Akshaye’s brother Rahul Khanna is not habitually seen in mainstream Bollywood movies but his role in the new Saif Ali Khan — Deepika Padukone movie is seen to be critical. “We needed someone with grace, dignity, charm, class and a sound educational background to play the role. