I like the way he thinks: Akshay on working with Neeraj Pandey


Akshay Kumar, who has teamed up with Neeraj Pandey for the third time with “Rustom”, says he and the director-producer are not only good friends but also like to do similar kind of movies.

Akshay, known for his action and comedy star image, took a risk by starring in Neeraj’s “Special 26”, which went on to become a hit at the box office.

They collaborated on another hit in “Baby” last year. Neeraj is now wearing the producer’s hat on “Rustom”, which has been directed by Tinu Suresh Desai and stars Ileana D’Cruz, Esha Gupta, Arjan Bajwa and Pavan Malhotra besides Akshay.

The 48-year-old actor is hopeful their third film together will be as successful as their previous efforts. “It is more than friendship. We both are professionals and we both get along with the kind of script we want to do.

I like the way Neeraj thinks and I presume he likes the way I am. “I don’t know whether he likes my acting talent, it is for him to say but that’s what makes us do films together. God has been kind to us that our last two films have been successful.

We hope this one also does well,” Akshay said in a group interview here. Neeraj, on his part, finds it easy to work with Akshay as he thinks the actor comes without any baggage. “‘Special 26’ was a brave choice on Akshay’s part. He has never done anything like that before. His work ethics are impeccable.

It is a stressful job getting 250 people together. He is very sorted that way. Hopefully, we will end up doing a lot more work,” the director said.

When asked whether they have any plans to carry forward the stories of “Special 26” and “Baby”, Neeraj said he would love to continue the franchise but they don’t have a good script at the moment. It is Akshay’s third release this year after “Airlift” and “Housefull 3” and the actor is happy that he has been able to switch between genres.

“Everybody needs a change. I like to do different genres because otherwise, it gets boring. I do three to four films a year so I need that change more often.” The film is inspired by KM Nanavati case. Neeraj said they only took certain elements from the case to build a thriller. “The film is inspired by the Nanavati case.

It was a landmark judgement. The case had the potential of a great story but what Tinu and Vipul (K Rawal, writer) did was to integrate it with thriller elements. We realised we could say a few other things with the story.”

“Rustom” is set to release on August 12 with Ashutosh Gowarikar’s period drama “Mohenjo Daro”, starring Hrithik Roshan but Akshay is not worried about the impending box office clash. “I hope both the films do well. It has happened before when two big films have released during the holiday period and both have done well.”

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