Akshaye Khanna has returned to the big screen with Gali Gali Mein Chor Hai after a year-long hiatus. Calling it a film he's "really proud of", the talented actor tells us why he will be getting a flying licence this year
What makes Gali Gali Mein Chor Hai different from other satires like Delhi 6 and Peepli Live?
Every film is different. Gali Gali Mein Chor Hai is a satirical drama about a bank cashier, a common man, whose life is ruined by the system. This may sound very depressing, but the film's screenplay is hilarious. Gali Gali... is essentially a masala Hindi film, but what sets it apart from other comedies is that it has a certain depth.
You are playing the common man. Are you fascinated by RK Laxman's popular character and his look?
When I was visualising the script after hearing it for the first time, I told Rumy (Jaffry, the director) and Nitin (Manmohan, the producer) that I visualise the expressions of RK Laxman's common man, who is so shocked, surprised and awed by what is happening around him, for my character. RK Laxman is probably the world's greatest cartoonist. I have been a huge fan of his. From the time I started reading papers, I have followed his cartoons.
After Aakrosh, No Problem and Tees Maar Khan in 2010, you did not have a single release throughout 2011.
Ideally, I would like to do three films a year. But what is important is that I must like what I am doing. There are times when I do three films a year; at other times just one. Last year, I didn't have any film. It keeps changing every year. What remains constant is that I love what I do; I love going on the sets and acting.
What keeps you busy when you are in between films?
I read, sleep, watch movies. In 2012, I have decided that I want to learn how to fly and I want to get my licence. I have to take two months off for that.
Were you disappointed with the tepid reaction to your last two films � Aakrosh and No Problem?
I am very disappointed. Aakrosh is a very good film. There is no question of running away from that disappointment or not admitting it. But then you move on to your next film and you keep trying. You keep playing.
You recently revealed an admiration for Salman Khan. But your style of acting is far from flamboyant.
I am a fan of Salman. I like him very much as a person. Everybody has their own style. If a role demands it, I can also be flamboyant. I can try my best to pull it off. There are so many actors who are flamboyant; and that is beautiful. I wish I was flamboyant. But I am not at all flamboyant as a person. Given a choice, I would do a film like Dabangg. Why not?
You are a private person who seldom makes public appearances. But doesn't that keep you away from the public eye?
I don't have any enemies, I only have friends. My life is so simple and boring. I am just on my own and I have no responsibilities. I am so happy that I can't express it.
What about marriage?
I am not ready for major decisions and responsibilities like marriage and children. I am too selfish right now. Whenever the time is right and the right person comes along, I don't know � Marriage is not planned; it happens. It's destiny.
Photos: SRK does garba, Nawazuddin takes 'shower' in bathtub
Photos: Soha Ali Khan, Evelyn Sharma, Urvashi Rautela at Mumbai airport
Spotted: Lara Dutta, Mahesh Bhupathi with their daughter in Bandra
Photos: SRK, Tamannaah Bhatia, Varun Dhawan at Mehboob Studio
Birthday special: Sushant Singh Rajput's journey from TV to films