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 buddy movie that has become a cult classic in Hindi cinema. Among the many beautiful things in the film, the portrayal of Akshaye Khanna of Sidharth Sinha – a sensitive, gentle-mannered artist who falls in love with a divorcee much older than himself – is particularly endearing. This is one of his most acclaimed roles. When asked if it’s one of her favorites, Khanna pauses for several seconds before saying yes.
Read also | Receive ‘First Day First Show’, our weekly cinema newsletter, delivered to your inbox. You can register for free here
There are already a ton of anecdotes, interviews and lengthy clips from Dil Chahta Hai. But are there some anecdotes that the world does not yet know?
âYou ask the wrong person,â he said on a Zoom call from Mumbai âMy memory is not so 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 fun in the cinema. âWhether I’m involved in the process of making a movie or just watching movies, it’s always been a pleasant experience. “
Khanna’s filmography suggests he is gender neutral. But he would have liked more action movies than he has. That’s why he willingly accepted State of siege: temple attack, in which he plays an NSG commando. The film, directed by Ken Ghosh, is based on the 2002 terrorist attack on 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? âIt’s just something that captures your imagination, I guess,â he says, âAction movies are extremely popular all over the world. I love watching it over and over. Whether a police officer or an army officer or anyone in those kind of professions are attractive to a strange level of aspiration.
But are these roles physically demanding?
Not especially for Khanna. âI like fitness. I don’t just exercise because I have to look a certain way for a role. It’s part of my way of life. But you can’t compare the fitness levels or the training that real members of the armed forces go to with what the actors do. “
Khanna also likes movies about real incidents. âIt adds authenticity. When you look at it, in the back of your mind you know it’s something that’s happened to real people, âhe says. But he adds that State of siege: temple attack is different from some of his other movies based on real incidents like The accidental prime minister Where Gandhi, my father. âIn this film, we don’t pretend to recreate the actual 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 doesn’t see it as an important moment. âIt’s just a different medium,â he says, âOTT consumption, in some ways, is not a completely new phenomenon. Watching content on phones is a big change, yes. But if people have been watching movies on TV, then they have been doing it for a long time. “
Khanna is also open to doing a web series; The family man and Sacred games are among the Indian shows he loves. Making a series has to be more difficult than movies because an actor might have to stick with a character longer or come back to it in the future if the series has more than one season. But he doesn’t agree. “As an actor with some experience behind me, I don’t see why everyone is talking about an actor playing a particular character for an extended period of time.”
This is not, however, an arrogant response. Because, when asked if he had become a better actor in his two-decade career, Khanna once again paused, before saying yes.
State of Siege: Temple Attack can stream on Zee5 from July 9