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Interview : Akshay Kumar

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Akshay Kumar has turned a gold man. He will now be seen endorsing Manappuran Gold Loan. The actor chats up with our correspondent on his new avatar.

Do you have any inclination towards gold?
(Laughs) No...not at all. I am not into gold. You won't find me wearing gold chains, rings, bracelets...I am a simple man and am happy if my basic needs are fulfilled. But yes, my wife (Twinkle Khanna), my mother and my sister love wearing gold. See, with Manappuram Gold Loan, I am endorsing a good social message, not gold.

That means, you do buy a lot of gold for Twinkle...
Nei ji. I am an intelligent man. I don't get her earrings, or bangles or rings, or necklaces. I give her cash and Tina (Twibkle) to help herself with whatever she likes.

You are endorsing gold loan, have you taken a loan so far in your

'I invest in my wife's jewellery'

personal life?

Jabse maine hosh samhala hai, I have not taken any loan. We are not from a big background. I don't know if my parents have ever taken a loan or not. They made sure that I don't worry about these things in life; they never let me realize that we don't have so much money. My parents made sure I am never in dearth of anything. As for me, I have not required a loan so far in my life.

What are the areas where you invest?
I do a lot in insurances, bonds, fixed deposits...I invest in properties. These are the four-five things that I majorly do by default. Besides, I have my own production house. And then, I invest in my wife's jewellery. That's all.

What's the contract period for this 'social message' endorsement?
At the moment we have a very long term association with each other. They are here with a good message that if you have gold, why go for personal or business loans. I find this message logical. So I 'm here. And also, they are the highest taxpayers; so is me...we have many things in common, you know.

Coming to your profession, you are all set to host Master Chef India. From Fear Factor to cookery show, how did things shape up?
When I did Fear Factor, I could identify myself with the stunts. And in Master Chef also, I see myself as someone who can be a part of it. I have done this (cooking), I know the ingredients, I know how to make the dishes.

In Bollywood, actors are categorized. Like Saif Ali Khan and Shah Rukh Khan are romantic heroes, Govinda's arena is comedy, while Sanjay Dutt, Salman Khan and you are action stars. Do you support this categorization?
When I started, action was not considered acting. But action is also a form of art. And when an action hero does a comedy film, he is nominated in comic category at the awards functions and he becomes a comedian. Agar aisa hi hai toh, the one who plays a romantic hero should get nominated in Best Romantic Hero category. Why should he be given Best Actor Award? What I want to say is there shouldn't be any category for anything. I understand, when an actor does a particular genre well, people remember that particular image. It's hard to erase that image, harder to replace that image with another one, hardest to make the audience accept it.

Like your case?
You can say that. I started out as an action hero...the Khiladi series and what not. Then I switched to a romantic image with films like DHADKAN, and now I am doing comedy like HEYY BABY, HOUSEFULL, etc. It's tough, but you can do it with hard work.

So, Khiladi Kumar is taking interest in gold now?
See, with Manappuram Gold Loan, I am endorsing a good social message, not gold.

- Sreya Basu, TWF, Bollywood Trade News Network

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