Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Akshaye back in action

If Imran Khan hasn’t shot for five months,
Akshaye Khanna hasn’t faced a camera in six months. His last release, a dud —Priyadarshan’s Mere Baap Pehle Aap — was a year ago. The year 2008 also saw him in the thriller Race and the sublime Gandhi My Father, a film that didn’t set the box office on fire.

Hits and flops aside, the charming, but temperamental Akshaye still calls the shots in Bollywood because in a room full of bozos who pose as stars, his talent shines through. And so what is this star son doing now?

He is all set to rock the screen in his role in another Anil Kapoor production called—Shortkut-The Con Is on. Puffing hard at his cigarette he says, “Shortkut... has a very nice, strong story. It is not one of those nonsensical comedies where characters attempt buffoonery to get laughs. It is a small film with a big heart.’’

He candidly admits that the six-month sabbatical that he was forced into at the start of 2009 is because of the global recession and the multiplex strike.

Says the actor, “Hindi film industry’s fortunes are directly connected to that of the world finance markets. Two of my films got cancelled.’’ However now that the tide is changing, the reclusive actor will do two films back to back.

The first is Anees Bazmee’s No Problem with Sanjay Dutt, Anil Kapoor, Suniel Shetty and Kangna Ranaut that will be shot extensively in South Africa this July. And the second is a thriller with Priyadarshan where he plays a CBI officer. The film is based on report that had appeared in The Times of India newspaper.

Asked if star sons get shortcuts into Bollywood, he says, “Of course we are privileged. But someone can only open a door for you. Once you are in the room, you’re alone. Then, you have got to fend for yourself.’’

He concedes that Bollywood is a mom-pop industry, and he feels that it is legitimate for the outsider to think that children of the industry have incalculable advantages. “There is a lot of envy, there is a lot of flak that we as children of the industry get for what we may have achieved or not achieved. We’re under constant surveillance.’’

Popping a piece of pineapple into his mouth, he says, “The reason why Bollywood doesn’t have a casting agent is because there are just 20 actors to choose from. Each year so many girls/boys make their debut, but such few get accepted.’’

He’s happy that he’s in an enviable place, and he’s also happy that he has found a true friend in the much older Anil Kapoor. “What’s age got to do with friendship?’’ he wonders. And says, “If you can describe Anil in one sentence it would be — he is young at heart.” He defends his good friend’s jumping around at the Oscar ceremony saying, “People criticised him for that. Honestly I thought Anil was so endearing.”

His friends aside, Akshaye also has made his share of foes according to the grapevine. Reports have it that he made a snide remark when he heard that young actors like Emraan Hashmi were charging remuneration as high as four crore. The buzz is that Akshaye in his usual sarcastic manner said: “If Emraan charges four crore, then I should be charging much more.’’

“Never,’’ he says, shaking his head vigorously. “I would never say anything derogatory about another actor even in my sleep.’’ Flashing his famous smile he says, “You can check the records. In 14 years, I have never made a nasty remark about any of my colleagues.’’ Of course as always the media is to blame for the gossip circulated!

Which two films have got cancelled? Hope its not Basra and Chandbhai. Could be One way Ticket and the Raj Santoshi movie that never got off. Just hope his current projects No Problem, Basra, Chand Bhai n the Priyadarshan movie are alive.
PS: Yeah, Voice from the Sky could be one of the two. Good catch.


Anonymous said...

It seems that Akshoo is really doing No Problem and Priyan's next. But what about Basra and Chand Bhai? Hope he gets signed very soon for these two movies. I think that 'Voice From The Sky' and 'One Way Ticket' could be the two projects of Akshoo that got cancelled.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Basra and Chand Bhai are the two important films that Akshoo must do them along with the others like No Problem and Priyandarshan's next with Ajay Devgan!

Even I think that 'Voice From The Sky' and 'One Way Ticket' are those films that got unfortunately cancelled for some reasons!