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'I don't have a drinking problem'

Actor Akshaye Khanna says he neither has a drinking problem nor did he check into a rehabilitation centre.
By Subhash K. Jha | IANS, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUN 20, 2008 06:13 PM IST

Actor Akshaye Khanna is baffled by rumours of alcoholism. He says he neither has a drinking problem nor did he check into a rehabilitation centre. The actor was seen in a funny role in his new release, Mere Baap Pehle Aap, which has opened to a mixed response.

Excerpts from an interview:

Is it true that you had a drinking problem recently?
Certainly not!

Where did that come from?
It was one photograph taken outside a friend's nightclub. It was blown a bit out of proportion. Isn't it normal to unwind at a friend's party? Suddenly I hear I have a drinking problem.

It was also rumoured that you went to a rehabilitation centre?
Says who? Oh god, no! I'm the last person on this earth to make a spectacle of myself. Yes, I did take a vacation.

A friend was quoted as saying you had gone to clean yourself out?
I don't have friends who would talk like this.

Did this scandal bother you?
Come on, you can hardly call it a scandal. I can't say I was unaffected because such a thing has never happened to me before. I can say with a certain amount of gratitude that so far the press has always been fair to me. I'm not bitter about it. But I find a clear perspective missing in such rumours.
But then we're living in a world that's constantly changing. Journalism in this country is also changing. I can see the humorous side of it. One lives and learns. Enough said on this topic.

You're an introvert.
I'm not.

But you are a private person. How comfortable are you doing a loud comedy?
I haven't done that much comedy. Out of the 30 or 35 films only four have been comedies. And of course, Salaam-e-Ishq where I thought my track was really funny.

In the long run, would you like to be remembered for Gandhi My Father or the comedies?
I've no burning ambitions to be remembered. Once I'm gone I'm gone. It doesn't make a damned difference. It is not my ambition to leave a legacy behind. It doesn't matter to me what people think about me when I'm not there.

Do you think Priyadarshan has reached a saturation point as far as comedies are concerned?
That's not fair to him or to me. I've done only three comedies with him. And Priyan has done a lot more than just comedy in Hindi. In the south, his oeuvre is phenomenal. And he's just made Kanjeevaram, which I believe is awesome.

The kind of success he has had at the box office with comedies completely justifies what he does. We keep discussing many other films and scripts besides the ones we've done together. He's got such great ideas.

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