King Kumar


Bollywood star talks ‘De Dana Dan’ and his on-screen chemistry with Katrina Kaif

Akshay Kumar has returned to our screens for the final time this year in the comedy caper ‘De Dana Dan’. Looking to go out with a bang, we caught up with the star to chat about the film, his on-screen chemistry with Katrina Kaif and the ups and downs of the past year.

Interview by Zakia Yousaf


Akshay you’re back on our screens with ‘De Dana Dan’. Tell us a bit about the film.

‘De Dana Dan’ is funnier, faster, and more flamboyant than ever, if you sneeze once you’re doomed, you don’t want to miss a single shot, don’t blink, don’t even let your father pull his socks up, switch your mobiles off and make sure you go to the bathroom before you enter the cinema, no toilet breaks allowed in this movie! It’s a movie for the masses, one that you must bring your entire family to along with your brains, or you’ll be lost and left still laughing at the first gag!


Tell us a bit about your character ‘Nitin’

I am actually playing my own ‘spot boy’ Nitin Bankar. Both myself and Sunil Shetty are portraying our helpers, the boys that have been with us from the start of our careers, who we can’t live without. Now it’s my turn! I am a cook, cleaner, driver, gardener, servant, maid, dog walker, puppet boy for a rich selfish woman that is so stingy she refuses to even buy me a new uniform in over 20 years. (After playing this character I definitely gave all my staff a lovely bonus this Diwali!) My girlfriend (Katrina Kaif) will only marry me if I have money, Obviously I don’t have two pennies to rub together and can’t blame her, it’s not the most attractive job in the world. So myself and Sunil have a brain wave, which ultimately back fires and creates the funniest climax I have shot to this day…


The ‘Hera Pheri’ trio are back in this film – yourself, Sunil Shetty and Paresh Rawal. What was it like teaming up the guys again?

It was just great, as always! I don’t know what it is but we have wicked chemistry together and get along so well and I think that’s what you guys see when we perform together. It’s just fun, you know, it gets crazy on set, when Priyadarshan (director) puts 26 comedians together we’re like a well behaved circus riot, and we love it, it’s the way it should be.


Do you think ‘De Dana Dan’ can re-create the magic of ‘Hera Pheri’?

Yes because even I think this is funnier than Hera Pheri, I think it’s a master piece of Ptiyadarshans, but then one never knows with the audiences anymore. All I can say is ‘De Dana Dan’ has got a magic of its own! The only thing that this movie has in common with Hera Pheri is the genius director, his extremely clever plots, insane script, the famous threesome of course, and the unforgettable catchy toe tapping songs. The rest is a mystery…


You have a wonderful relationship with Katrina Kaif onscreen. Do you think this helps with the films appeal?

What me and Kat have on screen is definitely good chemistry, because we are so comfortable working together that flow that ease shows, and yeah I think people look forward to seeing that, I hope so anyway!


Salman Khan recently remarked that he felt you had better onscreen chemistry with Katrina than he did. What do you make of his remark?

Me and Kat are so simple, we come to work, we let each other breathe, we don’t get involved in each other’s lives, we both respect and admire each other’s life partners, we want to make our movies madly successful it’s easy because we are always on the same page. Me and my wife were crazy about each other but not one of our movies worked, we were so busy fighting and loving one another off screen that our on screen chemistry couldn’t come alive. Maybe it’s the same with all partners.


You seem to have struck a chord in the comedy genre. Is this because you’re finding that more comedy scripts are finding their way to you, or are you eager to make your mark in this genre?

 I really enjoy doing comedy and I wanted to show my versatility as an actor, that I can be an action man as well as a comedian. When a great script comes my way, I don’t care about the genre; I care whether I and my audience will love it. Also it depends, remember actors can only work when writers produce scripts, we rely on them only.  


The year is nearly coming to an end, how would you assess the past year for you?

What an interesting year… I’ve had some outstanding openings, some amusing critics, not to mention an attempt to arrest me for nothing! What can I do but look back and smile and see what next year brings, I am awaiting eagerly.  


2009 saw you collaborate with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Kylie Minogue and Sylvester Stallone. Are there plans to continue the trend next year?

I hope so! It’s all about Indian cinema establishing strong links with the mainstream and I think it’s a great thing in terms of Bollywood being recognised across the globe.


What have you got lined up for 2010?

Well De Dana Dan is my last release of the year. But also I am shooting right now for another Priyadarshan movie called ‘Khatta Methaa’ in a village in India. I’m also finishing off Vipul Shah’s ‘Action Replay’. And I’ve just completed Sajid Khan’s ‘House Full’. I start Nikhil Advani’s ‘Patalia House’ in January, I think that’s enough for now!


A final 2009 message for your loyal fans here in the UK?

Just thank you so much. You guys have been great, your support is unbelievable and I can’t express how much I appreciate it, it helps me through the hard times and makes the good times even better, I just hope I can continue to deliver for you and I’ll always try my hardest!


De Dana Dan is showing in selected cinemas across the country now


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