49 years old today! Making him the middle child of the old school 90s stars. Younger than the Khan “triplets”, but older than Ajay. Anyway, Akshay is so big, he definitely deserves a full list of reasons, one for every year. And he is so old, that I am going to have to split those reasons in half! So, here are the first 24, right after midnight India time.
1. 1. I love you because you are a true film outsider, one of the few, born to an Army officer in Delhi.
2. I love you because you are a martial artist first, then an actor. You attained a black belt in Tae Kwon Do in India, then dropped out of college to travel to Bangkok for advanced studies.
3. I love you because you didn’t just study and live off your parents, you worked to support yourself, first in food service in Bangkok, then as a martial arts teacher once you came back to India.
4. I love you because you actually started out as a model, combining the very unmasculine profession of modeling, with a very masculine day job of teaching martial arts!
5. I love you because at the same time, you were also working as a back-up dancer for a 3rd source of income!!!
6. I love you because, I’m not saying you are the greatest dancer in the world, but you can already see in your break through role in Khiladi (4th film role over all, after playing a martial arts instructor in Aaj, and the lead in two flops, Saugandh and Dancer) how comfortable you are jumping around to the music.
7. I love you because this song from the first movie you signed (5th to release) is one of the most 90s things ever. The sweater! The mullet! Karisma’s eyebrows!
8. I love you because, after 4 flop films in 1993, you came back with 3 major hits in 1994. Yeh Dillagi, with one of my favorite Kajol songs.
9. I love you because you did the exact same song, almost, with Raveena Tandon that same year, and managed to make it feel fresh.
10. And in the same movie, you were part of everyone’s favorite Raveena Tandon song, and one of the top hits of the 90s.
11. I love you because in 1994, your break out year, you were in a grand total of 12 movies. Staking your claim right from the start as the hardest working actor in Hindi films.
12. I love you because you had the first major action franchise in India, with your Khiladi films, releasing one a year every year except 1993 and 1998 until 2000 (Khiladi, Main Khiladi Tu Anari, Sabse Bade Khiladi, Khiladiyon Ki Khiladi, Mr. and Mrs. Khiladi, International Khiladi, Khiladi 420)
13. I love you because you were also part of the most popular male actor jodi of the 90s, with your series of films with Saif Ali Khan, Main Khiladi Tu Anari, Keemat, and of course Yeh Dillagi, all the way to Tashan in the 2000s.
14. I love you because you had great chemistry with Saif, but you also had fabulous chemistry with your female heroines in this era, from Karisma to Shilpa to Raveena.
15. I love you because you famously played the field, but ended up married to the least famous of all your girlfriends, Twinkle Khanna, in a surprise wedding that no one saw coming.
16. Speaking of that famous Saif chemistry, it’s time for me to post my all time favorite slashfic video again!!!
17. Although, as I said, your chemistry with your female co-stars was pretty great too.
18. So cute exchanging glances with Karisma!
19. Speaking of Karisma, we can all agree that their characters got together after the end of Dil To Pagal Hai, right?
20. I’m kind of happy about who he ended up with in real life as well, I really like his onscreen chemistry with Twinkle in the one film they did together.
21. I love you because you weren’t afraid to keep changing and growing with the times. After a string of silly action-comedy-romances in the 90s, as the 2000s began you started to do more and more serious dramas (Dhadkan, Ek Rishtaa, Aitraaz) while still doing plenty of straight comedies (Hera Pheri, Mujshe Shaadi Karoge)
22. I love you because you kept up your punishing 4 or more films a year schedule straight through the 2000s, while most other big stars were following the Aamir path and dropping to just 1 or 2 films a year.
23. I love you because you weren’t too proud to take a two (or more) hero film, from Awara Pagal Deewane to Mujshe Shaadi Karoge to Bewafaa.
24. I love you because you took a chance on Jaan-E-Mann, one of my all time favorite films.