Why Akshay?' - Many asked Farah Khan when she decided to rope him in for Tees Maar Khan once things didn't work out with Shahrukh Khan. 'Why not Akshay?' - is something that Farah has to say, especially since she knows him for near about the same time as she has known Shahrukh Khan.
"I don't know why people forget that Tees Maar Khan is not the first time that I am working with Akshay. In last 20 years, I would have choreographed so many songs with him. He was not a stranger to me on the sets of the film. There is a rapport that I had built with him over the years and that reflects in Tees Maar Khan", says Farah who is currently on a worldwide tour for the film's promotion.
Both Akshay Kumar and Shahrukh Khan started around the same time in the industry in early 90s. While Shahrukh debuted as a lead in Deewana, Akshay's first film was Saugandh.
"I know Akshay even before that when he was still a struggler. We both must have been in our early 20s and he used to be on sets and watch all the choreography. He loved to see us dancing around", remembers Farah, "In fact when I was an assistant on Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar, I had even auditioned him for the role that Deepak Tijori did eventually. Nagma too had auditioned then."
However, when it came to her directorial outings, she went to her dear friend Shahrukh Khan.
"I wanted to work with Akshay though and hence the reason why he made that smashing cameo in The Return of Khiladi segment in Om Shanti Om. So in my small and simple way, I did end up directing him", smiles Farah.
Today she is happy to have roped him for the title role of her masala entertainer.
"What works best for me is the fact that he is a morning person and so am I. That resulted in high productivity and efficiency", she gleams, "Moreover, I am truly impressed with his work ethics. Really, no one can survive in the industry after giving 17-18 flops at the beginning of your career but look at Akshay; he is around for 20 years now."
Explaining the reason behind Akshay's 'survival', Farah says, "Woh neeche se upar aaya hai and hence understands how important it is to stay at the top. He has done millions of movies in the past and has survived his lows because people have loved him."