For someone who was initially dismissed as a stunt hero, Akshay Kumar has come a long way to stardom. To his credit, starring in over 100 films, its his relentless hardwork that has paid off.
Born on September 9, 1967, to an army officer father in Amritsar, the family moved to Delhi and then he came to Mumbai in the early nineties. Having trained in martial arts, he began a career here teaching students combat. It is around this time that one of his students who was a photographer recommended him for a modeling assignment. He made more money in that one assignment than in a month’s class. That triggered something and he began auditioning for roles. He signed as main lead for a film called Deedar in 1992.
However, his first film came was Saugandh (1991). It was the beginning of a new kind of hero at that time when actors were playing romantic leads and shied from action films. His next film Khiladi released a year later was a smash hit. He followed it with other hit films Mohra, and Main Khiladi Tu Anari. A mellow side of him appeared in a Yashraj film Yeh Dillagi which earned him a Filmfare best actor nomination. It was his first such acting nod.
That did not change his course for as long as it took him to maintain his status quo as a young action star. Where he was shooting blood-bath action thrillers in the nineties, he did make an effort to mix in the noughties. In 2000 with Hera Pheri, we discovered his funny bone. The comic film has an almost cult following. His bag of films is really a trick or treat surprise. When he’s not playing a lover, he’s roughing up goons and jumping off trains and planes.
It has something to do with his all-round appeal, having by now mastered every genre out there possible – where it be the Ajnabee thriller, the Dhadkan romantic hearthrob, the Rowdy Rathore good cop- bad cop chase, and the madcap adventures in Sajid Khan films – the Housefull franchise.
Early this year, he added yet another feather, his role in Special Chhabis, a very subtle part has won him favour with both critics and the box office. Just when we think he’s done it all, there’s still some more left to keep us at the edge of our seats.
Here’s wishing this September 9, when he turns 46, and with his next film around the corner called Boss, he shows us who he really is. Happy Birthday Boss.