Never before seen or experienced by the A-list stars or media alike, on Tuesday, London hosted the most dynamic, interactive and frolicsome Live Video Conference ever to take place. Megastars Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan joined director Vipul Shah in Mumbai to engage with London media in anticipation of the forthcoming Diwali release of Action Replayy. The conference was full of laughs both from the journalists and Akshay, Vipul and Aishwarya. Spirits were riding high as the stars and journalists exchanged cheeky banter, jokes and anecdotes while answering questions about the film.
Hosted by Sterling Media, the live conference started with Mr. Akshay Kumar and Mr. Vipul Shah. Describing the film, the director said, “Action Replayy is a romantic comedy. It is a bit of fantasy. It has time travel as one of the major elements.”
Akshay then told the story, “It so happened, once upon a time… in 2010. Me and Aishwarya are both 65…”
Shah breaks in with “200”, to great laughter.
“Yes, 200”, laughs Akshay, “The movie starts when we are very old. Aishwarya and I are married and we keep on fighting every day like lots of couples. She keeps on nagging me, every day! My son who is about 22 years old, hates the fact that this father and mother keep on fighting all the time. Making the whole story short. He gets to a time machine and goes back to the 1970s when his parents were about 25-27 years old, so that he can improve what mistakes they made that time and he improves our lives. So, basically it’s about a time machine and if you get an opportunity that you can go back in time and improve your mistakes what would it be?”
Akshay revealed that his character was inspired by his father-in-law Rajesh Khanna and Suniel Dutt. “These are the two people I got inspired by. Even the way of wearing my clothes and my style everything was done according to them.”
Talking about how this film is different from the other films he and Vipul have worked on together Akshay said, “The comedy which he has used in this film is completely different than lots of comedy I have done. I have a lot of faith in him and the way he makes movies. I think people are going to like it a lot because he has made me act in a very different way.”
Vipul added, “I think it was really important to invent a different style of humor even for Akshay as an actor. We felt like challenging each other.”
Aishwarya joined in on the fun and asks why isn’t Vipul wearing the 70s outfits and Akshay answers, “because he can’t carry it”. Laughs
Aishwarya says she had a blast making the film and working with Akshay, “Working with Akshay is always fun. It really is. Khakee was such a different genre. Our paths have been meaning to cross but somehow…I mean he teases me about dates, but he really shouldn’t have the audacity to do that.” Everyone laughs… the entire conference was filled with laughs and back and forth fun as the three jokes and teased each other. As seen here: Akshay: “I only do four films a year!” Vipul breaks in with, “His ambition is to do 52 releases in a year…” Aishwarya: “I mean he has had over 100 releases in his career who does that?” Everyone, stars and press break into more laughter. Aishwarya continues on, “So, yeah we had a good time making the movie as you can see. We had real fun doing it. I think what was marvelous is the fact that we shot this in summer, in absolute heat, with all our polyester fabrics and hair pieces and all of that and to do that in good spirit and to have a good time that is really saying a lot.”
As a reference for the 70s, the actress said they used the films of that era, “For us, as a culture, films are apart of our lives. It is not just entertainment on celluloid. It’s not just going to the cinema kind of experience. It is literally a part of our lives. So, that becomes the actual reference to any era. Of course, the 70s being as much fun, colorful and great music, fun fashion… You hear so much about the 70s that it has of course romanticized that period for all of us.”; Adding, “In this film we had the opportunity to seek inspiration from a lot of different actresses from the 70s in terms of the visual. Not the way the performance was carried off because that is really the way Vipul had written Mala out to be that is the way I performed her. But visually, yes we referenced many actresses from that time.”
When asked if she could play a 70s heroine who would it be and why, she answered, ” He (pointing to Vipul Shah) gave me the opportunity in Action Replayy. I am more then happy that I have been a 70s heroine in Action Replayy full on. Had a total blast doing that.”
Funniest moments on set? Aishwarya answered this one saying, “Obviously you can see we are cracking up all the time. He’s [Akshay] very spontaneous with the things he comes up. He is a walking talking crack up machine on a daily basis. We had a laugh every day which was great.”
Vipul says it was a challenge to present Akshay and Aishwarya in the old age roles of their characters, “To make such good looking people old is not a good idea. It was important for the script so I had to do it. But I did get cursed for it by all the actors who had to do it.”
“Especially by me”, Akshay said. “Imagine yourself…it’s 40 degrees Celsius. It is like hot and you have to put like gum on your face and your head and then put this huge wig on your head. It was the worst thing to do.”
“3 or 4 times I was about to lose my life because he [Akshay] wanted to kill me for the wigs,” revealed Vipul.
Akshay went on, “Vipul got this makeup man from Australia to make us look old. (Both Vipul and Aishwarya are laughing). Well, the guy succeeded on me, but he tried making her (Aishwarya) old. I looked 200 years old and she still looked 14.” Aishwarya added, “It took like five hours the first time. Vipul comes and says, ‘Dekho, this is not working. Don’t mind but we will have to start again.’ We had to take the whole thing out and we went again. I think we finally got my shot at like 3:30 in the morning.: Akshay says,”She is so beautiful, it is so difficult for her to look old.”
What attracted Akshay to making Action Replayy? “Aishwarya!” More laughs. Going on, “Also what attracted me was the clothes, and then come the script. Last not the least comes Vipul!”
“I think the fun energy of the film has really caught on. We definitely had a blast making it and hopefully you will all enjoy viewing it as much as enjoyed making it,” said Aishwarya.
In addition to answering questions about the forthcoming film, the stars and director turned the tables on the media and judged the dancing skills of the attending journalists as they performed the already iconic ‘jhatka’ dance move from the hugely popular song rendition, ‘Zor Ka Jhatka’. It should also be noted that all the press was dressed 70-ishstyle with kaleidoscopic assortment of Afro wigs, bellbottom trouser, psychedelic prints and snazzy, oversized heart sunglasses (which Akshay really loved!). The winning performer, as selected by Akshay, Aishwarya and Vipul, was honored with a very special prize of a personal Meet-and-Greet with superstar Akshay on his next visit to London in February 2011. A groovy time was had by all!
Action Replayy releases in theaters tomorrow, so be sure and check it out!