Akshaye Khanna believes he is a hardcore commercial actor and the fact that his recent films -- "The Accidental Prime Minister" or "Section 375" -- are not considered mainstream "annoys" him. Naming his films such as "Border", "Aa Ab Laut Chalein", "Taal", "Humraaz", "Hulchul" and "Race" over the years, the actor said he has always been commercial in his movie choices.
"I've always viewed myself as a hardcore commercial actor. And if you see my work, from the start, I've only done commercial cinema. Sometimes people ask me questions, 'Do you view yourself as a commercial actor?'
"That disappoints me because I have always been a mainstream actor. Films like 'Accidental Prime Minister' and Section 375 are not viewed as typical Bollywood films," Akshaye told PTI in an interview. The actor, 44, considers himself lucky that he never got trapped in an image.
"As compared to other actors, I've been very fortunate not to have been slotted in many ways, especially within the film industry. In terms of writers, directors and producers, they have never slotted me. They've always given me different stuff to do.
"I've never been labelled as a romantic hero, or an action hero. I've always been looked at as an actor who can do a variety of things. And I don't take it lightly because it happens to a very few actors."
Akshaye said he lives in the moment and doesn't like basking in the glory of his previous hits.
"There's only one plan and that is to focus on the future because the past is irrelevant. Nobody's interested in what you've done before, how many years you have worked or how long you've been around. Nobody cares. What do you do in the future, that's what matters. I'm more focused on that," he said.
"So this is the most satisfying and interesting phase of my life. I don't know how many years I have left as an actor as every artiste has a shelf life... But whatever time is left, it'll be amazing, I'm sure," he added.
The actor is kick-staring the new year with comedy "Sab Kushal Mangal". He will be seen in a negative character on screen, a role that he has done in "Humraaz" and "Race".
"The few negative characters I have done, they're always the parts where that even though they are negative, the audience is still rooting for them over the good guy.
"That's in my opinion a good negative character to play because you're the one who's entertaining them. So even with this one, the character might be an unscrupulous, Baahubali-type goon and a politician, he is still an endearing and entertaining person," he said.
"Sab Kushal Mangal", which introduces two newcomers in the industry -- Priyank Sharma and Riva Kishan, hits the theatres countrywide on Friday.