Even as Singh is Kinng runs to packed houses, Akshay Kumar talks about the movie, his ex-flame Shilpa Shetty and his leading lady Katrina Kaif...
Is it true that you came up with the title, Singh Is Kinng?
Yes, I saw it written on the backside of a truck. I called up Vipulji (Shah) and told him: Lets make a film titled Singh Is Kinng'. He asked me what the story would be, and I said I had no clue. I would go to (writer-director) Anees Bazmee daily and chat with him, tell him how happy a person I am. Thats how he came up with my character and the script. I had to visit his house for one month.
You play Happy Singh in the film. How happy is Akshay Kumar in real life?
I am very happy with the way things are going. I was very happy when I came to this industry. It gave me a lot of happiness to see my parents enjoying my performances on screen.
After the Khiladi tag, you have been given the King of Bollywood tag. How do you feel?
The title King is huge for me. I have been in the industry for around 15 years only. If anyone would ask me who is the king of Bollywood, I would just say Amitabh Bachchan, who has been in this industry for around four decades. For me, he is the King of Bollywood.
Dont you think this will further fuel the supposed differences with Shah Rukh Khan, who is also called the Badshah of Bollywood?
I dont know about that; I believe in what I believe. After achieving a lot, Amitabh Bachchan is still a humble man. He always talks to people with his hands folded. I have worked with him in seven films. I feel that he is the real king. There is no doubt about it. I dont care whether it leads to any controversy.
What does it take to be a king?
To be a king, you dont need power or money. You just need a positive attitude. What you believe and what you do is what makes you a king.
How did you prepare for the Singh Is Kinng role?
I am from Amritsar, I am from Punjab, and so I didnt have to do any homework. I didnt find my character in Singh Is Kinng very difficult. I didnt have to go to a school to learn what Sikhs do. I know what they do. I have lots of Sardar friends. I have a strong connection with the Sikh community.
Youve said that Singh is Kinng is a gift for your Punjabi audience. What does it offer for your non-Punjabi fans?
Its not that I am promoting a particular community or its only about Sikhs. Its just a character I am playing. I am not saying that only Sikhs are kings, I am saying that anyone can be a king. Its about having a positive attitude towards life and how that is what makes you a king.
There is a scene where Ranvir Shorey slaps some men wearing masks of Salman and Aamir. Do you think its fair?
Whats wrong with that? It was just a comic scene.
Singh Is Kinng is a solo-hero film, so you did not have to use your infamous editing scissors, which you joke so much about...
I didnt have to edit as much as it is my home production. I did the editing at home only!
You are the fitness ideal of many people. What do you have to tell people who are not so much into fitness?
I can only say one thing if in 24 hours you cant give one hour to your body, kill yourself.
I believe you climbed 80 floors daily while shooting the movie...
In fact, I climbed 150 floors every day because my coach says I have to do it. I have to look very slim and trim as I love working with younger heroines. I am not scared of actors of my age. I am very scared of the new boys coming in. I dont believe in competition with the guys who are around me.
Didnt Neha Dhupia also climb the stairs with you?
She did it once; she also succeeded.
Do you feel you have played an important role in making Katrina Kaif such a success?
It might be the other way around. It may be that Katrina has a big role in making my career a success (laughs). I feel its the whole team, which makes a film a success. We all play an important role in each others career. I have done a lot of films with Vipulji, Anees Bazmee. Why are you pointing towards Katrina Kaif only? I think we all lend support to each other.
An SMS belittling you was being circulated in the industry. You said you are aware of the sender. Who is he?
Neither did I say it then; nor am I going to say it now. The person who needed to know about it, knows; and thats all. I am a man because I dont want to fight by saying things via different means. I believe in saying things directly to the person and that person got the message.
Finally, Shilpa Shetty has expressed her desire to work with you. Are you ready?
I am absolutely ready. I have done so many films with her. I have given so many hits with her. So why not?
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