Akshaye Khanna
Nayandeep Rakshit (DNA; July 5, 2017)

In the last one or two years, there has been an on-going debate about censorship in films. Ever since Pahlaj Nihalani stepped in as the CBFC chief with his set of rules, there has been a huge furore over his decisions. Not once, but multiple times.

While he admits he hasn’t heard about the whole Jab Harry Met Sejal controversy where Nihalani called for one lakh votes to pass the word ‘intercourse’ in the film, Akshaye Khanna says, “Censorship is an outdated concept. I agree 1,000 percent. It is completely unacceptable to a majority of the society today. Especially, the younger generation who are watching everything online — whether it’s the internet, social media — they can access the information from anywhere and nobody can stop them from doing it. So, they aren’t used to this kind of censorship,” he says.

He further adds, “You can’t necessarily say that certain content can’t be part of an audio-visual or a film or TV. It could be any content and if everyone else in the world can watch it, so can we.”

His brother Rahul Khanna, who made a smashing debut as a double agent in The Americans, a TV series in the West, grabbed eyeballs for a particular scene on the show where he went fully nude. But that scene was eventually chopped off and it never made it to the Indian platforms. We asked Akshaye if he’s comfortable with the idea of a full monty and he answered in the affirmative. Albeit, with some conditions. He tells us, “If it’s a part of a film that requires that kind of a scene to be shot and you are working with a director who you can trust, I don’t think I will have a problem with it. But it has to be absolutely essential to the story.

All of it has to be there for you to make that decision. As an actor, you cannot say, ‘I won’t do this’. You have to be open to ideas of things that you are naturally not comfortable with, but if the role requires you to do something that you may not be physically, mentally or even socially comfortable with, sometimes you can take a risk and just do it.”