Akshay Kumar, whose last film Kambakkht Ishq too was helmed by a first timer (Sabbir Khan), talks about what makes him root for the newer lot.
"Years back, I worked with Vipul Shah when he was just stepping into Bollywood. I did Aankhen with him. And then Waqt - Race Against Time followed by Namastey London and then Singh Is Kinng. Now I have done his Action Replay as well. So tell me, today after so many successful films behind him, do we even remember that once upon a time, Vipul too was a newcomer?" questions Akshay Kumar who has quite a few examples to cite where he has supported first time directors.
"I worked with Naresh Malhotra in Yeh Dillagi way back in 1994. He hadn't done any film before that. Then I also did Guddu Dhanoa's first film Elaan followed by Tu Chor Main Sipahi as well as Aflatoon. We know Abbas-Mustan for what they are today but after a low key Agnikaal, their first major film Khiladi was with me. I went ahead and also did Ajnabee and Aitraaz with them. Two years back I did Sajid Khan's debut film Heyy Babyy and now I am shooting for his Housefull. Ok, so I did Tashan too with a first timer (Vijay Krishna Acharya) but then such things happen. Hamaare yahan kuch itne dhurandhar film waale hain jinhone 40-50 movies banayi hai but still they don't get it right", says Akshay in a single breath.
"Sometimes filmmakers fail but one can't keep thinking about it all the time. If you start doing it, you can never ever step out and work other than those 10-15 experienced directors that we have in Bollywood. Today we all are talking about Wanted and how it is such a big success. But isn't that too the first ever Bollywood film by director Prabhu Deva", questions Akshay.
On a parting note, one can't help but ask him a question - 'When he works with a debutant director, doesn't the film turn out to be just all about himself? Isn't it a fact that there isn't any space for anyone else?'
"Main nahi dikhoonga toh kya mere padosi dikhege film mein", jokes Akshay, "Most of the films that I mentioned to you just now were single hero starrers. It is but natural that I would be seen. And let's admit it but for good or for bad, this is a male dominated industry. Isn't Wanted too a Salman Khan show all the way?"