Rumours were rife that Anil Kapoor and Akshaye Khanna's friendship was going through a rough patch as they were competing with each other on the sets of Abbas-Mustan's Race, but Akshaye laughs it off saying they were just doing their job to their best possible abilities.
"Yes, once the camera was switched on, Anil and I were fiercely focussed on doing our best. And what's wrong with that? Race is a thriller. Anil and I had a ball working together as actors again after Subhash Ghai's Taal. Yes, we were really in competition for Race," Akshaye told IANS.
"From 'start camera' to 'cut' we became co-stars. Once the camera was switched off we were comparing notes. Yes, I'm very competitive in the sense that I want to do my best within the character I'm given to portray. So does Anil. That's how we are as co-stars," he added.
He is also all praise for Anil as a producer.
"As far as Anil the producer goes, I've told him point blank that he has to sign me for all his productions. We're already doing another project Shortcut, which is a masala film. We're really charged about it."
Akshaye has worked in Anil Kapoor's acclaimed production Gandhi My Father, which was directed by Feroze Khan.
He also points out that Anil wouldn't touch a project unless it enthused him fully.
"Every seed needs a specific nurturing. If my director Feroz Khan hadn't been nurtured by Anil Kapoor, Gandhi My Father wouldn't have been possible. Anil constantly nourished the project. He has given so much to the project. He was such a source of strength for all of us, specially the director. Being from a production family, Anil gave his all to the film."
Akshaye wants to be as versatile as Anil.
"Even today he can balance a Salaam-e-Ishq with No Entry. I'm aiming to be in that manoeuvring space. I want people to give me the same opportunities. I can tell you one thing, actors who are confined by images are very unhappy people."