This is how much Akshay Kumar was paid for his first film
In mid-day's exclusive interview series, Sit With Hitlist, the Khiladi of Bollywood, Akshay Kumar, reveals how he got his big break in B-Town and how much he earned for his first three films
Superstar Akshay Kumar is one of the highest-paid actors in Bollywood today. He has a string of box-office hits to his name and continues to win hearts of his fans across the world. But do you know how did Akshay Kumar get his big break in Bollywood? Or how much he was paid for his first movie? In mid-day's exclusive interview series, Sit With Hitlist, Akshay Kumar shares the story behind his big break and the first pay cheque.
Akshay Kumar reveals how much he was paid for his first film in an exclusive interview with mid-day. File pic/mid-day archives
Recounting the day his life changed, Akshay Kumar told mid-day, "So, I woke up one morning to start my workout. At six in the evening that day, I was meant to go to Bangalore for a modelling assignment that I'd got. At 5.10 am, I got a call from the airport. The [modelling] agency guy asked me where I was. I said I was home. And then he blasted me, over how unprofessional I was. He said, "You will never succeed in life, I can guarantee you." I asked, "What happened?" And then I realised, the flight I had thought was for 6 pm, was actually for 6 am. I was actually in tears telling him, "Yaar, mein bhag ke, motorcycle pe abhi aata hoon [I can just rush in now]." Unfortunately, they didn't agree. Obviously, they were also right. They had to catch a flight as well. Ussi din, mera card bhi aa gaya chap ke [That's the day my visiting cards arrived from the printing press]. I was very low. My father had gone to work. I was talking to my mother, who said, as every mother says in their own language, "Puttar koi baat bahi. Jo honda hai, Rab theek karta hai [Whatever happens, happens for the good]." That line, I've heard so many times from my mother. So, I went to Natraj studio that day, where I met [filmmaker] Pramod Chakravorty's company's make-up man. He asked me, "Hero banna hai?" I said, "Haan yaar, banna hai [Yes, I want to be a hero]. He said, "Photo hai [You have pictures]?" At that time, we used to travel with such big photographs, in a huge album. Because directors, and producers, would not want to see a small picture. I don't know what they wanted to see - pores in your skin, or what. But they wanted to see everything closely. So, he took that album inside the office, Pramod Chakravorty saw it. I was called in."
Akshay Kumar added, "Much to my surprise, he gave me my first cheque, signed me up for three films, immediately. Right away. He gave me a cheque of Rs 5000, for the first film, Rs 50,000, for second film, and the third cheque had Rs 1.5 lakh on it. The exact time he gave me those cheques was 6 o'clock in the evening. It would have been a disaster, if I would have gone to Bangalore. Today, I would be a retired model somewhere. So yes, whatever happens is for the good."
Read the in-depth 'Sit With Hitlist' interview of Akshay Kumar with mid-day, where the 'Airlift' actor also spoke about losing out on Aamir Khan's film 'Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar' (1993), his audition days and many other unknown fascinating facets from his life before hitting stardom.
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