Samrat Prithviraj director Chandraprakash Dwivedi has defended Akshay Kumar amid rumors of Yash Raj Films assigning blame for the film’s failure on the star’s perceived disinterest in the project. Produced on a reported budget anywhere between Rs 200 crore and Rs 300 crore, the film failed to crack Rs 80 crore domestically. It is regarded as one of the biggest flops of the year, and the reviews weren’t extremely kind either.
In an interview with the Hindustan Times, the filmmaker said that he stands by his star, and that his previous statements have been ‘twisted’. “Two days after the release of the film, I spoke to a lot of people,” he said. “And I maintained one thing- my belief in Akshay Kumar remains unshakeable. I have done two more upcoming films with him- Ram Setu and Oh My God 2. I feel that my words are being twisted by people. Voh apni taraf se likh rahe hain, jisse mujhe thodi pareshaani hai (People are misinterpreting my words, and this bothers me). ”
Asked about the rumors of YRF chief Aditya Chopra being annoyed at Akshay for not even growing a real mustache for the movie, the filmmaker said, “Aditya has never said this. Is it happening for the first time that an actor has worn a fake mustache? On June 2, I, Aditya and Akshay were together, and Aditya categorically told me that he is very happy with the film, and I gave him whatever he wanted, and he will never say that I failed in my duty. Same for Akshay. ”
Previously, in an interview with Film Companion, the director appeared to distance himself from Akshay’s comments about Indian rulers being underrepresented in history textbooks, while entire chapters are devoted to ‘foreign invaders’. Dwivedi said, “Now this is what he thinks, it isn’t my opinion nor is it the opinion of my producers.”
In an earlier interview with the Navbharat Times, the filmmaker addressed Samrat Prithviraj’s financial failure, and said, “YRF presented this story at a huge scale. But people had a problem. It’s still unclear to me what problem they had. The writers did an honest job about following the historical facts. We are well aware of our storytelling responsibilities. ”