Look what a strike does for you. It makes a sixty day dry spell and then when it calls it off, within four hours of notice; there are hundreds of media personnel present to attend the exclusive press conference of Kambakkht Ishq at Taj Lands End in Bandra. It wasn't the media alone who were given a short notice. Akshay Kumar had to fly down from Karjat in an hour's notice and Kareena had to rush from Mehboob Studios to attend the grand event. "Aap log kaafi bor nahin ho gaye the... koi film release nahin ho rahi thi. Kuch masala kisi ko nahi mil raha tha..." said the ever humorous Akshay Kumar by standing up graciously as he attends the media.
Kareena Kapoor too joined in and gave a short speech. A glimpse of the film's trailer and a song was screened for the media and a surprise cake cutting ceremony was held to mark the release date of the film - July 10. Then comes the stampede. Journalists, photographers and the camera crew rush to the near by room where the two sexes - Viraj (Akshay) and Simrita (Kareena) are ready to battle it out with some absurd, strange, mad and some decent questions thrown to them. As Akshay Kumar aptly said, "The battle of the plexes are over and the battle of the sexes has begun". Time for some reaction to reactions.
The strike is over and Kambakkht Ishq has finally found a release date. How happy are you?
I am very happy about it and who wouldn't be happy? I am continuously working and three to four films of mine are already done and dusted. Yes, I was upset and angry that there was not a single film being released since two months. It's like making a product and there is no buyer. I got to know of the strike at 3 am. I have come down all the way from Karjat and going to go back with a big smile on my face.
Who is Viraj Shergill in the film?
You should know this by now as you've even got a press kit but to answer your question, Viraj is a stuntman in Hollywood. I got an opportunity to do stunts with 'Superman' and 'Rambo' (laughs). It's a battle of sexes but the inside news is that the female sex wins.
This is going to be your biggest release as far as the number of prints are concerned. How excited are you?
Well, I don't know about that but I don't know how you know about it. Apparently, it's going to have an English release too considering that it's got Sylvester Stallone in it. I actually don't know much about it because they have signed me as an actor and not as an exhibitor and a distributor. But I'll surely find out and let you know about it and if it is something like what you've informed me, then I'm very happy because we'll get an international audience. Sajid was aiming for something like this.
Brief about Sabbir Khan the new director.
I've always enjoyed working with new directors. In fact, I've always given hits with new directors. Be it Sajid Khan, Vipul Shah, Guddu Dhanoa, Naresh Malhotra, etc. I always see a greed in a new director because they are very greedy about work, they want to prove it and they bring new ideas on the table. That's what has inspired me about Sabbir. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
How technically different is Kambakkht Ishq compared to all the other Nadiadwala films you've worked in?
From Judwaa, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Heyy Babby, etc, Sajid has always maintained an upward graph. His climb is slow but sure. There is always something new in terms of technicalities in all his films. This is going to be his biggest film.
How different are stunts in Hollywood compared to that of Bollywood?
The West believes a lot in safety. I had to sign a lot of paper work. They maintain the health and safety issue a lot out there which is good. Here it's like, "Chal bhai ab upar se kood. Sab kuch theek hai, tu sirf kood. Boxes bhi theek hai. Kood ja." I'm from the school of Bollywood and when I go there I learn a lot in terms of safety issues surrounding the stunts. Our school is tough, no doubt about it. Out here we sometimes even fall off the building with no boxes down there. When the West hear about our bizarre stunt stories, they are in for a shock.
Is the USP of the film the stunts you've performed?
The film is not about stunts. I'm just playing a stuntman. Mere stunt pe koi katha nahin likhi unhone. Stunt is just my profession in the film.
Why do you think this film will work?
I don't know why this film will work. But I haven't played this kind of a role in any of my films, it's one of my best romantic films. I've been doing a lot of comedy and action. Kambakkht Ishq is very good for a change.
This is the seventh time you're working with Kareena Kapoor. How was the experience?
Well, unke parivaar ka maine thhekaa le rakha hain. I've done fourteen films with Karisma and seven with Kareena. Ab dekhte hain...unke bachhe honge toh unke saath bhi kar lenge.
In terms of fitness, you were pitted against a sixty plus year old man who is physically fit. What did you learn from Sylvester in regards to fitness?
Well, that man had lots and lots of stories to tell. I was very surprised to know some of his stories. We shared a lot of stories in Thailand as he has shot some of the Rambo movies in Thailand and I too come from Thailand. I've stayed there for seven years. The way he works is amazing. Sylvester doesn't just remember his dialogues but he knows all the other dialogues of the people around him. It's a good trait and something which we in Bollywood should learn.
What is the style statement of your shoes?
What has that got to do with the film?
There is a dialogue in the film where you say 'Women are only good for one thing'. Isn't that an insult to women?
Motherhood you mean? Yes, I say that but it's just the character I play in the film who is a male chauvinist.
You're looking dapper day by day. What's the reason?
I eat Chyavanprash everyday. You should also try it.