The New Year is still 23 days away, but Akshay Kumar is clearly leading in the Bollywood race for maximum number of releases in 2018. Yesterday the actor wrapped up shooting for Reema Katgi’s sports biopic Gold in Mumbai. And with that, Akshay becomes the only actor in the industry to have completed three films for 2018. Count them: there’s R. Balki’s social drama Padman that’s releasing in January; S. Shankar’s sci-fi adventure 2.0 with Rajnikanth in April; and, Gold which is slated for release in August. With them, Akshay is now sorted out for the next year. The actor can take a six-month vacation. He’s ahead of the game.
The actor’s friend Vikas Oberoi, a real estate magnate, says Akshay’s discipline is one of his biggest plus points. “I know directors who say it’s a dream to work with him, producers love him, and Akshay is one of the most disciplined actors in the industry.” By which Oberoi probably meant the way the actor is known to allot dates for his films. “I may give block dates of, say, 25 days and then another 12-15 days to someone else. By the time I’m shooting in the second set of dates, the first guy is able to edit the first block and he’s ready for the next phase of shooting,” Akshay once said. It is this meticulous planning that allows him to complete three to four films every year, more than many other Bollywood superstars.
And it is true. The actor completed his home production Padman in 37 days flat. The film is based on Arunachalam Muruganatham, a small town entrepreneur from Tamil Nadu, who invented cost-effective sanitary napkins to create awareness about menstrual hygiene in rural areas. Ajay Bijli, PVR boss man who has distributed some Akshay Kumar starrers, believes that because the actor is finishing each of his films in 60-90 days, he can easily do three to four films a year. “Producers and exhibitors want a superstar’s movie coming as often as possible. So if there are four Akshay Kumar productions in a year, we know there’ll be a hit every quarter from him," Bijli adds.