Akshay Kumar takes on the corrupt establishment and fights for justice in his acclaimed new film Jolly LLB 2 which releases in North American theaters this Friday,February 10.
Kumar sat down to talk about his latest film. Excerpts from the interview:
Please tell us about your character and the story?
Well, it is the story about a blunt, abrasive and yet oddly compassionate Advocate Jolly, who I play – a small-time, struggling lawyer who moved from Kanpur to the city of Nawabs, Lucknow, to take on the establishment. It’s a bit of an underdog persona, as Jolly attempts to catapult himself to the top of the legal food chain. Having spent years in the chaotic and dingy court corridors, Jolly is looking out for an opportunity that could turn the tide in his favor and help him achieve his dream of becoming a full-fledged Lawyer with a chamber. When faced with the glimpse of such an opportunity, Jolly jumps at the chance and in the bargain commits an innocent mistake with irreversible consequences that makes him ready for a big fight with the ruthless advocate Mathur played by Annu Kapoor.
What did you like about Jolly LLB 2?
Well, what I really liked about Jolly LLB 2 and what attracted me to it was the script. It is a great script, based on true incidences, and I was really impressed by the way it acts as a lens on our society. The film is packed with satirical humor which is always far more palatable for an audience in a film like Jolly, where you are trying to convey a specific issue or message – it’s better than adopting a preachy attitude. It allows you to have fun but also think about the issue in equal measure. But it’s more than just the script and story – it was a great team to work with, like Huma Qureshi, Annu Kapoor, Saurabh Shukla and our director Subhash Kapoor. The entire cast was great and we had a lot of support from our producers at Fox which is always good.
Normally you create franchises, but what was it like jumping into an existing one?
There’s always some expectations when coming into an existing franchise, especially when the first film was so appreciated. In some ways that makes the project a bit of an underdog! But I treat each script and film as a fresh project, regardless of whether or not they are existing franchises or not.
What are the under lying messages of the film?
In these films there is always a struggle between good and evil but this film is also very much about principles and morals. In particular, it is about never compromising on those values for the sake of a quick buck. There is a lot more that happens in the film regarding certain issues which I can’t reveal at this time but it does shine a spotlight on the wider social issues. Now to exactly what that it is you’ll have to watch the film.
What is your favorite moment in the movie?
There are so many throughout the film! More than favorite, a special time for me was shooting in Varanasi as it was my first time there and I was fortunate to take a dip in the holy Ganga. Also I loved locking horns in court with the inimitable Annu Kapoor.
You must be pleased with the incredible success you had in 2016?
Absolutely! I owe it all to my fans – they are the ones that keep me going and after 26 years I’m only here in the industry because of them. 2016 was definitely an interesting year from a creative perspective, as I had the chance to experiment with different genres and different roles, from playing characters based on true stories in Rustom and Airlift to a more comedic one in Housefull 3. Variety in the kind of roles I take always helps! It keeps me on my toes.
You have a great sense of humor on screen, but how jolly are you in real life?
Deadly serious…is not something to describe me! I’ve always been the joker of the pack, so it doesn’t take much acting to be Jolly!! But to be Jolly in this film took a lot of understanding from my genius Director Subhash Sir, it’s his magical script that took years to perfect that had me gripped to play the man he perceived in his mind…
Why should we watch Jolly LLB 2?
I think because it’s a film for the whole family – there’s something for everyone to see. It is educational, based on real life and has a clever script with a satirical edge. There’s drama, there’s emotion and some sprinkling of romance but that too with a quirky inimitable way. It tells a great story about principles and values and I think audiences will be leaving the theaters feeling entertained and hopefully inspired.