Bollywood star Akshay Kumar,who is playing a flamboyant gangster in his upcoming film Once Upon a Time In Mumbaai- Dobara,feels bad is the new good in Bollywood.
“I am not trying to glorify a bad lead character in the film. It is just a character I am playing. Not many actors now agree to play a negative role,” said Akshay at a press conference here.
“When director Milan Luthria explained the character,I just could not help but love it. Bad is the new good. I very much enjoyed playing the beautiful character,” the 45-year-old
Akshay replaced Emraan Hashmi as Shoaib in the sequel to the 2010 hit. The character of Shoaib is rumoured to be based on Dawood Ibrahim.
The film also stars Sonakshi Sinha and Imran Khan. Produced by Balaji Motion Picture,the film will release in India on August 15.
When asked about his superstar position in Bollywood Akshay said: “It is not a race we are running. We are not horses you bet on. There are lots of films being made in the industry. Everybody gets to do three or four a year so there is lot of work. Nothing can go unnoticed; everybody is a superstar.”
Akshay Kumar,who was last seen in a heist drama Special 26,believes that he has survived in the industry for so long because he is a producer’s actor.
“Surviving in this industry is more important to me. Superstars come and go. I want to make sure I am always a
producer’s actor. I may be refused to be called a great actor but I have never troubled any of my producers in my life. Honesty always catches the camera,and that is what my strength is,” Akshay said.
The actor said he has focused more on romance than his stunts in Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobara and also enjoyed doing action with Imran (Khan) in this film.
“He did all the stunts with me and jumped from rooftops,and I was very impressed with him. I think he is the next action hero.”
Akshay Kumar said although his friends had given him cars in New York to go around,he preferred hailing a yellow cab whenever he wants to venture into the City.
“I like talking to cabbies. I see them looking in the rear-view mirror and wonder,’Is that Akshay?’ They have so many different interesting stories to narrate to me. They keep on driving when they recognise me and do not stop their vehicles.
“I hear lot of stories from Punjabi and Bangladeshi cab drivers. I observe them keenly and enjoy my conversations – and that is a kind of an experience that one should encounter. I am good at observation,” Akshay said. Akshay said he has come to New York on a much needed vacation.
The actor said he has an extended family here who would visit him once a year in December and he reciprocates the visit in summer.
The press conference was also attended by Luthria,who directed Once Upon A Time Mumbaai and followed it with the 2011 hit The Dirty Picture.
“Akshay is a very happy guy,a wonderful happy person to work on and off the sets. Having a person like him with you gives you a lot of confidence. He kept the atmosphere very happy on set,” the director said.
Luthria said the cast from the first film did not carry over into the sequel. This required “creative thinking,” he said.
“I also felt that the character played in the original installment by Emraan Hashmi needed to be older,with a different kind of presence,” he said,adding that the star cast of Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobara represents a big move in the franchise commercially.
“Casting is all about instinct… 99 per cent instinct. You wake up one morning with the thought of casting a particular actor in a particular role. We are fortunate Akshay Kumar agreed to do the part and change the complexion of the franchise.”