Mumbai: The first poster of “Mission Mangal” had drawn flak online for giving Akshay Kumar a bigger display than the women actors but the superstar says the film belongs to its female cast.
The first trailer of the film, starring Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu, Sonakshi Sinha, Nithya Menon and Kirti Kulhari besides Akshay and Sharman Joshi, was launched here on Thursday.
When asked whether it was sad that the first poster attracted controversy, Akshay told reporters, “We are not sad… We all are happy about the way it is. This film belongs to these ladies and it will always belong to them.”
In “Mission Mangal”, Akshay plays the role of a scientist, who along with fellow colleagues spearheads India’s mission to send a spacecraft to orbit Mars.
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The film, directed by Jagan Shakti, is based on real-life scientists, who contributed to India’s first interplanetary expedition, Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), launched by Indian Research Space Organisation (ISRO) in 2013.
“I did not have much knowledge about it (the mission). I got to know about it through my director. I learnt a lot through this film. Certain things were an eye-opener for me like Mangalyaan cost us just Rs 450 crore and NASA spent over Rs 6,000 crore. Interestingly, the budget of my film ‘2.0’ was Rs 500 crore.
“A story like this should reach more people. I am thankful to the producers for backing this film,” he said.
The actor, who is increasingly focusing on films with a patriotic or social backdrop, said the last time a film that enlightened him was “Airlift” as he was not aware about the incident before working on the project.
“Even when I was doing ‘Airlift’, I was unaware about 1,70,000 people being rescued from Kuwait. Sadly, not many people knew about it. Our industry should make more such stories that remain untold.”
The actor said plans were afoot to have screenings for school kids as he believes a film like “Mission Mangal” must reach a wider audience.
“We would like to promote it as much as we can. We have got a lot of offers from schools for them to have a screening. I request you all to show this film to your kid, it talks about experiment. It is about science and we are proud to make India’s first space film.
“Like in this film, while frying Puris we got the idea to go to Mars. (It came) through home science technique. It is a story of these ladies, it is a real story. I was amazed to learn a few things.”
Asked about experimenting as an actor, Akshay said it was essential for everyone, not just actors.
“Everyone needs to experiment. It is important. Experiment doesn’t mean doing some scientific thing. Not just actors but directors, media and everyone should experiment in what they do.
“If you do not experiment, then you will not succeed and your individuality will not come out. Everyone should do something different and this thinking will come when you will become observant as you will see something new in every thing.”
“Mission Mangal” is set to clash at the box office with John Abraham’s “Batla House” but the actor is not worried.
“John recently spoke about the clash and said, ‘Make some noise for Desi Boyz’ and I agree with him. Hindi cinema makes about 170-190 films a year and we have 52 Fridays, so clash is bound to happen.
“Then we have 30-40 Hollywood films also releasing. Going ahead, we might have more films clashing at the box office. One should not blame anyone for the clash.”
He pointed out, ISRO was formed on August 15, 1969 and will complete 50 years this Independence Day, which is also the release day of the film.
“Mission Mangal” is produced by Cape of Good Films, Hope Productions and Fox Star Studio.