Akshay Kumar, often referred to as the reliable money-maker for producers in India, has had a long and eventful career alongside the big Khans of Bollywood. However, some would say Kumar never commanded the fan frenzy that his contemporaries did, though his movies have raked in the moolah consistently over the past years.
He rarely gets nominated for the big film awards in the country and you actually never hear him complaining about that. Over the years, Kumar has showed how he can embrace criticism without displaying any bitterness. Here are 9 instances when Akshay Kumar set a template for mature responses to criticism.
#1 On being compared to furniture on film set by his peers and colleagues
Yeh maine khud kaha tha. (giggles) Aur yeh ittefaq ki baat hai ki main filmo ke andar aa gaya, maine jab pehli baar camera bhi face kiya toh dekha ki camera hota kya hai. Aur jo bhi kuch seekha, apne experience se seekha.
(I had only said it. And it is by coincidence I entered the industry. When I faced the camera for the first time I realised what a camera actually was. And whatever I learned was by my own experience.)
#2 Whether he has learned acting after completing 25 years in the industry and doing over 100 movies
Nahi ji abhi bhi uss hisaab se acting nahi aayi. Agar aapko lagta hai yeh jitne bhi award nights hoti hain, toh agar award mile, toh uss hisaab se acting nahi aati.
(No, I haven't learned acting if you are talking about the award nights and winning awards, then I'm yet to learn acting.)
#3 On being called money-minded
Maybe I am. It is possible. Who is not? Tell me one person in this world who doesn't run behind money. But money isn't above your art and work. I balance out these things. I read the scripts thoroughly and then do the commercial and social cinemas and charge for them accordingly.
#4 On NOT being appreciated by the critics or receiving any awards
Kayi baar aisa hota hai kuch award nights mein, kuch award wale aise phone karke kehte hain ki agar aap award night mein perform karenge toh aadhe paise lenge aur aapko award mil diya jaayega. Toh main bola aap pure paise de dijiye, award ghar pe rakh lijiye.
(Many a times, I receive calls from the award show organisers saying if you perform at the award night we'll give you 50% of the cash amount and you'll also get the award. So I asked them to give me the entire amount and keep the award at their house.)
#5 On having a "colourful" life before marriage
I wasn't married. I carried the image of a casanova in the industry. But I have no shame or regrets. I was a normal man. I was a very, very, hot-blooded man.
#6 On being called anti-social in the industry
I do meet people. I do attend parties. But I don't stay there for long. I come back home early. I have a lifestyle of an army man. My father was in the army. I and my sister were brought up in the army's regiment way. We were woken up early for 8-9km long runs. Even the breakfast on the table was a set strict menu.
#7 On critics calling his movies brainless comedy
25-26 saal ho gaye hain industry mein mujhe. Agar usi hisaab se main 25-26 saal aur kardu toh mujhe lagta hai woh sahi hain.
(I've been in the industry for 25-26 years now. And if I continue this way for the next 25-26 years, I feel they are right.)
#8 On giving 11 back-to-back flops
Akshay Kumar (immediately): 16. I've flopped 16 movies back-to-back. Not 11.
#9 On giving 16 flops
Meri 16 flop ke baad bhi mere paas filme thi. I got movies on being professional na ki mere acting talent pe. Main Bangkok mein kaam karta tha. Wahan martial arts seekhta tha. Aur wahan mujhe street fights bhi karni padti thi. Wahan main Thai fighters ke saath ladta tha. Aur kayi fights main haarta tha. Kayi baar maar padti thi. But the whole thing was that you've to get up and start working on it.
(Even after 16 flops, I had movies in hand. I got movies because I was professional and not based on my acting talent. I used to work in Bangkok. I learned Martial Arts there. I also used to have street fights there. I used to fight Thai fighters there. And I lost many fights there. I also got hit many times. But the whole thing was that you've to get up and start working on it.)
#10 Feeling on never getting awards
Bura nahi lagta. Haan thoda bahot kabhi kabhi wife se taana mil jaata hai. Look at my dad, look at my mom. They got national award. You've not received. Bas woh baat thodi chubti hai. Aapki baat ya kisi aur ki baat bilkul nahi chubti.
(I don't feel bad but yeah, I get to listen from my wife. She says my parents are National Award recipients and look at you. That's all that kind of hurts (giggles) nothing else pinches me.)
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