2019 has turned out to be yet another excellent year for Akshay Kumar with the super success of Kesari, Mission Mangal and Housefull 4 behind him. Now, Good Newwz is set for release and if the early reviews are any indication, this is yet another major winner in the making for the Akshay Kumar and Karan Johar film. In an exclusive conversation with the superstar on matters related to the humor quotient in Good Newwz, coming together of the two Punjabi heroes, controversies surrounding citizenship and Housefull 4 collections and more.
Since Good Newwz deals with pregnancy and sperm mix-up, there was always a risk of the narrative borderline of something below the belt. How have you successfully managed to duck that?
By being honest and professional, that’s how. There are no blows below any belts in this movie whatsoever. Regarding the goof up, it’s based on a true story as of course with all science and humans, mistakes happen. Only months ago my character failed sending a million dollar rocket into space in front of the entire world. Now my character has his sperm growing in someone else’s wife tummy. Mistakes happen, it’s what you do after a mistake that counts. That’s where the magic begins. I think clinics shouldn’t be upset, we are bringing such a heartfelt awareness to their incredible science.
Please carry on…
Good Newwz sees you and Diljit Dosanjh coming together for the first time. Considering the two of you are Punjabis (along with Kareena), it must have been one big party, right?
Diljit is probably the funniest recluse I have ever met. He is so quiet until you chat in Punjabi with him and then the most wonderful human jumps out before you. But I must say, what comic timing he has. I thoroughly enjoyed every scene with him. We could make each other laugh all day long. His innocence is so endearing, he came alive in this film.
The film has a very prominent role for Kiara Advani whom you had launched in your production FUGLY. How does it feel to see your protégé do so well and then eventually working with her?
I think that is the magic of hard work. Kiara has gone from strength to strength and it’s so wonderful to not only watch her grow but work with her whilst she grows. I remember her sweet polite little self in Fugly and now watching her personality blossom even more. She is as humble as ever and really enjoys her craft. Here is to many more movies, Kiara (smiles).
Good Newwz is yet another association between you and Karan Johar after Kesari. How is the collaboration shaping up between the two of you?
It’s not often that a producer works with an actor in two such big films in one year. I am guessing that our collaboration is mutual because we admire and respect each other’s work ethic immensely. That’s why we are and want to continue making films together. I am just hoping that one day Karan will want to direct me but he just keeps telling me that I make films too fast. Karan – the Producer loves me, Karan – the Director is hiding from me and my early morning shoots (laughs).
While 2019 was largely productive for you, there were some unforeseen controversies that emerged as well. Some out there questioned your citizenship and others wondered aloud about authenticity of Housefull 4 collections. Was it tough to cope with such allegations?
No, like I said earlier, honesty and professionalism will always win at the end of the day. What I can’t change are people's radical opinions about my citizenship or my movie numbers. I have never been involved in the number game and everyone that matters will always be able to vouch with confidence. I am not interested in anything that’s false. I don’t need to kid myself and I am certainly not interested in kidding others. That’s a sad game that will only end in you chasing your own tail.
In months to come, you have already closed on 2020 line up (Sooryavanshi, Laxxmi Bomb, Prithiviraj Chauhan and Bachchan Pandey). Yet another Akshay Kumar film festival ahead?
Yup, it’s what I am here for; I am your friendly neighborhood festival beast of entertainment in 2020 (winks). I don’t know who is more excited about my line up, my fans or me!
While Eid, Diwali, Christmas have already been blocked by you, how could you let go of Republic Day and Independence Day weekend? After all, distributors are happy to have you on board!
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