Okay, his private life is more of a top secret than a nuclear formula. Yet there are whispers that he's quite a
. Be that as it may, he's one cool actor.. which is why Roshmila Bhattacharya unlocks the infuriatingly tight-lipped Akshaye Khanna
Have to start with this – it seems you're flying off to New York.. for one of your regular rendezvous with an NRI girlfriend.
May I take your temperature?
Thanks but I'm fine. If I'm going anywhere in the next few days, it's to Goa to shoot for Priyadarshan's film.
In other words, you're denying the rumour that you have an Indian-born girlfriend settled in New York.. there was talk about a girlfriend in Germany too.
I must be really going global. But none of this talk is true. Just give me
That sounds terribly chauvinistic.
It's just a manner of speaking.
Your former girlfriend Tara Sharma, from childhood days, gave you up to marry someone else. Anything to say?
(Stares daggers) No comments.
Et tu? Okay, now tell me how did Aditya Chopra get you to do a cameo in
Aaja Nachle? Aren't you supposed to be picky choosy?
Look, a guest appearance is easy because you're not carrying the film on your shoulders. But even if it's a small role it must be significant. Brad Pitt made a five-minute, two-scene appearance in Thelma & Louise. It was his first appearance in a major Hollywood movie and yet it's remembered.
Was Madhuri Dixit a lure too?
(Smiles) Madhuri's lovely.. very down-to-earth. And as good an actress as she was during
Did you get to dance with her?
Matching steps with any actress is a problem for me.. with Madhuri it's doubly difficult. So thank God, I wasn't expected to dance.
is being touted as one of the first biggies of 2008.
Will it live up to the hype?
It can't go wrong. It's a much bigger film than you can imagine!
But in January, north India is hit by a cold wave and school students have examinations. Isn't that wrong release strategy?
Rang de Basanti
came in January too. Need I say more?
It seems, it's because of your bonding with Anil Kapoor that you have given the nod to
Shortcutwhich he is producing.
because it's such an exciting script, total
! It's supposed to be Arshad Warsi's best role after Circuit. I agree.
And are you Munnabhai?
(Laughs) I wish.
How do you look back at
Gandhi, My Father?
A small segment loved it. But the majority found it too slow. I did, too, when I saw it in totality I think . basically the viewers wanted us to take sides but the film was neither for Harilal nor against the Mahatma.
Salaam-e-Ishqwas a three-hour plus marathon too.
Yes, I had some issues over its length but since I saw the film only two days before its release, it was too late to offer any advice. Still I loved it. I'd never played an over-the-top character. So much of the performance wasn't on paper but improvised. Poor Nikhil, the press went hammer and tongs at him.
When you see a
Naqaabgoing off-track don't you want to intervene?
I'm not a film critic. When I see the finished product I express my thoughts to the producer and director. That's my right and my responsibility. It's their prerogative to listen to me.. or not.
Don't you want to be your own boss?
I don't want to take on direction, it's not my field of expertise. But film production interests me. I'm on the lookout for a script.
Will it bring the three Khannas -Vinod, Akshaye and Rahul-together?
Neither are we writers nor directors. So we have to wait for the right story. People won't come to see a film because a father and his sons are acting in it.
They went to see
Apnefor the Deols.
I went to see
because I found the promos interesting. And the Deols were great!
You went for the Saawariya premiere. What did you think of it?
Sanjay's (Bhansali) focus was on the boy and girl he was launching. As a showcase for them, he scored a perfect 10. Ranbir (Kapoor) and Sonam (Kapoor) were exceptional. I've been through a much-hyped launch myself.. I know how important it is to live up to the sky high expectations.
Would you team up with Sonam?
I'd love to. She's a mix of Rekha and.. (shrugs.) She's today's girl with the lingering fragrance of the old world.
Why weren't you in the star-studded
Om Shanti Omtitle track?
You'll have to ask Farah Khan that. She didn't ask me to be there.
Have you seen
Not yet.. The person closest to me adored it. Rahul told me he didn't want the film to end. I haven't heard him say that about any film lately.
What's your take on your father's serial
My father has always done exactly what he wants to. If he doesn't enjoy something, he'll stop doing it. So I guess, he must be happy with
I've been working way past 10 in the night, so I haven't caught it yet. I've had the episodes taped though.
Did you see your dad in
I hang my head in shame.. I haven't. The last six months have been really hectic. I haven't had any time for myself.