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Agent star Akhil Akkineni: Mammootty’s presence intimidated me on sets

The actor, who celebrates his birthday today, caught up with noted anchor Suma for a promotional interview

Agent star Akhil Akkineni: Mammootty’s presence intimidated me on sets

Last Updated: 05.31 PM, Apr 08, 2023


It has been nearly two years since Akhil Akkineni made on-screen appearance; he was last seen in Most Eligible Bachelor in 2021, his first commercial success that won him adequate praise as well. He turns a spy for his next release, Agent, set to hit screens on April 28. The star, who turns 29 today, caught up anchor Suma and spoke extensively about the Surender Reddy directorial in a chat, held on the sets of the film.

“I have no birthday plans this year. I need to wake up early and go to dub and later go to practice a song to be shot on a set. As boring as this may sound, this is the best gift I could’ve asked for. I like to be working on this day and I have no complaints. I’ll cut a cake with a small group of 6-7 friends. I don’t even enjoy surprises. I will party only after the success of Agent,” the actor shares.


While the makers have spent two years into the making of Agent, Akhil took over a year to get ready physically for the film. “We were planning something wild and the shoot experience was something similar. I don’t know how real agents look like, but this is how Surender Reddy wanted me to be like. When I don’t work out, I lose weight easily and I worked hard to maintain my muscle.”

“After going through this rigorous routine for over two years, I feel I can withstand anything now. I eat chicken and rice without the masala these days, it has become a habit. It was challenging during the initial months but when you accept reality, there’s bliss. I faced hell though there was only happiness later,” Akhil stated.

He admits the romance segment in Agent will be limited and has kind words to share about his co-star. “Each action episode will be around 11 minutes and the girl (Sakshi Vaidya) will only have a brief role. It’s a total contrast to Most Eligible Bachelor. Sakshi Vaidya is wonderful, so talented and looks beautiful. She glows in front of the camera. I want to see her in a proper love story soon. She has a bright future and acted very well in the love scenes.”

Working with Mammootty was a life-changing experience, Akhil avers. “His screen presence is amazing. He has a larger than life aura and I was intimidated by him. He’s a super-senior and you are on your toes when you’re with him. The pressure became my strength. I was prepared and hungry to be at my best. It was an honour to watch him work,” he adds.

“Mammootty was incredible. We couldn’t think of anyone else except him as the RAW chief. He hasn’t done anything like this before and his presence radiates an energy and it can only come with stardom. We have done fights together and he is my idol in the film,” Akhil mentions. The veteran will be seen in an extended appearance in the action thriller.

He credits cinematographer Rasool Ellore for his aesthetic sense. “Surender Reddy had a certain visual in his mind and Rasool (garu) executed it to perfection. There are several sequences with unique shadow lighting and it gives an edgy tone to the film. Even when I was looking at the monitor, I saw myself in a different light. It’s going to be a visual feast.”

Reportedly, he hasn’t discussed the story of Agent with his family - Nagarjuna or Naga Chaitanya yet. “There’s very little discussion on cinema on the dining table. After extensively working in films, he likes to stay detached after work and is a proper family man. From holidays to destinations to random topics, he disconnects from films. I am not like him, but that’s probably because of my age.”

“As of now, I dream, breathe and think about cinema even before sleep. In fact, Chaitanya is more like dad (Nagarjuna) and they’re cool. I don’t consider myself cool and have some distance to go there. Chaitu is a silent killer and has more fun in life, but I appear the naughty one in front of the public. Mom (Amala) is a positive influence.”

Akhil has given his heart and soul to Agent and even suffered a ligament tear, twisting his ankle. “I still have a minor issue with it but in a film of this scale, it’s bound to happen. The willpower of the team was my motivation. It’s now left for the audiences needs to judge it. We went through tough times but didn’t let that distract us from our goal. All I’ll say is ‘get ready for a wild ride..’”

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