For the past several years, Akshay Kumar has been taking up films that have some association with real-life incidents or people. For instance, Special 26 (2013) was based on con men who robbed businessmen and politicians in the late ’80s. His 2016 film Airlift was also inspired by the evacuation of thousands of stranded Indians in Kuwait in 1990. The same goes for his upcoming movie, Rustom, which is based on the sensational Nanavati case of the 1950s. It is interesting to note that almost all of the actor’s realistic projects have one common link — filmmaker Neeraj Pandey. “When geniuses like Neeraj come to you with an idea, you learn to never look a gift horse in the mouth. To me, it’s a blessing that someone of Neeraj’s calibre has confidence in me, and wants me to represent matters of our nation on the big screen. I can never hold back my passion to want to be part of a project that is based on a real life incident. It’s something that I get wrapped up in. I never look back,” says Akshay. Besides Special 26, Neeraj has also directed Akshay in Baby (2015), and produced other ventures, including Airlift and Rustom.