Superstar Akshay Kumar says that his “Housefull3” co-star Chunky Pandey used to be his instructor in an acting school almost three decades ago, when Akshay used to be a huge fan of Chunky and would look up to him.
“The place where Chunky Pandey sahab used to learn acting, he used to be my senior there. When I used to go there as a junior, we used to look up to him and we used to wait for the moment when he would come. His film ‘Aag Hi Aag’ (1987) had released, which was a super duper hit. I used to be a huge fan of Chunky Pandey,” Akshay said at a promotional event for their film in Mumbai.
When their co-star Abhishek Bachchan pointed out that Akshay said “used to be a huge fan”, Akshay quipped: “After that he lost the plot.” As Chunky recalled that he “used to be his (Akshay’s) instructor in an acting school” and Akshay said: “See my initial 50-60 films and see how I have shone in them.”
About his experience on the franchise, Chunky said: “It’s just gone better and better all the time. For the first, Akshay has a lot of contribution to it, with lot of dialogues that we improvised on set and made it there. “I think in every ‘Housefull’, we keep making most dialogues on set. I think it’s been a lot of fun. I hope we make ‘Housefull 50’ also one day.”
With his “I’m joking” one of the most popular lines in the “Housefull” franchise, Chunky revealed that he would often say that to his wife and she would respond by slapping him. Chunky featured in popular films such as “Tezaab” in the 1980s, “Aankhen” in the 1990s and has continued acting till now. About maintaining his fitness and looking the ‘same’ over almost three decades, he said: “Being happy and doing comedy films keeps you young forever I think. And I swim 2 kilometers every day.”
Akshay said: “Actually since a long time, he looks this way , I feel that in the night, he goes and sleeps in the fridge. The actual secret is that he always keeps laughing. I have known him since 27-28 years, but I have just not seen him sad ever.”
Film producer Pahlaj Nihalani gave Chunky Pandey his first break in 1987, with the multi-starer film Aag Hi Aag opposite Neelam Kothari. The film was a hit. It was followed by another successful film, Paap Ki Duniya with Sunny Deol and Neelam. Subsequently, Pandey appeared in many multi-hero films from 1987 to 1993. In most films, he was cast as the second lead to senior actors like Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Sunny Deol and Sanjay Dutt. Some of those hit films are Paap Ki Duniya (1988), Khatron Ke Khiladi (1988), Ghar Ka Chiraag(1989), Zahreelay (1990), Rupaye Dus Karod, Vishwatma (1992) and Aankhen (1993).
In 1988, Pandey was appreciated for his supporting role in N. Chandra’s movie Tezaab featuring Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit. Pandey played the character of Babban, Munna’s (Anil Kapoor) friend. For his performance in “Tezaab”, Pandey was nominated for the Filmfare Award for the Best Supporting Actor.
Chunky Pandey returned to Bollywood in 2003 playing minor supporting roles in Qayamat: City Under Threat, Elaan, and Don: The Chase Begins Again.
In 2005, Pandey was critically acclaimed for his dark role as an underworld gangster in the Ram Gopal Varma film D – Underworld Badshah. Director Ram Gopal Varma was so impressed with Chunky that he roped him in for Darwaaza Bandh Rakho, a dark comedy thriller where he played one of four robbers who hold a family hostage.
Pandey has carved a niche in playing comic relief roles, usually as outlandish characters. This is most notable in his memorable role as the Indo-Italian “Aakhiri Pasta” in the 2010 comedy hit Housefull which was lauded by critics and fans. He reprised his role in the sequel Housefull 2 in 2012 which also was a blockbuster.
Though he has recently been starring a character actor, Chunky doesn’t want to be pigeonholed into doing comic roles. “I don’t think I am restricting myself to doing only comedy. I am hoping that someone offers me something else,” Pandey said. “It requires a lot of guts for someone to cast me in something else. I am just hoping that someone sees something else in me other than comedy. IANS /Wiki