These days, producers and their stars spend a lot of time brainstorming on crowd-pulling publicity gimmicks. Recently, the cast of Thank You, including Akshay Kumar, Suneil Shetty, Bobby Deol, Sonam Kapoor and Celina Jaitly, with director Anees Bazmee, got two couples married in the city.
Actor-co-producer Akshay denies that it was a promotional stunt, insisting that the couples wanted stars on their big day and one of the grooms had a contact in UTV, which is producing the movie. “We surprised them with our presence,” he says.
He also refutes rumours that the film’s actors are planning to re-register their marriage as part of the media build-up to the release on April 8. “I’m happily married, why would I want to get married again? If I do renew my marriage vows with Tina, and not to promote any film, it will be with pomp and show. We tied the knot on January 14, 2001, in the presence of 60-70 people comprising family and close friends (including Aamir Khan who shot portions of the wedding video). We wanted to do it quietly then, but we had a lavish 10th anniversary celebration this year.”
Akshay promises that women are going to thank him for revealing the dirty, dark secrets of philandering husbands in Thank You that revolves around three friends out to have some extra-marital fun. “The men will want to run away but I’m sure their wives will collar them and bring them along,” he chuckles, adding that he has no reason to fear his wife’s wrath. “I’ve never been tempted to stray.”
Insiders insist that writer-director Anees turned the script of No Entry 2 into Thank You. Akshay says they discussed the idea during Singh Is Kinng and have been working on the script since.
Isn’t a sequel of Singh Is Kinng underway too? “No, but Namastey London’s sequel is underway. But it will take another year to start. Meanwhile, there’s Housefull 2 that along with Desi Boyz and a film with Prabhudeva, will see me return to action,” says the actor, who won accolades for his performance in Patiala House. “Doing a movie for money is no longer priority. I want to be appreciated as an actor and experiment with something different in every film, be it my Canadian collaboration, Break Away that should be ready by September or Joker, India’s first big-budget 3D commercial movie.”
Their remarriage stunt:
On April 17, 2008, a city tabloid broke the news that Arbaaz and Malaika Arora Khan’s 10-year marriage had gone kaput as Arbaaz had reportedly found a new love, who he was all set to marry. His ‘estranged wife’ did not know his whereabouts. When questioned about the rumoured second marriage, Arbaaz had said, “Why is the press so impatient? They will know whether I’m remarrying or not in due time.” Turned out that the separation had only been a ploy to promote a product the couple was endorsing. “We only said Arbaaz was remarrying, not whom,” Malaika had said later. The tabloid was not amused to publish a clarification. The editor pointed out that such publicity stunts were not new to Bollywood.