Akshay Kumar Exclusive Interview: “Mission Mangal Is One Of A Kind Film”

Mohnish Singh |Aug 16, 2019

After the huge success of “Kesari”, Akshay Kumar arrives in cinemas with his new film “Mission Mangal”. In an interview with STARBIZ, the much-in-demand actor shares some details on the film and much more.

Akshay Kumar is a force to reckon with in the Hindi film industry. Even for the finest actors on the earth, it is often difficult to consistently keep reinventing themselves and finding great roles decades after decades. But with his sheer hard work and perseverance, Akshay Kumar has kept himself relevant even today.

Image source: DNA

Last seen in Dharma Productions’ Kesari (2019), Akshay Kumar now arrives in theatres with his new offering Mission Mangal. Also starring Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha, Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari and Nithya Menen, Mission Mangal is based on the story of Indian Space Research Organisation scientists who contributed to the Mars Orbiter Mission, which marked the first interplanetary expedition of India.

Ahead of the release of the much-awaited sci-fi film, STARBIZ correspondent Mohnish Singh met Akshay Kumar at a plush hotel in Mumbai. In a candid conversation with us, the National Film Award-winning actor talks enthusiastically about Mission Mangal, featuring in a movie alongside five popular actresses and how does he feel to produce socially relevant films like Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and PadMan. Excerpts...

Image source: The New Indian Wire

People have started believing that you have become the brand ambassador of quality and content-driven cinema. What do you have to say?

See, in order to get one right film, you have to reject a number of films. At times, you also reject a good film by mistake. Your selection process cannot be accurate all the time. Sometimes, things can go wrong as well. Sometimes you think you have taken up the right project, but it ends up emerging as the wrong one.

I strongly believe that apart from having an analytical mind, you also need luck to get great films. I thank my stars for landing some terrific films into my lap, like Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (2017). The script of that film had been doing the rounds in the industry for four years. Nobody could understand it. Somehow, I could understand its message. PadMan (2018), Airlift (2016), Rustom (2016) are some of the great films I am proud of being a part of.

Does Mission Mangal fall into the same category?

I very proudly say that my production house, in association with Fox Star Studios, has produced India’s first space film. Nobody has made a space film before. Though Mission Mangal is a space film, it has drama, comedy, and realism in it. It will be one of a kind film. It is kind of a genre that has not been explored before. It’s happening for the first time.

Image source: DNA

Do you believe your film also pushes for women empowerment?

I would like to give an elaborate answer to this question. There is an execrable practice in some of our households that when a daughter comes and says that she wants to be an engineer, parents say no to her. They believe that only boys can become engineers. If she says she wants to be a scientist, parents again feel that it is male territory. Most of the parents suggest to their daughters to become a doctor, a nurse, etc.

Even if we look up in our textbooks, we hardly see stories about women and their achievements. Almost every textbook teaches you about men’s achievements. You take a history book and you will hardly find stories about a women’s bravery. I think the time has come to change that also. A lot of things are already changing in our society. For example, there is a woman (Nirmala Sitharaman) who takes care of finances at home and then also of our country. Had you ever thought that one day a woman would become the Finance Minister of our country? It’s time to break the mould.

A lot of time and money have gone into creating sleek VFX for the film. How challenging was it for you being a producer?

It was not challenging for me. It must have been very challenging for the team who worked on the VFX of the film. Having said that, I have tried to keep the film as real as possible. I have ensured that the VFX work looks as authentic as possible.

Basically, I have made this film for children so that they get into the profession of being a scientist. I want to urge everyone to encourage their children to become a scientist. It’s not a very likable profession. It is kept on the backseat. But now people have started knowing a little bit more about it. This film will enhance their knowledge further. It will tell them what a great profession it is, to become a scientist. I am also amazed at it.

Image source: Instagram

How do you feel being a producer of socially relevant films like Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and PadMan?

I feel good about it. A lot of people ask me, “Why did not you make it earlier?” I never had money to make it. I was never a producer. Since the time I became a producer, I started making films that I believed in. I also want to add that I will continue making other kinds of films as well, films like Rowdy Rathore (2012).

Have your children seen Mission Mangal?

No, they have not seen it yet.

How do you feel being the highest-paid Indian celebrity on Forbes List?

I feel very, very nice and humbled.

In how many days did you finish the film?

I finished this film in 32 days.

The trailer of your film has been released in multiple languages. Will we also see the film in languages other than Hindi?

I am sure this will also happen. Fox Star Studios can answer this question better. I want to get this film out in every possible language. I even wanted Toilet: Ek Prem Katha to release in several languages, which eventually happened. The same happened with PadMan also. You can release Mission Mangal in any language and it will work because it talks about reality, science and something which is so beautiful – something which happened in 2010 and 2014. This film runs from 2010 to 2014.

Have you ever been offered a Hollywood film?

No, I have not been (offered any Hollywood film).

You seem to be fond of South Indian movies because you have starred in almost a dozen South remakes?

They become hits. There are some good films, so I do them. It’s great. I get offered a lot of South Indian remakes. I first listen to the story and if I feel it is a good story, then I do it.

In Mission Mangal, you are sharing the screen space with five actresses.

I want to be part of a great film. If the film is great, I don’t mind doing a smaller role also.


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