Hard work pays off. If not today, then tomorrow and Akshay Kumar is the living example of it. It's hard to believe but the man who won a national award for his film 'Rustom', was once termed as a 'furniture actor.'
The arduous journey from being an action hero to an actor wasn't easy for him.
Before Akshay Kumar, he was known as Rajiv Bhatia, who wasn't very good at academics and was always more inclined towards sports. His father, Mr. Hari Om Bhatia, was well aware of this fact and hence, sent him to Bangkok to study martial arts. There, along with learning martial arts, our Khiladi worked as a waiter & a chef, not knowing that one day he'll be hosting Master Chef of India.
© Warner Bros
After he learned Muay Thai there, a form of arts, he came back to India and started teaching martial arts in Mumbai. One of his students suggested him to try modelling. But he didn't have a portfolio and didn't have any money to make one. So he worked as an assistant to a famous photographer, Jayesh Seth, for around a year and a half for free to get his first portfolio shot.
Then came modelling gigs and he became quite fond of it as he made more money as a model in the first couple of days than he did in an entire month as a martial arts teacher.
On one such occasion, he missed his flight to Bangalore for an ad shoot. Devastated by this, he went to a film studio along with his portfolio to look for work. Luck played its part and he got signed as a lead role for the film 'Deedar.' Maybe it's true when they say, whatever happens, happens for good.
But this wasn't his first film. His first film was Aaj (1987) which was directed by Mahesh Bhatt. He had a 4-5 second role of a karate instructor in it and Kumar Gaurav was his co-actor. The interesting part is that the name of Kumar Gaurav's character was Akshay in it. One morning, Rajiv Bhatia decided to change his name for no reason whatsoever and then born was our beloved Akshay Kumar.
© Tridev Arts
Akshay's first release was 'Saugandh' which was released in 1991. 'Deedar', which he signed before 'Saugandh', was released in 1992. His first couple of films didn't do great, but then came 'Khiladi', which did quite all right at the box office. His first hit, however, was 'Mohra', which came in 1994.
Akshay has given many flops in his lifetime, including 14 back to back flop once, but he still always managed to bag movies because he was a producer's man. Akshay was punctual on sets, didn't throw any tantrums and never misused the producer's money. Apart from his action skills, this was one of the major reasons he was loved by his directors and producers.
There came a time in Akshay's life where he was called a furniture actor as the man himself realised that all he is doing is action, and nothing much.
In one of the interviews he said, "Whenever someone used to make an action film, they would say 'take this guy called Akshay'. When it came to acting, nobody used to take me." That's when he started looking for films which could bring out the actor inside of him. And then no one could stop him!
He proved his mettle in comedy, drama, romance and almost every other genre. In 2000, he did 'Hera Pheri' & 'Dhadkan', which were a comedy and a romance film respectively. Both the films performed well at the box office and everyone applauded Akshay's acting skills. Hera Pheri is still considered as one of the best comedy films of Bollywood. Since then, Akshay has worked in more than a hundred films and has even done negative roles. For 'Ajnabee', he has won Filmfare in the category of Best Villain.
Akshay's personal life has also been quite happening until he met the love of his life. He had affairs with the likes of Shilpa Shetty and Raveena Tandon. But our hero finally fell in love with Twinkle Khanna, which actually started as a fling. On 'Koffee With Karan', Twinkle revealed, “I had come out of a long-term relationship and for the first time in my life I wanted to just have a fling. And there he was, sitting 6 feet of chocolate ice-cream. So I decided I am going to have a fling with him and it's going to last 15 days. That was my plan.”
But the relationship grew and Akshay proposed to Twinkle for marriage. She didn't say yes right away and put a condition. She told him that if her film 'Mela' wouldn't perform well, then only she would marry him. She was actually quite sure that it would do well and marriage was the last thing on her mind.
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Luckily for Akshay, 'Mela' turned out to be a disaster. But Twinkle didn't say yes that easily even then. Instead of asking for his Kundali, she asked Akshay what diseases ran in his family, at what age did his uncles go bald, what did his aunt die from, and everything related to his genetics. Basically, she wanted to confirm their children would be perfectly healthy and good looking. She even made a list of pros and cons of marrying Akshay. (Tell your boyfriend this when he complains that you over think.)
Even Twinkle's mother, Dimple Kapadia, was sceptical about the marriage. She asked the duo to be in a live-in relationship first as she had heard that Akshay might be gay. What a cool mom, eh? But in the end, everything turned out well and Akshay tied the knot with Twinkle in 2001. Seems like some flings do turn into something great!
Akshay is one of the most famous Bollywood actors, arguably THE most famous since he's the first Indian male actor to have 20 million followers on Instagram. This fan following came from all the hard work he has done to make himself stand where he is.
© Twitter/Akshay Kumar
He's known to wake up at 4 in the morning and go back to bed at 9. His schedule and punctuality are the reasons that he releases around three films in a year. Even at 50, he's fitter than most of us. He is also known for playing pranks with his co-actors on sets. Akshay is also a philanthropist since he actively promotes women empowerment, women's safety, the importance of the army, and also helps farmers whenever needed.
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Most of his films are quite inspiring which gives a strong message to society. His recent film was on Independent India's first gold medal in hockey. Though being a teetotaller himself, he played the role of an alcoholic in this film and if you ask me, he nailed the role, like always! His upcoming film is '2.0' in which he'll be playing an antagonist and will be seen in an all-new avatar.
© Lyca Productions
We hope he keeps making inspiring films and keeps on entertaining us.