Akshaye Khanna

Akshaye's career has had a chequered history. Though he has not done so well so far but now he is back with a bang. Playing the role of Sid to the hilt, (who falls in love with a much elderly woman and is yet satisfied in his unrequited love), in Dil Chahta Hai, Akshaye's character is very refreshing and he has played it superbly giving an excellent performance. Though an extremely talented actor, Lady Luck seems to have eluded him for far too long since none of his solo ventures ever could hit the bull's eye. Choosy, snobbish, laidback... he's been called so and more, but chilled out personality has no grudges against life. Meet this wonderful actor.

Excerpts from an interview by Neha Irani.

What is it that excited you to sign Dil Chahta Hai?
When I heard the script of Dil Chahta Hai it came a breath of fresh air. It was something that I'd never heard before and something I knew I wouldn't hear till a very long time. The script was unique and had a touch of freshness and innovation. The novelty of the script, the way the characters were portrayed, the way the relationships were handledů Also, apart from having an excellent star cast, Farhan himself as the director, and as a human being was someone who was excellent to work with.

Did you ever feel Dil Chahta Hai to be a risky project for something of this sort was never tried before?
No, not even for a second. I knew from the moment I heard the script that it will be a hit and the audience will love it. It is a film that I'd like to watch and therefore I expected that most people would like it too. I had great faith in Farhan's abilities of translating the script on to celluloid in a way he said he would, which was very important. Many times the final product turns out to be pretty different from the script that's narrated to you. Things change in the process. But Dil Chahta Hai till the end was just as it was conceived to be. Everybody involved was at the best in their respective fields. Whether it was the cinematographer, or the sound engineer, or production design teamů With such brilliant minds working together, I was very confident that this film would be something to watch out for.

You are known to be a very choosy actor. But don't u think initially you made a few mistakes about choosing films?
Yes, if given a second chance today, of course there are a few projects that I wouldn't want to be associated with. There have been films that I'm not too happy with. I'd expected them to do well but have done disastrously bad at the box-office. And there are a few films of mine that people have loved, but I wasn't as enthusiastic as they were. But I don't regret them enough to brood over them all the while. Ups-n-downs will always be there so just take life as it comes. I consider myself fortunate to be able to do what I love most -- act. I am aware that there are millions who are doing jobs they dislike. I've learnt from my mistakes and moved on. So now I have learnt to be choosy.

What is it that usually makes you want to sign a project?
There are basically just four things that make me sign a project - the script must excite me; the role must be good; the director must be someone who I feel is competent and who I can communicate with and who can bring that extra touch to the project; and of course, it must have a strong producer, who can make the film well and release it well too. It isn't a complicated issue at all.

Which are the films that you're currently working on?
I'm doing a film with Nitin Manmohan co-starring Ajay Devgan called Deewangi and I'm also doing a film with J.P.Dutta called Line Of Control. And of course there is Abbas-Mastaan's next.

Do you think you still have to grow as an actor?
Yes, definitely. Noone is perfect. You have to learn a new lesson everyday and one grows as a person or as an actor thought experiencing different things daily. As far as I'm concerned, I still think I'm a novice, very raw. Acting is an art that no one can really master completely. However, I want to improve much more on my concentration level, and also on being able to relax as a performer.


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