By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
After completing the clandestine Mahatma Versus Gandhi project for producer Anil Kapoor, Akshaye Khanna has been signed for another film by Anil.
Says Akshaye, "Anil is producing and acting whereas I'll be just co-starring with him. We're starting by year-end. It's a fantastic script. It's going to be directed by a South Indian director. I'm so looking forward to working with Anil again after Taal. Anything Anil asks me to do, I'll do blindly. I love all actors. I love their honesty and their lies. But there're certain co-stars whom I've genuinely learnt from. Anil is one of them and Aamir is another major influence. Each time I sit down with these two I come away enriched. Every f***king time I go to Anil's office I come out with new positive thoughts. I might be depressed or upset when I visit Anil. But after the visit I come back feeling much better."
Akshaye Khanna goes ga-ga over his co-stars in his new film Aap Ki Khatir. "Everyone is outstanding. But Priyanka Chopra is specially good. I'm not joking , she's wonderful in the film. I really respect Priyanka. And that's an odd thing to say that for someone who's so much junior to me. She has a tremendous zest for her craft. I'm very impressed by her. Even when she's 65 she'll be working full-throttle. Like Bebo (Kareena) I find Priyanka very honest. In both, what you see is what you get."
Akshaye waits for another opportunity to work with both his new favourites. "And not just Bebo and Priyanka, I want to work with Dino Morea again. He's very chilled out and sweet. Everyone was very relaxed. The atmosphere during Aap Ki Khatir was very picnicky. That's the kind of film it is.
Akshaye agrees Aap Ki Khatir looks very different from anything he has done so far. "Of course I had to adapt in a major way to Dharmeshji's style. But that's something one has to do with every director. An actor-director combination is like a marriage. During a film one has to stay married to the project. A certain amount of adjustment and compromise have to be made from both ends . He had to work in different style with me as compared with what he did in his collaboration with any other actor. I think Dharameshji has managed to achieve what he set out to. It's a departure not only for Dharmesh Darshanji, but also for me. Though I've done light romantic roles I've never done anything so fluffy before. Dharmeshji has chosen a completely uncharacteristic script and music. Audiences will be pleasantly surprised by the modern approach. All credit to him."
Akshaye has lovely memories of his stint in England for Aap Ki Khatir. "I haven't done too many films abroad. I did Rishi Kapoorji's Aa Ab Laut Chalen in the US and now Aap Ki Khatir...I've changed so much since then! I was an immature, young and arrogant kid and absolutely not ready for the responsibilities of an actor."
Akshaye admits he was lost in his own world. "Now I'm more receptive to those around me. In fact I'm more open to new ideas. In Aap Ki Khatir I've recited a nazm. That could be stepping-stone to singing. I'm fond of singing. I've sung on stage at least twenty-five times. Given a chance I'd like to sing in my films."
Akshaye cannot deny his judgment over his last release Shaadi Se Pehle failed. "I quite agree I was disappointed by the outcome. But sometimes one's judgement does go awry. And no matter what the cynics say Shaadi Se Pehle has recovered its investments."
What about the reported fall-out with Subhash Ghai? "How is it possible that someone whom I regard so highly would suddenly become a source of hostility? Subhashji is so gung-ho about me as an actor that I'd be foolish to even think about any conflict with him. How can I go against Subhashji? I really have no idea where that rumour can from. There're lots of people in this industry who create unnecessary controversies. I'm sad about this. I vehemently deny any differences with Subhashji. It's one of those things that are impossible to happen."
Akshaye is having the time of his life. "I thoroughly love acting. I'm very excited about Aap Ki Khatir. There's a lot at stake here. I've two releases lined up after Aap Ki Khatir. Anil Kapoor's Gandhi film and of course Nikhil Advani's Salaam-e-Ishq. I'm not paired with Priyanka . But I've some work with her," he perks up. "My co-star is Ayesha Takia. She's too has got tremendous potential."