Akshay Kumar on being one of world’s highest-paid celebrities: I work hard for every penny

In his career spanning over three decades, Akshay Kumar has proved his versatility with his choice of roles. If he could play Khiladi at one point, he came the poster-boy for patriotism with films like Airlift, Gold, Rustom and Kesari. And today, not only is Akshay one of the most bankable stars in the industry, he is also on the Forbes list of World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities of 2019. He ranks 33rd on the list.

In an interview to Hindustan Times, Akshay opened up about this. “Surely, it feels good. But I just go through the headline and not the detailed copy [of such articles]. On a serious note, money does matter to me but only in a limited way. And I know it’s my hard-earned money. I work extremely hard for each and every penny. Money doesn’t come easily to you. I have put my sweat and blood for that. So, yes, it does matter to me,” he said.

With a total earning of 65 million USD (Rs 444 crore) from June 2018-June 2019, Akshay beat international A-listers like Rihanna, Jackie Chan, Bradley Cooper and Scarlett Johansson.

Akshay will now be seen in the film Mission Mangal, which will release on August 15. Asked what he feels about it as five women would be in the foreground and he isn’t leading from the front, he said it doesn’t really matter to him. “I have done several films in the past too wherein someone else be it a woman or a man is at the forefront.

“I remember I worked in Khakee (2014), where Mr [Amitabh] Bachchan was leading from the front and the film belonged to him. Even Pad Man (2018) was all about women and sanitary pads. So, what I am trying to say is that it [whether I am in foreground or background] doesn’t matter. What matters is being part of successful and great cinema.

I never think about how big a role I have in the film. I have been this way right from the start. Even 20 years back, I worked in films that had three-four heroes. As long as the script-screenplay is good and it’s a great film, such things don’t matter,” said Akshay.

Mission Mangal features Taapsee Pannu, Vidya Balan, Kirti Kulhari, Nithya Menen and Sonakshi Sinha in lead roles. The film revolves around India’s first interplanetary mission – the Mars Orbiter Mission.

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