Action films

Action movies have universal appeal: Akshaye Khanna on ‘State of Siege: Temple Attack’

The actor, in his OTT debut on Zee5, will play a special task force officer

The actor, in his OTT debut on Zee5, will play a special task force officer

This year marks the 20th anniversary of
Dil Chahta Hai , a much-loved Friends film that has become a cult classic of Hindi cinema. Of the film’s many beautiful things, Akshaye Khanna’s portrayal of Sidharth Sinha — a sensitive, mild-mannered artist who falls in love with a much older divorcee — is particularly endearing. It is one of his most acclaimed roles. When asked if this is one of her favorites, Khanna pauses for a few seconds before saying yes.

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There are already a ton of anecdotes, interviews and long-form articles
Dil Chahta Hai . But are there any anecdotes that the world does not yet know?

“You’re asking the wrong person,” he said on a Zoom call from Mumbai “My memory isn’t that good. But I can tell you it was a very happy time in my life and a very happy shoot. .

A lot may have changed in Khanna’s career since the film’s release, but one thing that hasn’t changed is her sense of enjoyment when it comes to movies. “Whether I’m involved in the filmmaking process or just watching movies, it’s always been an enjoyable experience.”

Akshaye Khanna in

Akshaye Khanna in “State of Siege: Temple Attack”

Khanna’s filmography suggests he is gender neutral. But he would have liked more action movies than he has. This is why he easily agreed to
State of Siege: Temple Attack , in which he plays an NSG commando. The film, directed by Ken Ghosh, is inspired by the 2002 terrorist attack on the Akshardham temple in Gujarat.

This isn’t the first time he’s played a role where he has to wear a uniform and wield big guns. In his second film,
Frontier , he was a second lieutenant. He then played a lieutenant in
LOC Kargil .

So what is the fascination with uniforms and guns? “It’s just something that captures your imagination, I guess,” he says, “Action movies are hugely popular all over the world. I love watching it over and over. Whether it’s a police officer or an army officer or anyone in those kind of professions, they are attractive on a weird level of aspiration.

But are these roles physically demanding?

Not especially for Khanna. “I love fitness. I don’t just train because I have to look a certain way for a role. It’s part of my lifestyle. But you can’t compare fitness levels or fitness. training that real members of the armed forces go through with what actors do.

Khanna also likes movies about real incidents. “It adds authenticity. When you look at it, in the back of your mind, you know it’s something that happened to real people,” he says. But he adds that
State of Siege: Temple Attack is different from some of his other movies based on true incidents like
The Accidental Prime Minister Where
Gandhi, my father . “In this film, we do not pretend to recreate the real incident. It is a dramatized and fictional account of what happened.

State of Siege: Temple Attack also marks the actor’s OTT debut. But he does not consider this a significant moment. “It’s just a different medium,” he says, “OTT consumption, in some ways, isn’t a completely new phenomenon. Watching content on phones is a big change, yes. But if people watch movies on TV, they’ve been doing it for a long time.

Khanna is also open to doing a web series;
The man of the family and
sacred games are some of the Indian shows he loves. Making a series must be more difficult than movies because an actor might have to stay with a character longer or come back to it in the future if the series has more than one season. But he disagrees. “As an actor with some experience behind me, I don’t see why everyone is talking when people are talking about an actor playing a particular character for an extended period of time.”

This, however, is not an arrogant response. Because, when asked if he’s become a better actor in his two-decade career, Khanna pauses yet again, before saying yes.

State of Siege: Temple Attack can be streamed on Zee5 from July 9