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    Default "De Dana Dan is funnier, faster, and more flamboyant than ever" - Akshay Kumar

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    De Dana Dan, which opens this weekend, is Akshay Kumar's 5th release this year. While the other big heroes have cut back to one or two big films a year, Akshay has really earned the title, shared by singer James Brown, as the "the hardest working man in show business." He's come a long way from his action hero days as Mr. Bond and the Khiladi and his films encompass everything from action to romance to comedy to serious drama. De Dana Dan is a return to the comedic heights of 2001's Hera Pheri, as Akshay reunites with Suniel Shetty and director Priyadarshan. Added to this winning combination is his lucky charm, actress Katrina Kaif.

    Akshay Kumar spoke exclusively with about his new film, his old films, and the secret of his success. He even let us in on something he fears but you have to read on to find out what that is!

    What made you say yes to the role in De Dana Dan (DDD)?

    It's a Priyadarshan movie and for me, when it comes to one of his movies, you don't need a reason or an attraction, nothing like that; you just need faith.

    Tell us the story of De Dana Dan from your character's point of view.

    Well, I am actually playing my own 'Man Friday' Nitin Bankar. Both Sunil and I are portraying our helpers, the boys that have been with us from the start of our careers, who we can't live without. Now it's my turn. I am a cook, cleaner, driver, gardener, servant, maid, dog walker, puppet boy for a rich selfish woman that is so stingy she refuses to even buy me a new uniform in over 20 years. (After playing this character I definitely gave all my staff a lovely bonus this Diwali). My girlfriend (Katrina Kaif) will only marry me if I have money. Obviously, I don't have two pennies to rub together and can't blame her, it's not the most attractive job in the world. So Sunil and I have a brain wave, which ultimately back fires and creates the funniest climax I have shot to this day.

    Working with Priyadarshan seems to be a good luck charm for you - where does that good chemistry come from? Is it the scripts that he chooses, or his style of direction, or something else?

    Everything you just said and more! Apart from the fact I get such a kick out of working for a comedy genius, there is no one like him. He's the fastest director in the business. Priyanji has such a strong team working for him. His shots are set up in minutes, he knows what he wants, he gets it and moves on, next minute he's already reciting you his next script and bam your shooting for his next film before you've even released his last one... You ask no questions. He tells me what to wear, where to stand, what to say, and when to jump, and I happily oblige. I trust him completely. As we speak I am in a village shooting his next film. I'm on the 5th day and still have no idea about what's going to happen in the film. One must surrender themselves as an actor to him, and that's what I love about the man, he's passionate about his films.

    What makes De Dana Dan different from any other Priyadarshan movie?

    Honestly, how Priyanji has done it no one knows, but DDD is funnier, faster, and more flamboyant than ever, if you sneeze once your doomed. You don't want to miss a single shot, don't blink, don't even let your father pull his socks up, switch your mobiles off and make sure you go to the bathroom before you enter the cinema. No toilet breaks allowed in this movie I'm afraid (unless you want to be left behind). It's a movie for the masses, one that you must bring your entire family to along with your brains, or you'll be lost and left still laughing at the first gag ;o)...

    Do you worry it will be compared to Hera Pheri?

    The only thing DDD has in common with Hera Pheri is the genius director Priyadarshan, his extremely clever plots, insane script, the famous threesome of course, and the unforgettable catchy toe tapping songs, the rest is a mystery!!

    What inspires you to do comedy?

    I know what makes people happy and that's non-offensive belly-aching laughter appreciated by all. I enjoy being a part of that and that's what Priyadarshan movies are all about.

    How do you approach your roles, especially the comedy ones, to make each one different?

    As an actor for me versatility means the most. You have to give your audience all you can, not bore them with the same old punch and kick. That's why I have tried my hand at every genre out there, and you need to be able to have fun with it especially in a comic role.

    What do you think works so well in your chemistry with Katrina?

    There is no secret, no magic formula, great co-stars stem from the same tree as friendships and relationships, "trust, effort, understanding". Kat 'trusts' me, I think her 'effort' is outstanding as I know she thinks the same of mine, and we 'understand' each other really well for some reason. We are so comfortable, our work is so pure and that shows on camera.

    How has she grown as an actress?

    She definitely has gone from strength to strength and I think the reason for that is that her background is a great asset to her. She's grounded, easy going, not fake at all, knows how to have a good laugh, all these things help make her the perfect heroine to work with. Now enough of me being sweet, let's get back to me being a funny man. ;o)

    Tell us something we don't know about Katrina. Tell us something we don't know about you.

    Ah don't make me praise her again... I tell you what this is the last compliment I'm giving her in this interview ;o). She is a much stronger and determined woman than people will ever really know. She will get on the back of a water ski with me, petrified but she will not stop until our shot is perfect. Most heroines would never get back up after falling flat on their face in the water in front of 200 on lookers, but Kat is brave as well as sweet about it. And me, I love jumping off roofs but I hate merry go rounds - they are my worst fear in life, now don't laugh...

