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'Akshaye wasn't the first choice for Gandhi My Father'
July 20, 2007 12:41 IST

This Sunday, Anil Kapoor and Akshaye Khanna [Images] will feature on Karan Johar [Images]'s Koffee With Karan.

The actors, who are promoting their new film Gandhi My Father -- Anil as producer, and Akshaye as leading actor -- have featured together in quite a few films like Subhash Ghai's [Images] Taal [Images] and Nikhil Advani's Salaam-e-Ishq [Images].

Anil has been in the film industry for over 30 years now, and he tells Karan how he cherishes every moment. He also tells Karan that he is not tensed about his daughter Sonam, who will make her debut with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's [Images] Sawariyan this year.

Akshaye, who has seen a lot of ups and downs in his career, shares that he was moved when he read the script of Gandhi My Father. Later, when he watched the film with his family, he was extremely emotional.

Here's a sneak preview of the show.

Karan: 30 years. So you have been through ups and downs and hits and flops and have always maintained your stature, dignity and stardom. It must have been a tough ride. How does it feel today?

Anil: I feel honestly, God has been very kind to me and the film industry has been wonderful. All my directors and co-stars have been wonderful. I have some great friends and my family has been wonderful. I don't know what I would have done if I was not in this film industry. I've had a great time. Every moment I have spent here has been wonderful.

Akshaye reads from Gandhi 

Karan: So how old are you, Anil?

Anil: I'm 30 years old. I was born in 1978 when I first faced the camera.

Karan: Fine. And I'm the Queen of England [Images] (laughs). But we just have to move on. So we'll stick to the fact that you are 30. Today, how does it feel? You have done such tremendous innings, such great work. You're a lead actor and your daughter is making a debut with Sanjay Bhansali in Saawariya. Does that scare you at all? The thought of it?

Anil: Not at all. I have two more children so I'm hoping to be a leading man till they also come into entertainment because they also have decided to come into entertainment. I don't know which line they are going to choose. Sonam, of course, is Sanjay Leela Bhansali's responsibility so that's taken care of. The focus is Harsh and Riya. Till they come and make a mark in the entertainment world, I have to be a leading man.

Karan: Is this a fact that both of you'll are really close friends which doesn't really happen -- two actors being real friends. That doesn't happen in the industry though people pretend. But this is a genuine friendship. So how did that happen? How did it all start?

Akshaye: From my side, it was out of respect, really.

Karan: Both of you did Taal and then Salaam-e-ishq.

Anil: Yeah, that was more recent. But basically, for me, it started from Taal. I remember on the first day of shooting, I was waiting on the sets of Taal and looking at the watch and I was like, 'Subhashji aapka hero Akshaye to aaya hi nahi abhi tak'. And he said, 'Woh aayega, woh aayega!' He came after 12, very casually, and said, 'Subhashji, sorry, I overslept'. (Laughs)

Karan: So was Akshaye your first choice for Gandhi My Father?

Anil: Well, when I heard the script, he wasn't the first choice. There were other actors who were considered.

Karan: You didn't know that Akshaye?

Akshaye: I did.

Anil: But I always wanted Akshaye to be in the film.

Karan: What was your reaction, when you saw the film for the first time?

Akshaye: I saw it with my family. It really stirs you, it shakes you up, makes you cry. I sometimes cry just watching the promos.

Karan: It has that kind of impact. What was your father's reaction when he saw the film?

Akshaye: He hugged me and he hugged Anil. Anil said he wouldn't let him go, he was hugging him for so long. He was so happy.

Watch Koffee With Karan on Sunday, July 22 at 9 pm on Star One and Star World.

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