MUMBAI, Feb. 8: Today, Indian Cine Star Akshay Kumar is among the most bankable actors in Bollywood. It's quite an achievement for an actor who was on the verge of being written off with 16 flops on his report card. We wonder if coming this far on his own steam gives the action star a kick. Bring this up and he says, "What gives me a kick is that I have survived for 25 years on my terms and conditions, and without big names backing me. I've struggled hard, and my journey wasn't easy. To enter the industry is easier than surviving here. Every 10 years, there's a bus that drives into the next decade, and it's important to get on to that bus. To survive, you have to work in a way that you can hop onto that bus and be there for the next decade."
As the actor points out that he didn't have big banners backing him on his road to success and survival, we're only drawn to ask him why he calls himself a 'producer's actor'. Akshay says, "Yes, and I survived because of that. Or else, I would have been thrown out of the industry long ago. Earlier, when some producers would say, 'Usko hi le lete hain' there would be others telling him, 'Lekin uski film chali nahi'. But the filmmaker would say, 'Lekin woh time pe toh aa jata hai, yaar. Teen hero ki film hai, ek hero usko le lete hain. Action bhi kar lega'. The industry never gave up on me. Even when I had 16 flops, I had four films in hand. One of those worked and a new journey began. You have to understand the psychology of the producers. They don't mind if you are a lesser actor, but they would like their films to get completed on time. It is the biggest success tip I can give other actors. Producers are only interested in what kind of a person you are at work. Don't be manipulative, don't order them and they will come around. In this industry, you know people manipulate their releases. If you are a producer, you can manipulate because it's your money. You can't do that if the money belongs to someone else."
Being a producer has added to the insight the actor has, thanks to his mentor Pramod Chakravorty, who gave him the big Bollywood break. "I had the insight right from the beginning. Pramod Chakravorty, the man who gave me my break, taught me a few things, one of which is to be a producer's hero. Back then, there were no mobiles and we would make calls from five-star hotels' landlines or the PCO. He told me, 'Beta, always remember to pay your own phone bills'. The producers generally didn't mind footing bills for food and drinks, but what would chew them up is the fact that actors would talk to their girlfriends for hours, and not pay their bills. I always pay my own phone bills, and I don't drink; so, I don't add to their alcohol expenses either. Punctuality is the other thing I'm particular about. These are some simple rules of life. For an actor, his way of life is important," ends Akshay.(TOI)
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