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