“[It] is more on the romantic side. There are stunts where I jump from one roof to the other and the backdrop is the underworld, but it’s essentially a romantic film,” said Akshay Kumar at a press conference in Dubai on Sunday afternoon. He plays a dreaded underworld don Shoaib who discovers love in an aspiring actress Jasmine, played by Sonakshi Sinha.
The gangster drama is a sequel to the 2010 hit and was partly shot in Oman. Kumar’s co-stars Sinha and Khan were also at the press meet.
When asked if his character was based on the real-life don Dawood Ibrahim, one of India’s most wanted men, Kumar shot down such speculations. “The characters in this film are all fictional. It’s not about anybody real. My character Shoaib takes off from where the first film ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbai’ ended. These are just speculations,” said Kumar.
His response was less guarded when asked about the preparations that went into playing a gangster on the big screen.
“I enjoyed playing a villain. Believe me, it is much more interesting than playing a hero. I didn’t do any research or homework for this film. The writer and director who made part one knew my character in and out. I didn’t want to distract them. The best homework for this film was not to do any homework,” said Kumar.
His latest hit ‘Special Chabbis’ in which he played a conman had impressed critics and fans alike.
“I choose films that are entertaining. I don’t like films with rona dhona [tear-jerkers] or where the mother dies [tragic twists],” said Kumar.
A third installment of this gangster series could also be in the making.
“If part two is received well, then I am up for the third. I want to make intelligent films that have great dialogues, philosophy and entertainment,” said its producer Ekta Kapoor of Balaji Telefilms Ltd. She added that she’s always up for filming her projects in Dubai.
“Previously, I shot my serial Bade Ache Lagte Hai in Dubai. I have a long association with [this City],” said Kapoor, adding that she chose Oman to shoot the film because the region gave them an offer they couldn’t refuse.
The cast of the film had a packed schedule in Dubai, including fan interactions at Meydan IMAX, store visits and dinner with a member of the royal family of Dubai.
“It’s such an honour to be invited for a royal family dinner,” said Kumar.
‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Again’ releases in the UAE on August 15.