Thursday, August 09, 2007
Call him the Jerry Lewis of the Indian cinema or Jackie Chan of the Indian Film Industry, Akshay Kumar can do what both Jerry and Jackie can. Akki the khiladi can make people fall off from their seats with his sense of humour and comic timings and can perform his own dare devil stunts without a sweat on his forehead. But in the recent past, we haven't seen him kick the bad guys or jump off a fifty floor building. What we have seen the actor do is bring the house down by playing fun loving characters and cracking rib-tickling dialogues in films like Phir Hera Pheri, Bhagam Bhag and Namastey London. Akshay Kumar talks about his latest offering Heyy Babyy, a film which he thinks will send out an important message to all the parents around the world.
Knowing Sajid Khan's flair for comedy, how did you react to the script when you first read it?
Heyy Babyy is a film very close to me because it reminds me of the relationship which I share with my son. Parenthood teaches you responsibility and makes you grow up and Aarav my son has brought that stability in my life. So when I read the script, it made me react instantly to it only because of the relationship me and my son share with each other. Of course, the film was like my first film. Everyone with whom I worked was a newcomer for me because I was working with the entire cast and my director Sajid Khan for the first time. I've known Sajid for more than two decades and I knew that nobody could have made a film with a combination of comedy and sensibility with such responsibility.
Isn't Heyy Babyy a remake of Hollywood film Three Men and a Baby?
You can call it a remake but I think it's not. Yes, I do agree that there are three men - Me, Fardeen and Riteish along with a baby. But that's it. The characters might be the same but the story isn't. The film will make you laugh but it might make you cry too. You never know.
Describe your role in the film.
I play a generation-X, very shallow, selfish to core and a future without any goal kind of a guy. Wow! What a description. (Laughs) Then this baby comes in our life and the transformation which all the characters including mine takes place, is something that everyone should look forward to. There isn't much to describe any character in the film but is more to look forward to as I said earlier.
How was your first time with Riteish, Fardeen and Vidya Balan?
To be honest with you, it was a bit difficult working with all of them for the first time when we started shooting but then it was all smooth. We had a blast together. Riteish is great with comedy and surprisingly Fardeen is superb in Heyy Babyy.
Filming with a baby is the toughest part. Did you learn anything from the youngest member of the cast?
I learned how to be a super star because the baby was the real hero of this film. Even the name of the film is Heyy Babyy. The baby had two nurses and a doctor with it. The baby could wake up anytime it wanted to, shoot only two hours a day, could vomit on anybody and would get everything when it wanted. Now you tell me, isn't the baby a real super star? We can learn so much from a super star, can't we?
When is Akshay Kumar going to kick the baddies and punch the villains next?
I am going to start a full fledged action film next year and believe me, I am itching to get back to action. My next film which will be released after Heyy Babyy will most probably be Bhool Bhulaiya and the next two films after that which I have signed are Made in China and Singh is King.
What makes the song very special in which you, Riteish and Fardeen do a full monty?
I think there are so many women who do item numbers in films and it's time that we men put on high heels and start shaking our bum. Obviously, this is in context to the film only but we do this particular full monty song to earn money for the upbringing of the baby.
What is different working with a first time director like Sajid Khan whom you know since more than twenty years as a friend?
Sajid is a guy who is born with a funny bone. I think the Indian Film Industry should be proud of him, because he is an exceptionally good actor who has turned into an extraordinary director.
Do you miss your partner in crime Paresh Rawal in Heyy Babyy?
Yes, I've enjoyed working with him in so many films we've done together which I can't even remember now. But I do miss him and his company. Actually, I am also looking forward to Bhool Bhulaiya in which we both will be seen together again.
We all know what Sanjay Dutt is going through in what's considered to be the most difficult phase of his life. What do you think will happen next?
All I know is that I am waiting for Sanju to come out in the open air again and face the camera. My heart says that he is going to come out again and come out stronger. He will soon be in action. He has gone through a lot and we all can see it. I pray to God for him and hope the best for him.
Why should one go and watch Heyy Babyy?
There are many reasons why one should go and watch this film. One because it has a combination of sensitivity and humour. Two, because every member of the family whether it's your dad, mom or even grand parents, they will enjoy this film. Three, because there is a lot of old school humour in Heyy Babyy and everybody loves a bit of slapstick comedy. Earlier I've only done films with situational comedy. Lastly, I will say that Heyy Babyy is the funniest film that will make you cry.
Where do we see Akshay Kumar five years from now?
I might still be struggling to survive in this industry.
Any message for your fans?
Transformation is the most important thing when a man becomes a father. I have been through it and I hope so have many others who are reading this interview. I hope they come and watch this film because they are surely going to identify with each and every character in the movie. God Bless!