While in London shooting for Nikhil Advani's Patiala House, superstar Akshay Kumar, took the London tube (also known as the Underground) to beat the rush-hour throng on his way to work. The actor is known for having no patience with traffic jams.
Kumar's trysts with London traffic (or Mumbai jams, for that matter) aren't new. But it would be the first time the actor has used a public transit system to get around traffic jams to reach work in the British capital. Akki, a popular face in London, had to travel incognito as he didn't want to be mobbed during his commute to the sets.
Says a source close to the Khiladi, "Akshay, who is put up at North London, had to travel to Oxham in Central London while shooting for Patiala House. En route, there was a huge traffic jam. He figured the car ride would take him two hours to reach the sets, delaying the entire unit. Taking the London tube would get him there in 30 minutes."
Akki then told his driver to drop him off at the nearest tube station. Confirming this, Akki posts this on his social networking account: "Clever me braved travelling alone on London's underground trains today, trying to get to my shoot faster, because it was too far to cycle."
Adds the source, "The actor entered a train and quietly sat in a corner covering his face with a cap, so nobody would recognise him."
But recognise him they did. The actor's last tweets read: "It turned out to be quite an adventure though. It's been a long time since I caught a train to work, totally loved it. It was an insane idea, one group of excited fans followed me from my first train, and it ended up turning in to a train stalking marathon. I had to run all over the underground tunnels to hide. I just kept jumping on and off the trains seeing if they would get bored, but they didn't, bless them."
The Khiladi's friend adds that the actor has always been comfortable travelling in local trains. "He believes in being punctual and not being tardy - no matter what the mode of transport is. He frequently travelled in Mumbai's local trains before becoming an actor. In fact, even after becoming one, he still travelled by train as he couldn't afford a car. Akshay, who plays the common man in his next production Khattha Meetha, feels most comfortable travelling by local transport but can't do it in Mumbai as it would cause security problems."
Akshay has cycled through London streets before. In 2009 while in the city, shooting for Housefull, he had said, "I bought a couple of mountain bikes and cycled back from the set to my hotel through the middle of London. While some stopped to take pictures. I'd cycle through Hyde Park everyday. I felt great, with my lungs burning and legs pumping."