A glance at the actor’s Bollywood trajectory proves that for him, designing his character externally has remained as crucial as his internal preparation. As part of the film’s script, the actor dressed in drag to woo his lady love. The attire worked as a gag without adding much to the film’s story, but it proved that Akshay is up for it when it comes to his look in the films.

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Akshay is known to release one movie almost every three months. He’s arrived at this pace after trying and testing almost every genre in Bollywood. So if 1990s were about the ‘Khiladi Kumar’, complete with intense actioners and his martial arts prowess, he took to comedy at the start of 2000s.


This was also a phase where Akshay started relying more on the way his characters were designed. He portrayed Havildar Ishar Singh in war film Kesari, went bald with in the song “Bala” from Housefull 4 and turned Lord Krishna in OMG – Oh My God.

The two films in which he really went all out with his looks were Lamii and 2.0. He turned the main antagonist in Rajinikanth starrer 2.0, taking his Pakshi Rajan bit too literally. While some lauded his guts to become Crow Man, others couldn’t recognise him behind all that prosthetics and makeup. He did the same in Laxmii where he played a man who gets possessed by a transgender. The movie might have got panned, but his cross-dressing caught audience’s attention.

Akshay Kumar played a RAW agent in Bell Bottom.

This brings us to Akshay Kumar’s fixation with his moustache too. One can recall over a dozen films where he grew his stash, yet each one differently – Rowdy Rathore, Special 26, Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara, Rustom, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, and the recent Bell Bottom. In fact, every time he plays a patriot or a vigilante, his moustache returns as well.

When Akshay Kumar’s characters had more shades than a paint shop: 2.0, Laxmii to Bachchhan Paandey, his experiments with his looks

Akshay had in 2016 told Mumbai Mirror, “Fear is fuel for the soul, if we didn’t fear our actions sometimes we would get lazy in our endeavours. Versatile roles are what keep me on my toes, the day I get complacent with my work it will be the end of me. As of now, I am still so excited by the opportunities given to me; I almost can’t wait for what my directors have in store for me next.”

When the actor went all retro in Action Replayy, director Vipul Amrutlal Shah told HT, “He had warned me before getting into the look and said that this is too experimental for a mainstream film, so don’t do this. But, I convinced him that this is the right thing and he went with my conviction.”

Akshay Kumar in a still from Housefull 4, which released in 2019.

Akshay Kumar‘s ease at his physicality, clothes and body language to suit the characters has over the years, motivated other actors to try new get-ups too. No hero plays a police officer sans a moustache today. Be it Salman Khan’s Chulbul Pandey or Ranveer Singh’s Simmba. Akshay even doesn’t mind wearing loud colours. So when he played a magician in Atrangi Re, the title of the Aanand L Rai movie felt apt mainly for Akshay’s look.

To say that Akshay unknowingly kicked off fashion trends at several occasions, won’t be wrong. Cowl neck shirts in Khiladi 786’s song “Hookah Bar”, to V-necks in Good Newwz, and from joggers with one leg rolled up on several public appearances to statement hoodies, he’s given fashion goals to many men.

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Akshay Kumar keeps it sporty, yet basic stylish, relying mainly on denims and body hugging t-shirts, when he’s off the sets. And when he’s on it, one can only guess his character, because either he’ll be an aam-admi, or a completely diabolical. Two extremes of the same man!

Akshay Kumar played a magician in Atrangi Re.

In a career spanning over three decades, Akshay has played a plethora of roles, each one different from the other. He has flirted with action, comedy, drama and romance. His newfound love is social message driven cinema.

Speaking about his character in Bachchhan Paandey, Akshay said, “This is one character that has more shades than a paint shop!” And when he dons such a role, it’s a riot onscreen.