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    Sep 2011


    Default Politicians and babas are the biggest con artists: Akshay

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    They are starkly different from each other in looks and oeuvre, but when it comes to putting across their viewpoint, khiladi Akshay Kumar and firebrand actor Manoj Bajpayee hold their own. We witnessed this phenomenon firsthand, when the two stars came calling to Nagpur along with Anupam Kher and Kajal Aggarwal to promote their forthcoming film 'Special 26'. It was a laugh riot from the word go, where Akshay was at his hilarious best, ragging us throughout while answering all the leading questions. And it was heartening to watch all the stars bonding over tic-tac-toe, in-between the answers...

    For you, Twinkle!
    This film is extremely close to Akshay's heart because it marks his debut as a singer on the silverscreen. Interestingly, he has dedicated his maiden song to his wife Twinkle. Ask him if she was impressed with his singing prowess, and the Khiladi says with a twinkle in his eyes, "She loved the lyrics, but what really made her happy was the fact that I had dedicated it to her! Twinkle was very touched with that gesture!"

    Calling a spade, a spade!
    Akshay, who's playing a con artist in the film, ponders for a while when you ask him who's the biggest con artist in our society, and replies in grave tones, "I think some of these so-called babas, who are trying to take the people for a ride and the netas, who are fleecing the nation are the biggest con artists!" Manoj seconds this, saying, "Neta aur jhoote baba log sabse bade actors hain. Inke saamne toh hum kuch bhi nahin!"

    No political ambition
    With his strong views and ardent support for the social causes, is Manoj ready to take the political plunge? To this, he replies, "I have chosen my field and I would rather stick to that. So, I have no political ambition!"

    Reviews are power games
    If he's not very impressed with the fake gurus and unscrupulous politicos, Manoj had gone on record to say sometime back that there are no genuine critics in India. Ask him if he has changed his stance, and he replies with nary a hesitation, "It still holds true! Today, critics have no knowledge of cinema, they have become mini-stars and they indulge in power games where they are in a position to give a zero mark to a film through their reviews! It is pathetic!"

    Weight and watch!
    With this serious talk making the aura rather heavy, it's time to veer the conversation towards lighter things - Akshay's leaner looks for instance. Compliment him on looking fitter and leaner than ever, and he gets quite modest and says, "I was 81 kgs when I joined the film industry and now I'm 83. The last time I had come here for OMG, I was playing Lord Krishna, so maybe I had an overdose of butter. Hence, I might be looking fuller earlier!"

    Daddy cool
    His sense of humour has become wackier than ever, but has the arrival of his daughter Nitara mellowed him deep within? To this, Akshay says with a cheeky smile, "Oh, but I was always a cool guy! I only fight on screen, but never in real life! Toh aur kitna thanda houunga ab? Freeze hee ho jauunga!"

    Mee Marathi
    When asked about his fetish for Marathi language, Akki says, "I have learnt Marathi and I can speak it rather well. In fact, I'm even producing Marathi films. After 72 Miles, my next Marathi film Adhantari is almost ready. I'm so impressed with the intelligence quotient of Marathi cinema that I've decided to make at least four to five Marathi films every year!"



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