Akshay Kumar’s new avatar as an army-man in Holiday- A Soldier Is Never Off Duty is among his most accomplished performances in recent times.
Your new film Holiday features you in a role of an Army Officer who takes on a proposed terror attack during his holiday. How close is this character to the real Akshay Kumar?
You know what? It’s not so much about how close this character is to me right now. It’s more about a deadly fantasy version of life that I would have, had I not been an actor. Playing this role was so unbelievably intriguing; it was like I got to play my inner yin & yang. One minute I am a truly patriotic man, who fights for his country as well as his family, respecting all who walk in my path, then Boom! Even the meanest people in the world don’t know what’s hit them when I get my hands on them.
In the film your character feels a counter-terrorist must think like a terrorist?
Yes, because, in order to create good, I have to become evil. It was like playing the best reality video game ever! I’m the hero that gets to hunt down, crack codes, kill and torture Mumbai’s enemies, while falling in love, protecting families of fellow comrades, and saving my city from utter destruction. I couldn’t dream of a meatier role. I literally had the experience of a lifetime. This is one character I’m gonna be sad to say goodbye to.
I remember you telling me that if you hadn’t been an actor you’d have joined the army. Was this role a kind of wish-fulfillment for you?
Absolutely! Being Virat Bakshi in Holiday, was something I’ve waited a really long time to experience. As a bonus I got the genius director A. R. Murugadoss, an extremely intelligent script, the precious opportunity to play an army officer, a gritty subject, the demanding substance of my character from start to finish, showing the nation what people are prepared to go through in order to keep us safe, and then I had the film’s inviolable message to put across.
‘No matter what happens, we will not be threatened by anyone, because we are India, and we are united, no-one shall cause bloodshed in our country, and get away with it, not while we still have our Indian Army to protect us!’
I personally believe Holiday deserves an entertainment tax exemption for its hard-hitting message on counter-terrorism. Your comments?
That would be a fine thing, and it’d be a wonderful gesture, my dear friend. But even as one of the producers of the film, I’m not here to make unforeseen profits from our army’s good name, or its unconditional efforts to guard us, even if we are continued…