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Akshay Kumar hasn’t had it better. Weeks after ‘Garam Masala’, the Khiladi gets ready for his next eagerly awaited comic caper and multi-starrer, ‘Deewane Huye Paagal’, releasing on November 25. An exclusive interview:

You’ve been having a great run so far. How does it feel?
 Earlier this year there was ‘Waqt’ and now ‘Garam Masala’. I’m glad that my films have been consistently faring well rather than one stray Friday. Now I am eagerly awaiting the release of ‘Deewane Huye Paagal’ on November 25. Let’s hope for a hat trick. It’s a brilliant looking film with a large dose of glamour and commercial masala. If you liked ‘Garam Masala’, this one is miles ahead in comedy and laughs. It’ll bring the house down roaring with laughter.

Any lessons from your recent success?

By the grace of God, with ‘Mujhse Shaadi Karogi’, ‘Aitraaz’, ‘Khakee’, ‘Bewafaa’, ‘Waqt’ and ‘Garam Masala’, I have been seeing consistent success. I even stand by every film of mine that hasn’t worked. It’s all been a learning curve for me. I think I am charting my own path and carving a distinct niche for myself. I have dabbled with action, romance, dance, emotion and now comedy. I think I’ve done well in all. It’s important to keep doing something different and reinvent oneself to avoid stagnation from creeping in. My audience and fans have faithfully stood by me and I thank them for appreciating my movies and performance. My family has also been a great pillar of support.

How do you react to malicious gossip about your personal life in the press?

All that the past; on many occasions, people have chosen to see more than what meets the eye. Times have changed. Today I have a beautiful wife and son who mean the world to me. But such is this industry; one can never stop tongues from wagging.  

You seem to be coming to par with the Khans!

I don’t see it like that. Each one of us has his own place in the industry. There’s no denying that the Khans are hugely popular and I respect their professionalism. But I’ve been able to prove that you don’t necessarily have to be a Khan to be successful!

Your next release, ‘Deewane Huye Paagal’, is releasing on November 25. Tell us something about it?

It's a breezy, crazy and comical entertainer. It's realistic at the same time with non-stop fun and laughter packed in less than 2.5 hours. Credit goes to producer Firoz A. Nadiadwala's passion. He's one producer who spent a fortune canning some of the most mind-blowing stunts for ‘Deewane Huye Paagal’, but he chopped off a large chunk from the film to make the final product more universal and viewer-friendly. If you like comedy, you’ll love ‘Deewane Huye Paagal’.

How does it feel to reunite with Paresh Rawal and Suniel Shetty in ‘Deewane Huye Paagal’?

We had such a blast doing the film. We were together even in ‘Hera Pheri’ and ‘Awara Paagal Deewana’. Our personal and professional chemistry will show on screen in ‘Deewane Huye Paagal’. Let’s not forget Shahid Kapoor, who is a very talented youngster and raring to go. We’ve worked together for the first time. And there’s Rimii Sen who was opposite me in a guest role in ‘Garam Masala’ and the forthcoming ‘Phir Hera Pheri’. In ‘Deewane Huye Paagal’, all the men are chasing the character (Tanya) played by Rimii! (Laughs)

Firoz Nadiadwala and you get along famously?

(Smiles). He is like a family member. He is such an involved and passionate producer. I’ve done ‘Hera Pheri’, ‘Awara Paagal Deewana’ and ‘Aan’ with him. His next films, ‘Deewane Huye Paagal’ and ‘Phir Hera Pheri’, are both ready for release, and yet another project is in the planning stages with him. We get along well.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Alive and kicking in Bollywood!