On his birthday on December 24, Anil chuckled from Dubai, "The number 24 has proved lucky for me. My serial 24 which just concluded has been received with incredible enthusiasm. Now on my birthday on December 24 I feel I am 24 years old. There is so much to do. And I want to do it all. I feel like a child in a toy store. I want everything, and I want it now."
For his birthday Anil is flying back from Dubai to Jaipur where his two daughters are shooting.
Says the proud father, "Sonam has done very well for herself in 2013. Two of her films Raanjhanaa and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag were super-hits and she established herself as an actress of substance. My other daughter Rhea has gone on to produce her second film. In fact Sonam was shooting for Rhea's Khubsoorat in Bikaner. Now they're moving to Jaipur where I'll be joining them for my birthday. So will the rest of my family. So it's one big happy family birthday for me. I wouldn't want it any other way."
The birthday celebrations don't end in Jaipur. On 27th Anil flies back to Dubai for a long-due holiday. "All my friends from all over the world are joining me here in Dubai after I return on 27th. We'll just relax. I've been working really hard in 2013. My serial 24 kept me on my toes."
Laughingly Anil recounts how on Saturday, the day the last episode of 24 was aired; he was badgered in Dubai by the entire team of Anees Bazmee's Welcome Back to know who the real villain of the show is. "Dimple toh bilkul peeche padd gayi (Dimple was after me). She kept insisting, 'tell tell tell who is the villain'. I told her to watch it in the night. There was no way I was going to give out the end before the last episode was aired. Suppose someone had tweeted? My entire finale would have been f…ked."
From 24, Anil flew straight to Dubai into his next feature film Welcome Back. "I am shooting with Dimple and John Abraham again. Did two films with John in 2013 and Welcome Back is my third film with him in a row. We get along very well. I've never had any problems with any co-star, touchwood."
Looking back on 2013, Anil says, "This year I learnt some more self-discipline. I learnt to eat well, exercise properly and think only positively. I also learnt to be patient. That has helped me in finding my bearings even better in life. Work-wise, besides 24, Race 2 and Shootout At Wadala were successful. Race 2, I feel could have been a much bigger hit. I hope the team works harder on Race 3."
Looking back fondly on his life Anil says, "I'm thankful to the film industry and to my fans for having me around for 30 years. Time has just flown by. Today I feel I am just starting out."
Anil is already planning his career moves for 2015, "2014 would be taken up with Anees Bazmee's Welcome Back and No Entry Mein Entry, and Zoya Akhtar's film. Then in 2015-16, I will once again be making frequent trips to Los Angeles to pursue my career there."
Anil already has some solid offers from Hollywood.
"Let's see how they go. You never know with life. No matter how much you plan, something unexpected comes up," says Anil as he rushes off for his next shot.