Hindi film actor Akshay Kumar turned 49 on September 9, 2016.
This year, he rocked the Box Office with three back-to-back hits – Airlift, Housefull 3 and Rustom.
Here are 10 lesser-known facts about Bollywood’s original “Khiladi”:
1. Born in Amritsar as Rajiv Bhatia, Akshay has a black belt in Taekwondo. He got his training in martial arts and learned combat sport Muay Thai in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.
2. He worked as a chef and waiter at Metro Guest House in Bangkok to earn his living.
3. Before debuting as a lead actor in Saugandh (1991), he was cast in a blink-and-miss role of a martial arts instructor in filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt’s 1987 film Aaj.
4. Over the years, Akshay Kumar follows the same routine. He wakes up at 5 am; works from 7 amd to 7 pm. Unless it is a press conference, one-to-one meetings with the media are generally scheduled at 6 am.
5. Forbes Highest-Paid Actors List of 2016 ranks Akshay at No. 12 with an annual income of $31.5 million.
6. Though known as one of the fittest actors of Bollywood, Akshay avoids heavy weight lifts. Instead, he is more into running, boxing and martial arts.
7. He is fondly called “Khiladi Kumar” since so far he has done eight action films with the word “Khiladi” in the title. They are Khiladi, Main Khiladi Tu Anari, Sabse Bada Khiladi, Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi, International Khiladi, Mr and Mrs Khiladi, Khiladi 420 and Khiladi 786.
8. He avoids eating anything after 7 pm. In an interview to DNA, Akshay once said: “After sunset, your body slows down. It doesn’t burn calories. You should not load your system after 7 pm. Also, I wake up early so my whole routine is like that.”
9. He is a car freak and owns many SUVs. However, most of the time, you will find him moving around in his favourite Honda CRV.
10. Though he follows a strict diet, once in a while Akshay loves gorging on Thai and Punjabi cuisine. He also has a sweet tooth for Indian mithais. His favourite fruit is mango.
(Sources: Quora, Wikipedia, DNA, TOI)
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.