie. But it is up to the audiences to accept or reject our films. Sometimes, we succeed and sometimes we don’t. We learn from our experience and move on. Luck plays an important role many a time.
– How would you list your best movies?
Akshay: I enjoyed the phase of my Khiladi movies, then all my comedies Hera Pheri, Namaste London and Singh is Kinng.
– Do you attribute your appeal to your rugged looks or to the fact that you do almost all your stunts by yourself?
Akshay: Looks can be deceptive. It is a matter of opinion. I thank my genes and parents for how I look. And yes, of course, I like to do my own stunts as that gives me the utmost satisfaction. My wife and my mother don’t like me doing the stunts. They always advise me against taking risks but then there’s risk in everything you do.
– Do you have any message in your movies for your fans?
Akshay: I always try to have something quiet since too much preaching in movies is not good. I try and tell my fans ‘please believe in God, respect your parents and believe in yourself’. These are my three personal beliefs as well.
– Don’t you think you need to slow down a bit to maintain quality in your films?
Akshay: The more I work the more I am able to deliver. Any slowing down will be for my family. I am seriously considering that.
– Would you say that the stage when Bollywood was all song and dance passed?
Akshay: Bollywood is now delivering quality entertainment: delivering value for the money and entertaining people who want to forget all worries of the world for those two hours. If I am successful in doing that, then I would say I have succeeded.
– Would you like to say anything else to your fans in Canada?
Akshay: I want to thank all my fans in Canada for their love and support. It is an honour for me to represent them and being part of history. It was a bonus to run on Yonge Street, the longest street in the world. I would continue to try my best to deliver great entertaining films.
– You are acting in a film about ice hockey?
Akshay: Yes, that is one of my future projects in Canada. It will be a cross-cultural community ice hockey film. We are yet to find a suitable title for this film.