Kumar’s 2021 Diwali release “Sooryavanshi” has become the Hindi film industry’s biggest hit in two years.
The film, which grossed nearly 200 crore amid the pandemic and with theatrical restrictions, bolstered its box office charts after recent hits like “Good Newwz,” “Housefull 4,” “Kesari,” and “Padman “.
Trade pundits have already set their expectations on his latest action-comedy “Bachchhan Paandey,” hoping the film will break box office records when it hits theaters on March 18.
In an interview with PTI, Kumar said he’s not exactly chilled out before a release, but he’s also not losing his mind at the prospect of a movie.
“It’s not that I’m completely cold. I feel the pre-release anxiety, which should be there. The pressure of the result is there, if the public likes my work, like the film, it’s there But there’s something I’ve been following since I started working in the industry.
“If a movie doesn’t work, I feel really bad the next day, then in two days I move on to another movie. Some people start ruminating, thinking, ‘Why didn’t the movie work? ‘ I don’t do that,” the 54-year-old actor said.
Kumar said the way out of the loop of failure and success is to simply move on.
“You have to forget what you did, even if it’s successful, and start over. I don’t carry the burden of the box office, not at all, I never had that. My fans love me, whether my movies work or not. They know me. They watch my movies, they like me a lot,” he added.
Produced by Sajid Nadiadwala, “Bachchhan Paandey” is edited like a real Hindi masala film, where Kumar’s titular mobster is aided by action, romance, music and a cast of other actors – Kriti Sanon, Jacqueline Fernandez and Arshad Warsi.
For many, the film, directed by Farhad Samji, is reminiscent of the genre Bollywood used to do.
Kumar said the Hindi film industry works on one main factor: creators will support what’s hot and everyone will follow.
“We have a herd mentality here. If socially relevant films work, then everyone starts doing it. If a ‘masala’ film works, then 10 such films would be announced. So this ‘bhed-chaal’ (herd mentality) is a huge thing here.
“Everything also has a season. According to me, now will be the season for such films (masala), but maybe they will fade in a year or two”.
The observation of the absence of Hindi “masala” films is amplified when we place the blockbusters of the South in their context.
Some of the biggest hits of the last year were the Tamil films “Master” and Allu Arjun’s starring “Pushpa”, leading many professionals to pit the Hindi film industry against its southern counterparts.
But Kumar said he didn’t see it that way.
“They say it’s competition but there’s no such thing. Our films go there, their films come out here. Soon you’ll see actors from the South and the North collaborating and working, there will be a great pan-Indian film that will be successful It will definitely happen now, and it will be good,” he added.
Kumar is not new to the kind of action that “Bachchhan Paandey” promises his fans.
The actor was one of the biggest action stars of the 90s, who in 2000 transitioned to comedies, then to comedy-drama and over the past decade made headlines in socially relevant films and massive commercial artists.
His need to reinvent, Kumar said, dates back to a life-changing moment in his career.
“I had a jolt in my life once. When I came to the industry, I was just doing action movies. I was waking up, I was jumping off that building, I was doing that stunt, I was hanging to a helicopter. Then I would come home, sleep and wake up with the same loop. I did this for ten years, and then one day I walked into my elevator and saw myself in the mirror.
“I thought, I’m going to do the same. Mujhe apne aap pe ghin aayi, ki sivaaye action ke, main kuch nahi kar sakta (I felt repulsed that I couldn’t do anything but action). A few days later I met Priyadarshan. He asked me if I would do a comedy movie. I said I would and I got “Hera Pheri”. Since then I have continued to to change, to reinvent myself,” he added.