Mumbai: Bollywood star Akshay Kumar credits the film industry for all the name, fame, accolades, adulation, lifestyle and luxury that he has garnered in over two decades, saying filmdom "means a lot" to him. Ever since he started with "Saugandh" in 1991, he has never looked back and the career graph of the 45-year-old has always spiraled up.

What does Indian Film Industry mean to you?
This is my bread and butter. This is where I started, I am very thankful to the industry. It means a lot to me. In fact, it means everything to me.

You are tagged as "one of the most profitable actors", you have delivered mega hits like Housefull 2 and Rowdy Rathore last year. Both the films entered the Rs.100-crore club. What do you have to say on this?
Who wouldn't want to be an actor who gives profits to all his producers and exhibitors? (pause) I feel honoured with this compliment. Thank you very much for it. There is a lot of talk about the quality of content in films, but box office numbers are important for survival.

How much does the box office matter?
It is important for you to survive. It is important for the distributors and exhibitors to be happy. At the end of the day, these are the people who matter to you. The box office does matter, no matter what everyone says.

You started with action but subsequently moved to rom-com. And again you are back with OUATIMD?
I enjoy action with comedy. But this film ('Once Upon...') is about romance and action. It is a deadly combination. I have enjoyed working in it. It is a different kind of genre. I am looking forward to the release.

And the box-office prospects of the film?
I have worked hard in the film. I don't know whether I will achieve it or not, but I am very confident that people will like it and that is more important. I have been very honest with my work.

Your promotion idea for the film was unique, you think this will help?
Yes I attended the India-Pakistan Champions Trophy match in London to promote his film. I don't know if it will help or not. It surely helped me to have fun and that is what I went for," he said.

How do you spend your leisure time?
My hectic schedules keep me on toes. I play with my children (Aarav and Nitara) in my free time.

Milan Luthria-directed underworld drama "Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobara", would release on August 15 to take advantage of the Independence Day holiday. It also stars Imran Khan and Sonakshi Sinha.

(Agencies)

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