Lara Dutta Bhupathi made her debut in Bollywood 18 years ago in 'Andaaz' starring Akshay Kumar and she cannot stop praising the actor. The actress tags the 'Khiladi' star as her "forever hero"."I always maintain that Akshay is my friend, philosopher and guide. He is not just my first hero, he is literally a forever hero," Lara told IANS.Lara revealed that it was Akshay who encouraged her to take up the role of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in their upcoming movie 'Bell Bottom', which is slated to release on August 19."The amount of faith Akshay has in me is tremendous. He has offered me roles in the last few years where we have worked together that have really challenged me. Before anybody saw it he saw the potential that I could do this (play Indira Gandhi)," added the actress.It was the same for her character in 'Singh Is Bliing'.Lara added: "He is constantly pushing me. He has been pushing me ever since we did our first film together. He always encouraged me to remain hungry, continuously challenging myself. He is my biggest supporter and encourager."'Bell Bottom' is an espionage thriller, which also stars Vaani Kapoor and Huma Qureshi.