Suneel Darshan and Akshay Kumar had a long running and strong collaboration during the early 2000s. The duo started with the 1999 success, Jaanwar, which marked Akshay’s comeback after a slew of failures at the box office. Yesterday, their second film together, Ek Rishtaa: The Bond Of Love completed 20 years. Their last film together, Mere Jeevan Saathi, came out in 2006.
It has been 15 years since they last worked together, but as Ek Rishtaa completed 20 years, we asked Suneel if there is a possibility of the two coming together for another project. But the filmmaker denies the possibility. “We worked together for seven years. Those seven years started when one day he called me to express the desire to meet me. When I met him for the first time, he expressed the desire to work with me. I saw his sincerity and honesty and I dropped the big stars who were available to me, and decided to work with him. That collaboration worked very beautifully and we made seven movies in seven years. Besides the movies, there was a very close relationship of sorts that was strong. At least that’s what I thought,” he shares.
Suneel goes on to recall an incident that shows how possessive Akshay had become of Suneel at one point. “After our first movie together, Jaanwar, became a hit, there was a lot of buzz that a lot of stars wanted to work with me. There was some buzz that I had signed an upcoming actor at that time, who was very hot and happening. So, one day Akshay came to meet me and took me out in his car saying he wanted to talk to me. He said, ‘Why must you approach other actors; I am openly available to you for 100 movies and can sign and give you a contract to this affair’. I told him I don’t need anything of that sort and we need to work together till the time I am comfortable and he is comfortable. The day that we are not, we shall part. After the commitment of 100 movies, we managed to do seven movies together and that is a lot of cinema,” Suneel asserts.
Without divulging any details, Suneel shares that they outgrew their collaboration one day. “In those seven years, one day Akshay had come on his own and one day he left on his own. But I always wish him well and I want to see him more glorious than he always was. I want to always see him rise. For me, he was a friend, son and brother and I don’t know what and why. But I cannot deny, nor can he, that through these movies there is a connection between us and we are a part of each other,” Suneel signs off.
Image source: Think Ink PR, SpotboyE archives