An exasperated Akshay Kumar has lashed out at critics of his National Award for Best Actor. 'Take it back if you want,' he told the press in Mumbai on Monday. "I've been hearing it for past 25 years, whenever someone wins there is some discussion around it. This is not new. Someone or the other always creates a controversy. 'He shouldn't have won, the other person should have.' It's okay. I've won this after 26 years, agar woh bhi aapka mann kare toh le lo (take it back if you feel like it)," Akshay Kumar said, reports news agency PTI.
Akshay Kumar, 49, was announced as this year's Best Actor for his performance in Rustom some weeks ago. The actor's National Award, his first, was instantly questioned widely. On Twitter, several wondered why Akshay had been feted for a performance considered inferior to those of Aamir Khan and Manoj Bajpayee in Dangal and Aligarh. Dots were joined from Akshay to National Award jury chairman Priyadarshan, who directed the actor in films such as Hera Pheri and Bhagam Bhag.
This isn't the first time Akshay Kumar has reacted to the controversy over his win. "I have completed 25 years in the film industry and I've never called in a favour to bag a movie or an award," he told Mumbai Mirror a while ago, adding that Priyadarshan had addressed accusations of favouritism. The filmmaker told PTI after the awards were announced, "When Ramesh Sippy was jury head Amitabh Bachchan won. When Prakash Jha was head of jury, Ajay Devgn won. So none questioned at that time. So why all these questions are cropping up today."
Director Karan Johar, who is a good friend of Akshay's wife Twinkle Khanna, told NDTV last week, "I think Akshay Kumar should have won this award many years ago, he is truly the most amazing mind in the business. He is a very dedicated talented hardworking man. I am so glad he won his National Award. He deserves it." Akshay and Twinkle appeared together on the last season of Karan Johar's chat show Koffee With Karan.
While speaking to the press in Mumbai, Akshay was asked about the possibility of receiving a Padma award. "You have to do major work to earn such an award. Only then people can feel you deserve the award," he said, reports PTI.
Rustom starred Akshay Kumar as a naval officer on trial for the murder of his wife's lover. The actor was last seen playing the lead role in Jolly LLB 2 and in a special appearance in Naam Shabana. He has Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and Rajinikanth's 2.0 coming up. Akshay is currently working on Padman, produced by Twinkle and co-starring actresses Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte.
(With inputs from PTI)