Mumbai: Akshay Kumar, who is returning as Bollywood's 'Khiladi' in an action film after 12 years, says he never thought he would star in another film bearing the same title. (Agencies)
After a string of films in the series, which began with 'Khiladi' (1992), the 45-year-old star is eager to reclaim the tag with the film 'Khiladi 786', which releases on December 7 this year.
"I never thought I will be doing one more Khiladi because for quite a few years action films were out of fashion and I was also doing comedies. This is my eighth Khiladi film, that too after almost 12 years. You can call it my comeback as a Khiladi," Akshay told reporters here at the trailer launch of the film.
"I feel great about it. It had never gone away from me, I always used to take risks and it's great because the word Khiladi means a player, a sportsman. You can connect it with anything, so it's great coming back to it," he said.
'Khiladi 786' is directed by debutant Ashish R Mohan (assistant director in Rohit Shetty's 'Golmaal' series), and stars Akshay, Asin, Paresh Rawal and Himesh Reshammiya in lead roles.
"786 means something which has to do with your destiny. Muslims use 786 as a substitute for the phrase 'in the name of Allah'. Khiladi 786 is an action comedy film which you will enjoy," Akshay said.
Akshay couldn't stop thanking director duo Abbas-Mustan, who directed 'Khiladi' and producers – Ratan Jain and Keshu Ramsay, who had been backing movies made in the series.
"It was Abbas-Mustan who believed in me when I started my career in this film industry. I would thank them for earning this tag. Wherever I go everyone calls me by this name only. I would also like to thank Ratan Jain and Keshu Ramsay who have given me many Khiladi films," he said.
"I did so many Khiladi films and I also did a television show called 'Khatron Ke Khiladi'. I am happy to be part of all these things," Akshay added.
When asked who he would like to pass the Khiladi tag to in the industry, Akshay said, "In Bollywood, maybe after 24 years I will pass this tag to my son."
Music composer, singer and actor Himesh Reshammiya was all praises for the leading man.
"I think there is only one Khiladi in this industry and that is Akshay Kumar. It is the only brand which has been ruling the box office for a long time. And in 'Khiladi 786' you will see an entertaining Akshay Kumar... different from what you have seen in 'Oh My God!'," Himesh, who is the co-producer of the film, said.
"My collaboration with Akshay goes a long way... we worked together in 'Namastey London' and the music of the film alongwith the movie became a blockbuster," he said.
Mumbai: Akshay Kumar, who is returning as Bollywood's 'Khiladi' in an action film after 12 years, says he never thought he would star in another film bearing the same title.