Akshay Kumar has four films up for release this year – Kesari, Mission Mangal, Good News, Housefull 4 and then Rohit Shetty's Sooryavanshi next year. We ask him about how he has achieved working at this pace, why he still feels like a stunt man at heart, and whether it's important for all his films to have a social message. Excerpts of an interview with Anupama Chopra:
With Kesari, you're once again in the patriotic hero mould. We've seen sort of variations in Airlift and Gold. You've also become the poster boy for the social message film. Is all of this going to lead to career in politics?
No, not at all. Politics is not in my agenda at all. I feel that what I am doing through film, I will never be able to do it through politics. When I did Toilet: Ek Prem Katha I could see so many changes. After Padman I could see people talk about menstruation openly. It's not a taboo in bigger cities at all and I hope it goes on and on and there should be no taboo at all in this country. So the power of cinema is unbelievable. I was shocked when I started doing publicity of Airlift no one knew about the incident and it is in the Guinness Book of World Records. Same with Kesari, not enough people know about it. We don't know our own history.
Do you feel that your cinema needs to impact social change?
No not necessarily. I'm doing Housefull and a horror-comedy movie also. I just keep jumping because when I started my career the media said I could only do action. So I took that to my heart. I decided I don't want any one image. I have succeeded in shifting gears.