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Akanksha: Continuing a legacy
12th Jan 2001   15.23 IST
By ApunKaChoice Bureau  

The small screen is not big enough for her. Naturally, being the granddaughter of late Bollywood actor Premnath and famed actress of yesteryears Bina Rai, it's nothing but the silver screen for Akanksha.

She makes her film debut in Umesh Mehra's "Yeh Mohabbat Hai" which also casts Rahul Dev in the lead role. The movie is produced by Prem Kishan and Sunil Mehta under the banner of Cinevista Egale Plus Media.

Akanksha even refused to do her father Prem Kishan's mega serial 'Noor Jehan' in the title role as she was determined to make it big in tinsel world. "Believe it or not, I turned down at least 100 offers to work to TV serials. I want to give my best to acting and prove myself as a worthy successor to Dada and Daadi," Akanksha told a film magazine.

"I've always wanted to enter this line but Papa did not like the idea of me acting in films because he wanted me to get married and settle down. I did not want to upset him so I didn't pursue this career earlier, though I felt acting was my passion", opines the budding actress.

After taking lessons from Roshan Taneja to hone her acting skills she tried to convince her father about her desire to join filmdom. Akanksha says that Papa Prem agreed reluctantly, but when he saw a video-shoot of Akku, as she is affectionately called, doing a scene in the film "Arth," tears rolled down his cheeks. "Finally he relented and allowed me to enter the big bad world of Bollywood provided I did not resort to cheap movements or do smooching scenes - else he would kick me out of the house. My mum was my greatest support. She is the man of the house and she managed to convince Papa to let met enter films."

About her priorities, Akanksha said she wants to do roles of substance like the one she plays in the debut film adding "looking glamorous is very important but I will see to it that I don't look cheap. I'll wear clothes which suit my personality but in no way will I go in for exposure. My dad has a lot of trust and confidence in me. I will never let him down, whatever the temptation might be," she said.

In her debut film, Akanksha plays Shaheen, a Muslim girl who goes to any extent to get the man she loves. "I have an amazing role with several shades. Umeshji had signed me on when he came to know that I was interested in working in films."

She has been signed by D. Rama Naidu in his yet to be titled venture directed by K. Ravi Shankar opposite Fardeen Khan. A cautious Akku says she doesn't want to sign on too many films and regret it later, like her cousin Kareena Kapoor. That's why she turned down an offer from Venus to play the romantic lead opposite newcomer Nakul Kapoor in a film to be directed by Deepak Anand as she wants to give quality time to the project she is already involved with.

As far as she is concerned, acting is essentially nothing but a lot of observation, retention and projection. "You should feel the pulse of the audience and relate to them if you want to floor them. Even today there is an aura about my Daddi's (grandmother) "Anarkali" and "Taj Mahal." It is important to change with the changing times. Today you will be booted out if you stick to only running around trees," Akanksha avers.