After the restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus were partially removed, allowing makers to resume shooting of films and TV shows, Akshay Kumar became the first major Bollywood actor to face the camera. Khiladi Kumar shot for a few ad films before heading to the UK to shoot for his upcoming film Bell Bottom. Six days ago, he featured in the top 10 of Forbes’ highest-paid actors list for the year 2020.
Even in these testing times, Akshay has managed to remain at the top of his game, and the credit goes to his work ethic. Many of Akshay’s colleagues have raved about the actor’s seriousness and punctuality on sets, proving that he doesn’t take his success for granted. A part of Akshay’s love for his work also comes from the place where he started his career.
In an earlier interview, the actor revealed that he started as a model in the industry, dreaming about his big break in films. He auditioned to play one of the lead roles in the 1992 film, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar but didn’t get the part.
He also revealed how he bagged his first three films within 24 hours of being thrown out of a modelling assignment. Narrating the incident, he said, “I had to take a flight to Bangalore at 6 in the evening for a modelling assignment. At 5:10 in the morning, I got a call from the agent and he told me, ‘Unprofessional people like you never succeed and I can guarantee you that.’ At that time, I realised that the flight was scheduled in the morning. I misread and thought it would take off in the evening. I was in tears, I told them that I am coming immediately, but they refused.”
Then came the part where he bagged his first three films. He said, “Then I remember going to Natraj Studios and meeting director-producer Pramod Chakravorty’s company’s make-up man. He asked me, ‘Hero banna hai?’ He then took my portfolio to Pramod ji.”
Akshay Kumar added, “Pramod ji called me inside and signed me for three films immediately. He gave me a cheque of Rs 5,000. I signed the first film for Rs 50,000, second film for Rs 1,00,000 and the third for 1,50,000. The time he gave me my first cheque was at 6 in the evening. The same time, I was supposed to take the flight. It would have been a disaster if I would have gone to Bangalore.”
Though Akshay was first signed by Pramod for Deedar, his first release was Saugandh (1991), which was directed by Raj Sippy. Deedar released in 1992, along with two other films – Khiladi and Mr Bond.
With more than 136 films to his credit, Akshay has catapulted into the top-actor position in the Hindi film industry. Even in the pandemic, the actor hasn’t let his work take a back seat. He is currently shooting in the UK for Bell Bottom. His film Laxmmi Bomb is set to release on Disney+Hotstar. And his much-talked-about film Sooryavanshi is expected to release on Diwali this year. He will also be seen in Prithviraj and Atrangi Re.
Akshay has got his hands full and he doesn’t plan to stop.