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He started out as an action hero in a series of Khiladi films. Before you thought he could do only maar-dhaad kind of roles, he shifted gears and ticked your funny bone in some hilarious films like Hera Pheri, Garam Masala and Bhagam Bhag. He even showed his versatility by doing some heavy-duty dramas like Dhadkan, Waqt-A Race against Time and Bewafaa. Yes, we are talking about the one and only Akshay Kumar. After giving four back to back hits last year Akshay is now considered as the most bankable star in the business. We bring you an exclusive interview with the man himself who is ready to kick-start year 2008 with his very own Tashan.
What do you think about the music of Tashan?
I love the track 'Dil Dance Maare' it has a Bhojpuri flavor. I have never heard something like that it's a great dance number. There is another romantic number 'Falak Tak', it's a great travel song shot in Ladakh, Rajasthan, Kerala and a little bit of it in Mumbai so these are the two songs, which are my favourite.
What was it like working with Aki Narula?
Aki Narula did my clothing and styling, he has worked on the smallest details. Aki Narula's styling is very cool and stylish, yet he was very real and in the character. I loved my look in the film; it works for Mr. Bachchan Pandey- yes…that's my character name.
What made you decide to do this film?
To begin with, the fact that it was a Yash Raj film excited me. I have not worked with them since a long time it's been a gap of 12 to 13 years so that excitement was there to work with this production house. The second thing was the script, it really excited me to do the film and then my character Bachchan Pandey was something, which I hadn't played before. It is a great masala film and is complete in every way. It is very character driven and the story had a great graph. It is unconventional and that is what excited me.
How was the experience working with Vijay Krishna Acharya?
I think he has a great sense of scripting. Earlier also he has scripted many good films like Guru and Dhoom, I am sure with this kind of scripting he has made his own film in a great way. It was fun working with him, he has a great sense of humour, we really got long very well because he is a north Indian and so am I. So, we have the same kind of humour going and the good thing about him is that he gives his actors and his characters space. He tells them to perform and places his camera according to that, its not like we have to look at the camera and act. Instead in his case its like the actor has to perform and the camera is supposed to catch him. We were really free when we were working with him. We were not feeling claustrophobic because he allows us to just move freely. It was great working with him and I hope I get a chance to work with him again.
What was it like working with Peter Hinnes and doing an action film after a long time?
Peter Hinnes is from Vietnam, he has settled in South India and works in South Indian films; he is the most well-known action director there. I got a chance to work with him for the first time. He has not worked in many Hindi films but whenever he has worked here, he has done a great job and I can vouch for it because I myself am an action hero. I come to know when I work with an action director how good he is. He is really good at his job. The action of this film is very realistic; Peter is a great action director. He made me do a little bit of Parkour in this film. I had to learn it because I am not that trained into it; I am still learning Parkour. He got this idea when I showed him a little bit of stunts so when you watch this film you can see a bit of Parkour, that's also one of the highlights of the film. It will be fun watching the action of this film, While performing we were having so much fun. If you see the fight, its more of a choreography, because of the environment we created. It was great working with Peter.
What according to you is your Tashan Factor?
My Tashan is my own attitude - an attitude towards life. I think Tashan stands for style and I think it's 'Me' that's what Tashan means to me.
Any one memorable incident during the shoot of the film.
The entire film has been memorable. Shooting in difficult terrain like Ladakh was quite challenging. Due to the high altitude, lot of people had fallen sick but despite that, the shoot continued. Then we shot in Rajasthan in extreme heat and over that we had to wear a jacket. Anil Kapoor had to wear long coats so I am sure it was a memorable moment for him too. Then when we went to Kerala it just did not stop raining; we had to take many breaks in between the shots considering the rains. The director Victor and the entire crew worked very hard to shoot the film so the entire film has been memorable. After a long time I was working with Saif Ali Khan my kid brother and Kareena with whom I have worked very often and of course Mr. Kapoor. It's my second movie with him so it was a lot of fun working with all of them.
Can you tell us something about the character you play in the film?
I play the character of Bachchan Pandey who is from Kanpur who accidentally happens to watch two/three films like Godfather. He gets very inspired by the film, on the other hand he also works for a recovery agency as a recovery agent and how this character falls in love is what it is all about.