Akshay Kumar

Akshay Kumar


Bollywood and Hollywood

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Akshay Kumar is a curious blend of sensitive sweetness, disciplined martial artist and Bollywood hottie. I say curious because according to his website bio: www.akshaykumar.org, Akshay still gets up at 4:30am to workout at the beach. I was happily surprised at the Dear Diary style Akshay uses to write his Bio page, "Dear Me" his bio begins.

Being with the silence of nature is how this busy actor maintains balance in the middle of a huge career. Good thing, because Akshay's career has leaped from Bollywood to Hollywood .

Akshay KumarBorn Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia, Akshay changed his name when he got a modeling job. He had seen an old film, where the main character's name was Akshay. At the time there were many stars named Rajiv. With his modeling gig paying him more than his monthly cook's wages, Akshay realized he hit the jackpot.

One of his friends suggested he try film. After landing a job as an assistant to Jayesh Sheth, one of India 's top photographers, Akshay exchanged work for a portfolio. Next, Akshay took his photos to production studios. Later, Akshay returned to retrieve his photo so he could take it to the next office. Upon learning his photos were often misplaced; Akshay dropped off giant size prints instead — ensuring they wouldn't get lost. His creative solution worked. After only one month of struggling, Akshay was 'discovered' and tapped to star in his first film: Saugandh . Akshay jokes, "I apparently had 'hero' stamped on my forehead."

Saugandh led to other roles, most notably, his action packed Khiladi series which showcases Akshay's martial arts skills.

Akshay KumarWith Slumdog Millionaire making a splash at the Oscars, Hollywood embraces both Bollywood and Akshay Kumar in the Warner Brothers/Ramesh Sippy production of Chandni Chowk to China . The film is comedy meets melodrama, featuring martial arts sequences reminiscent of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon as well as soulful acting. The dance sequences had me jumping up from the couch more than once.

Akshay KumarA martial artist since childhood, Akshay is inspired by actors Bruce Lee, Sylvester Stallone, Sanjeeve Kumar, and Charlie Chaplin. But his first and foremost idol is his father Hariom Bhatia, who Akshay describes as "his light, even when it's dark." Akshay quotes his father's advice as being the key to his success.

"The brave may not live forever: the cautious do not live at all."

Akshay goes on to explain that if he did not apply discipline as well as guts while following his scary path to stardom, he doubts he would be where he is today.

Akshay spent the first 10 years of his career making the most of his fortune. Unlike his Chandni Chowk character, who's tricked into following his destiny, Akshay gritted his teeth and got down to the business of acting. Now that Akshay loves his job, he secretly worries that one day he'll wake up to find that he is no longer acting. But if actress Denise Richards and Hollywood have their way, that scenario is never going to happen.

Denise stars with Akshay in the new film Kambakkht Ishq, which means "damn love," and is in the theaters this July.

According to the June 23 rd post in www.indianexpress.com, Denise Richards spoke very highly of her Kambakkht Ishq co-star: "Akshay was so down to earth and very genuine. He made me feel very comfortable, plus he's a good kisser! I can see why he's India's sexiest actor."

Kambakkht Ishq also stars Sylvester Stallone and Superman Returns star Brandon Routh. In the action packed romantic comedy, Akshay portrays an Indian stunt man who travels to the United States and takes Hollywood by storm.

Often called the Stallone of Indian Cinema, Akshay was thrilled when his childhood idol asked about the type of training he did to keep in shape. "I was thinking 'dude, you have no idea how much of an impression you have had on me and my training since I was a kid!' I didn't say this though. I was trying to keep my cool."

Akshay believes the American interest in Bollywood flicks is due to the differences in the two cultures. Everyone is interested in something new: this includes Westerner's interest in the way India acts, dresses and most of all, dances. According to Akshay, dance figures prominently in Indian cinema because of good old fashioned escapism. Dance is a staple of Bollywood films that include other escapist essentials: emotion, melodrama, action, comedy, and every woman's favorite - looove.

Akshay's other star studded films include Singh is Kinng, which features a cameo of Snoop Dogg (who brought his uncle to cook chicken for the cast and crew) performing the title song. The second 'n' in Kinng is due to advice from a numerologist: advice often considered in Bollywood.


This August, Blue , will be released. Blue is an action-adventure about 3 friends who searching for buried treasure. The film features Australian singer/songwriter Kylie Minogue, a music video of Kylie and Akshay as well as an underwater singing sequence.


Blue's release is followed by the Hindi flicks Action Replay, which is ironically action-less and features Akshay sporting a 70's 'do' and Akshay KumarDe Dana Dan , a comedy scheduled for release in November. Of course, film watchers know that with every movie comes the requisite premieres and promotion.

In the midst of all his busyness, Akshay's favorite downtime activities are hanging with his wife Twinkle Khanna and their 8-year old son Araav. Oh yes, and solitude, which means a trip back to his journal.

"I enjoy the silence, once a month, trekking alone gives me time to talk to myself. It gives me a different perspective of life, because the trees and the mountains don't care whether you are a star or not."