    You are working once again with Sunil Shetty and Paresh Rawal. Tell us about the experience with working with them.

    It is great as always. I don't know what it is but we just all have such wicked chemistry together, and I think that's what you guys see when we perform. It's too much fun. When Priyadarshan puts 26 comedians and a dog together we're like a well behaved circus riot, we love it - it's the way it should be.

    What will audiences love about De Dana Dan?

    It's aimed at one and all - you have the classic actors, the heroes, the beauties, the characters, the songs, the laughs, the awaited climax, the comedy, the romance, the fights, the drama, and the sad story, but mainly it's full of laughs. What more could you want from the lucky trio and there favourite director!?!?! It's for everyone, from your new born baby and their dummies to your great grand parents and their fake teeth, it's for the family. ;o)

    What do you think makes you a good actor?

    What can I say, I'm just very talented. ;o) No, no I'm kidding. Seriously, I think you just have to be 200% committed and dedicated to what you want to achieve and you need to really want it - that passion is what drives you forward. It takes more than talent to make it in life. First you have to actually be a great person then people will want to work with you. Then you give your life to becoming the best. All these things I have done. I may be high up now, but look at all I have done to get here, years and years of pushing.

    What do you find hardest about acting?

    About acting - the confidence to handle a million pressures on and off set. The acting is great, it's the baggage that comes with acting that takes it's toll on us - being an actor, my family being hurt or suffering because I'm in the limelight and of my dedication to my work.

    What have you learned over your years as an actor?

    What haven't I learned!? I see my whole career as being a transition period. There's no learning curve as such because things are constantly changing, I never stop learning. You've all seen my highs and lows, but you wouldn't appreciate the highs if you had never felt the lows. But this is just the beginning. I have many more ups and downs to come. My best lesson was learning to look after my fans, without you I wouldn't have a job would I!?!

    Your favorite role you have played is . . . ?

    Ohh how do I choose?! Well the success of the Khiladi films is what made me love cinema even more, so I owe my career to those movies so they have to be my favourite.

    Although the fans appreciate every film, the critics can be so negative. How do you keep from letting those bad feelings affect you?

    Well it's not a secret that this industry is TOUGH and you need to have a thick skin to be able to deal with the (sometimes harsh) criticisms that come your way. Some of it can be constructive though so I know when to take on board certain things and that's when I put my hands up and say, "I'm sorry, I promise to do better next time". But my family is there to help me get through anything that is thrown at me so that helps of course.

    Tashan has developed a cult following online. Is there any film of yours that you think should be a cult classic, or was overlooked by fans and deserves another chance?

    I'm not sure, but the thing is I respect the voice of the fans as its them I'm making movies for so if they haven't recognized something then I appreciate it, take on what they are saying and try to make it better for next time. Sometimes I think what happens, especially with movies that break the tradition of a typical Bollywood Masala film, is that it is not fully understood and then it doesn't communicate properly to the audiences.

    Your fans would like to see you in more action as well as more romance. What do you prefer?

    I don't think I have a preference, I want to be involved in every role possible. I obviously enjoy doing stunt scenes and I'm a bit of an adrenaline junkie so being an action hero suits me just fine. After the success of my action films, I felt I needed to prove to myself and my audiences out there that I can play a number of roles and show my versatility as an actor. I hope that the audience sees that in me now, seeing as they like that romantic and comedy side of me. For me, I love comedy too much.

    What do you have coming up next?

    I am shooting right now for another Priyadarshan movie called Khatta Meetha in a village in India. I'm also finishing off Vipul Shah's Action Replay. I've just completed Sajid Khan's House Full. Not forgetting De Dana Dan's release on the 27th of this month, my last release of this year!!!

    Do you have a message to your fans?

    Just thank you so much. It's for them that I do this and I try to put all my effort into what I do to make them happy and they have been great. Their support is unbelievable and I can't express how much I appreciate it. It helps me through the hard times and makes the good times even better. I just hope I can continue to deliver for them.

    We know he will continue to deliver because no matter what role Akshay takes on you can tell he puts his heart and soul into it and becomes the character. He is one of the finest actors in Hindi cinema and has that rare ability to do it all action, romance, drama and of course comedy all while lookin' fine! Be sure and check out Akshay in his comedy avatar in De Dana Dan, which opens today! As he said, "DDD is funnier, faster, and more flamboyant than ever, if you sneeze once your doomed", so make sure not to even blink and get lost in the magic of Akki-Priyadarshan and the rest of the the DDD team! We would like to thank Mr. Kumar for taking the time to answer our questions and wish him all the best!

    With contributions by Crack ,

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