Akshay Kumar has been one of most versatile and inspiring actors of his generation. As we are all aware, he neither comes from a filmy background nor he is a trained actor. He has a martial arts background and good Punjabi looks. Initially, he started a modelling career and then got a chance to act in films.
In the first decade of his career, he created a niche in the action genre with the ‘Khiladi’ series. The critics were very harsh on him and his acting performances were never appreciated. He was called a wooden actor. Nobody would have thought that his career would go for so long and he would get the acceptance as an actor in all genres of films.
At the beginning of his career, his films like ‘Khiladi’ (1992), Mohra’ (1993), ‘Yeh Dillagi’ (1994), ‘Main Khiladi Tu Anari’ (1994) ,‘Sabse Bada Khiladi’ (1995), and ‘Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi’ (1996) were successful at the box office. His pairing with Saif Ali Khan and Suniel Shetty as co-actors created a hit pairing. He was mostly considered for action films by filmmakers. In the Hindi film industry, if you want to have a long career, the actor will have to dabble in different genres, otherwise the audience will get bored of you.
‘Jaanwar’ (1999) and ‘Ek Rishta’ (2001) saw him in emotional roles and these films met with average success at the box office. ‘Dhadkhan’ (2000) was a surprise hit for Akshay Kumar and Suniel Shetty, as it was delayed for four years. It still remains one of his most memorable romantic roles.
‘Hera Pheri’ (2000) was a big turning point in his career and one of best comedy films in Indian cinema. The audience loved his comic avatar. There was no looking back and he continued doing films in the comedy genre and the movies remained successful at the box office. ‘Awara Paagal Deewana’ (2002), ‘Mujhse Shaadi Karogi’ (2004), ‘Garam Masala’ (2005), ‘Phir Hera Pheri’ (2006), ‘Welcome’ (2006), ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa’ (2007), ‘Heyy Baby’ (2007), ‘Singh is King’ (2008), ‘Housefull’ (2010), ‘Housefull 2’ (2012) helped him to consolidate his comic image.
In between, he also did films like ‘Khakee’ (2003) and ‘Namastey London’ (2007) where his character had a lace of humor, but the films did not belong to the comedy genre. We also saw him doing a negative role in ‘Ajnabee’ (2001) directed by Abbas-Mastan, which was on wife swapping. He won his first Filmfare award.
Akshay Kumar always had a challenge of getting stuck to an image as an actor. Earlier it was action and then it became comedy. But he did not want to stereotype himself and limit his acting potential. It was clear that he wanted to try all genres and play different kinds of characters. His wife Twinkle Khanna played a huge role in his career as his choices of films as an actor greatly improved over the years.
In last three to four years, we have seen him doing different genres of films and experimenting as an actor. He packages his films with a social message and commercial elements and they have a good story with a message but laced with humour. ‘Baby’ (2015), ‘Airlift’ (2016), ‘Rustom’ (2016), , ‘Toilet – Ek Prem Katha’ (2017), ‘Jolly LLB 2’ (2017), ‘Padman’ (2018), ‘2.0’ (2018), ‘Kesari’ (2019) and ‘Mission Mangal’ (2019) are fine examples. ‘Gold’ (2018) underperformed but he bounced back. What an excellent variety and versatility for any actor? He has played all the characters well and received critical acclaim also. ‘Rustom’(2016) won him a National award also.
The best thing about Akshay Kumar is his discipline and his ability to complete three to four films each year as a lead actor in most of them. It also includes dubbing and marketing for the films. The younger actors should look up to him and take a cue from him on how to make different films that are equally entertaining to the audience. The social message should be driven in a simpler manner to people.
In the recently released ‘Housefull 4’, Akshay Kumar is the pillar of the film. He is brilliant as both Bala and Harry. The song “Bala” which became a rage, introduces his character. An expert in slapstick comedies, his role is being appreciated all over, despite flaws in the script.
Akshay Kumar has grown as an actor since his debut and with a clear strategy in his mind plus hardwork, he has become one of the most loved actors in the industry. He has a great sense of humor when interacting with the media. His colleagues like him and admire him when it comes to fitness and discipline. Twinkle Khanna’s career as a writer has flourished under him.
Currrently, Akshay Kumar has his kitty full with many projects and will be seen in Rohit Shetty’s ‘Sooryavanshi’, where he is playing the role of DCP Veer Sooryavanshi. He will be working with co-stars with Kareena Kapoor Khan, Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani in ‘Good News’. One of his most awaited releases is ‘Laxmmi Bomb’, where he plays the role of a transgender. Maintaining a good work-life balance, Akshay Kumar remains as one of most versatile and inspiring actors in India.
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