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Akshaye Khanna, noted for his versatility, says it is never easy for actors to handle the audiences' dislike or indifference towards their work.
The benchmark of an actor or a filmmaker's capability is how successful their movies are at the box office. Khanna made his debut in 1997 with Himalaya Putra which didn't do well at the box office, but months later he got a breakthrough with JP Dutta's Border.
Since then, the actor has been part of several hit films like Taal, Dil Chahta Hai, Race, among others. "My first film was a failure. I had many failures too. It's not easy dealing with it," says Khanna in an interview to PTI.
"If I am running a business and making a loss, nobody really knows about it. Our success and failures are public. To have your films not liked or not watched or failed, is not an easy thing to handle," he says.
At the same time, the Ittefaq actor feels it is far more difficult to deal with success than surviving a failure.
"Having said that, I honestly feel in our line of work, it's more difficult to handle success than failure. To handle success maturely, especially over a long period of time sometimes is more difficult to maintain," he says.
On the deciding factors of success of an artiste, Khanna says a hit movie is the best measure.
"There's only one barometer for the commercial success of a film and that's the box office. The obsession with box office doesn't annoy me. It's the main part of the business, if you get irritated with the main part then you're in trouble," he says.
The actor, who in a way began his second innings in Bollywood with the 2016 hit comedy Dishoom, is now seen mostly doing strong supporting parts.
Khanna says he doesn't fear losing out on work. "You can do the best, work hard but at the end of the day the audience decides whether you are relevant to them as an artiste or not. These things are completely out of your hands. The audience will of course give you a shelf life," he says.
"That's a very scary part of being an artiste in whatever art form you are in. One has to make peace with it. There's no second option," he says.
Khanna is elated his first film this year - "Mom" - was successful and people took note of his character as a cop.
Directed by Ravi Udyawar, Mom was a revenge-drama featuring Sridevi and Nawazuddin Siddiqui along with Khanna. The film is now gearing up to have its world TV premiere on November 18 on &Pictures.
"I knew the film and the role will stand out. I sensed we were making something of a high quality, which would have a lasting impact.