‘It would have been nice to have worked with dad again’

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Pooja Sharma pooja.sharma@htlive.com

Ac­tor Ak­shaye Khanna com­pletes two decades in the in­dus­try this year. Af­ter a long gap — bar­ring a brief ap­pear­ance in Dishoom (2016) — he has just re­turned with a star­ring role in Mom.

Given his ex­pe­ri­ence, and given how many ac­tors have turned film pro­duc­ers, is he now on the cusp of a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion in his ca­reer? Ak­shaye says, “Di­rect­ing or pro­duc­ing a film is ba­si­cally tak­ing more con­trol over the cre­ative process. Cer­tain ac­tors want to take that con­trol and ex­tra re­spon­si­bil­ity. Some­how, in my ca­reer, I’ve never felt that need or urge to di­rect or pro­duce. I’m just happy be­ing an ac­tor.”

The one gap in his ca­reer is not be­ing able to work with his il­lus­tri­ous fa­ther, the late Vinod Khanna, af­ter his de­but film. “I worked with my dad in my first film (Hi­malay Pu­tra, 1997), but it would’ve been nice to have worked with him af­ter I be­came a lit­tle ma­ture and ex­pe­ri­enced as an ac­tor. I wish I had that op­por­tu­nity,” says Ak­shaye.

On not be­ing all that ac­tive so­cially, he says, “I do feel [that] be­ing the way I am has maybe not con­trib­uted pos­i­tively to my ca­reer. Hav­ing said that, within the in­dus­try, I think there has been [a] kind of an ac­cep­tance that ‘this is the way Ak­shaye is, f**k it. If you call him for a party or din­ner, he is not go­ing to come.’

“Why should I force my­self to be some­one that I’m not? How­ever, I re­alise that I need to be a lit­tle more ac­tive — I’m not talk­ing about so­cial­is­ing or par­ty­ing; but I think I need to be a lit­tle more open.”

That means some­thing like “be­ing more avail­able to the press”. Ak­shaye feels that people in the me­dia are now “far cooler” than me­di­a­per­sons 15-20 years. “It’s more fun in­ter­act­ing with them to­day.”


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