Bollywood actor Akshaye Khanna, known for his skilled acting, says for the longest time he had a fear of facing the media. However, he now understands its importance in the business of cinema.
Akshaye, son of late actor Vinod Khanna, maintained the image of a recluse for a long time in his career which started with "Himalaya Putra" in 1997.
Asked why, Akshaye told IANS: "I do not know why. Quite wrongly, for the longest time, I thought that the media people -- all the journalists -- are here to criticize me, to pull me down and to put me under a bad light. So, I kept avoiding... and I maintained a distance."
He has overcome it.
"I sat down and analysed the role of media to promote an art form. Now I know that you people are here as our collaborator, to promote a film, so that it can reach out to the larger audience.
"I think with time, age and experience, we understand things better. Fearing the media and press was one such wrong thing on my part. Now I am comfortable talking to journalists. Even the involvement of media in our lives has changed. Media plays an important part in the business of cinema, I have learnt it," he added.
Akshaye has acted in films like "Border", "Taal", "Dil Chahta Hai", "Deewangee", "Humraaz", "Gandhi, My Father" and "Race".
This year, he has featured in two films -- "Mom" and "Ittefaq", in both of which he played an investigating officer. He says he treated the parts differently.
Has his approach towards judging a script changed with time?
"No, it has not. I think storytelling is the oldest art form of all. If a story is interesting, whether it is a mother telling a bedtime story to her child, an author telling it in the form of a novel, a filmmaker saying it on celluloid... If the story either engages you or entertains you, you will watch it. When as an actor I judge a script, which means, a story, my parameter is also the same," he said.