New Delhi, Sep 5 (IANS) Popular actress and TV host Mandira Bedi says she got a chance to experience the "huge aura" around Akshay Kumar while shooting with the Bollywood superstar in South Africa for the forthcoming adventure reality show "Khatron Ke Khiladi Level 2".
"He (Akshay) has a very huge aura about him. There used to be this deadly silence whenever he came in. Though he would joke and stuff with us, at the end of the day he was he and we were who we are," Mandira told IANS in an interview.
She will be seen performing daredevil stunt on the show. She says Akshay's presence was highly inspirational.
"When I saw the first season of the show, I felt that there could be no better choice of a host than him. I enjoyed his sense of humour, I liked how he dealt with situations, how he inspired the contestants. I was lucky to have experienced it.
"He had a quirky sense of humour, yet he was motivational, so inspirational. He himself has done so many stunts and is actually very strong. So even when you see him, you just want to be better - in that sense, he is very motivating. I like him so much more after I have experienced it," she said.
"Khatron Ke Khiladi" is the Indian version of internationally popular show "Fear Factor". It requires contestants to perform a series of dangerous tasks and whoever does them all walks away with a cash prize.
Mandira, who had bagged the title of being India's first AXN "Fear Factor" winner, says she herself approached the producers of "Khatron Ke Khiladi".
"While watching season one, I used to wonder 'Why am I not in this show?'. I was shooting something else that time but I really wanted to be a part of it. For the second season, it so happened I called Endemol (the producers) and said that my dates are free now.
"I was probably the only crazy one to have called them and said: make me a part of this show. I think it's just great to be able to do something that prepares you for any kind of situation in future," she said.
The show helped her in realising the biggest fear of her life.
"I have come to realise that my biggest fear is facing failure - it is more than the fear of height, more than the fear of water and more than the fear of creepy crawlies, little animals, which I don't like. And that's what drove me to do the stunts," she said.
There was one task that Mandira felt was a little too tough to handle, but she managed it well.
"For one task, my head was put in a box which had breathing holes in it and it was closed. They put a nose clip, gave me goggles and gave me ear plugs and then they threw on my face Madagascar hissing cockroaches - they were the size of my finger.
"It was disgusting. And they went psss...psss..psss. It was a very bad feeling. We had to try and get out of it after a long procedure. It was probably three-four minutes long, which felt like an hour. I did the task because I was determined to go down the show trying, not crying," she said.
Mandira will contend with beauties like Sushma Reddy, Carol Gracias, Shonali Nagrani, Shveta Salve and Anushka Manchanda among others on the show that premieres on Colors Sep 7 at 9 p.m.