Everyone’s favourite action star and the ultimate ‘Khiladi’, Akshay Kumar turns 50 today! Not only a versatile actor, producer and philanthropist, he is also humble and among the very few relatable people in Bollywood. Here are 10 facts about the National Award winner which are interesting and worth knowing!
His real name is Rajeev Hari Om Bhatia. In a past interaction with Hindustan Times, he said he changed his name because of yesteryear actor Kumar Gaurav with whom he starred in his first film. Kumar said,” My first film was Aaj (1987) which was directed by Mahesh Bhatt and starred Kumar Gaurav. The name of Gaurav’s character Akshay. I had a 4.5 second role in it and I would only observe Gaurav and his acting. I don’t know what happened but one day I just went to the court and got my name change.”
He has a Canadian citizenship and is a PR (permanent residence) card holder there. As India does not allow dual citizenship, he is no longer officially an Indian, though it is his country of origin.
He is a black belt in Taekwondo and studied other forms of martial arts in Bangkok like Muay Thai. Even now, he does not believe in lifting weights for strength. He stays fit by running, practicing martial arts and boxing. His gym is one that is equipment-free!
He was a chef and a waiter in Bangkok. On returning to India, he started as a Martial Arts instructor. One of his students, a photographer, suggested him to try modelling which ultimately led to him receiving his first assignment. Acting happened by accident as well when he missed a flight for a modelling job to Bangalore. Disappointed in himself, he visited a studio with his portfolio and was signed that very evening!
He does not eat anything after sunset! In Mumbai, the sun sets around 7 pm and Kumar makes sure he has had his dinner before then. In an interview with DNA he said,” After sunset, your body slows down. It doesn’t burn calories. You should not load your system after 7 pm. Also, I wake up early, so my whole routine is like that.”
Speaking of waking up early, the actor is very strict about his daily routine and is up and about by 5 am. He starts work and even schedules interviews as early as 6am every day!
Initially, in his career, he chose to shoot for only commercial movies because he wanted the exposure and needed the money. Now however, since he has the luxury to choose films based on his interest, he shoots around 4 movies every year, 2 of which are made to be commercial successes and two out of pure interest in the story. He even considers lowering his rates if the producer of a script he really appreciates, cannot afford him.
He is popularly known as ‘Khiladi Kumar’ as he has starred in 8 movies with the word ‘Khiladi’ in the title. They are, ‘Khiladi’, ‘Main Khiladi Tu Anari’, ‘Sabse Bada Khiladi’, ‘Khiladiyon ka Khiladi’, ‘Mr. and Mrs. Khiladi’, ‘International Khiladi’, ‘Khiladi 420’ and ‘Khiladi 786’.
While shooting for ‘Khiladiyon ka Khiladi’, he almost broke his neck when he attempted to lift a 350lb WWF wrestler for a stunt.
He is attached to firsts and still owns his first house, motorcycle and car, among other things!
He has time and again helped people in times of need like donating money to dying farmers during the draughts in Maharashtra or donating the proceeds of an album he recorded to victims of bombings, etc. However, he does not like to discuss these endeavours of his, as he thinks that sensationalizing them is stupid and unnecessary.
He is also a devoted husband, doting father and an exceptionally humble human being making India proud. A very Happy Birthday to him from me and the entire team of What’s the Hype!