Ram Charan is my 3 am friend: Akhil Akkineni

The workaholic actor loves unwinding with travel and adventure sports

Akhil Akkineni is not an actor you frequently spot partying or enjoying down time with his friends. His focus is on work, as the effort he put into his upcoming film, Agent, is proof enough.

Akhil spent around two-and-a-half years for the Surender Reddy directorial. “Almost one year went into transforming myself physically for the part, and another one-and-a-half years were spent for the shooting. So, yea, quite an effort,” smiles Akhil. “I have always been into workouts, but for Agent, the director wanted to show a drastic transformation from a lover boy image to an action hero. He wants the audience to talk about my change,” he added.

The actor says he took it as a challenge, and had never before pushed himself this hard. “I can look lean easily, but it was hard for me to put on weight. It was tough in the first few months, but I gained quite a few kilos, and this transformation gave me a new high,” he says. And he enjoyed the process of getting a toned body so much that it has become part of his lifestyle now.

While his earlier films are youthful movies and family dramas, Agent is a spy thriller. When we asked him why he picked up a niche genre, he replied, “I am much younger than many star heroes so I can’t repeat what they have done. I have to showcase something that the audience hasn’t seen before. Hence, I thought something edgy in the spy genre would enthral them.”

He describes Agent as an ‘intriguing spy thriller’ where entertainment comes from the three important characters, Mammotty, the antagonist and himself. “The screenplay is very racy and it’s a progressive attempt amid commercial potboilers. The film has high octane action sequences, and we want the action to be on-the-run,” says Akhil, adding that he always wanted to give the audience an experience worth their time and money.

In his eight years in films so far, Akhil has realised the need to stay calm in the midst of chaos. “I am clear about the sort of films I want to do. My life revolves around work, and I want to keep working constantly because I won't have this time and opportunity again. I have the energy and determination,” he shares.

He has had quite a few failures too in his career. The Mr Manju star sees failures as opportunities to learn. “If I am in a low place, I have the ability to recharge and come back afresh,” he says.

Akhil also shares that life in films has changed him as a person. “Films keep me busy and make me realise that I have to be on point and sharp. And when you are physically fit, you will be stronger mentally too. So I am here to stay and fight it out myself,” he asserts.

Ask him about his friends, and he says, “Ram Charan is my 3 a.m. friend. In fact, he’s more than just a friend. Our bonding is more than that. I have a handful of friends and some people are very special, and Charan is right up there.”

Apart from being a fitness enthusiast, Akhil loves to travel. He wants to make his holidays productive. His stress-busters are adventure sports like skiing and scuba diving. “Yea, I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie. It keeps me motivated,” he says, signing off.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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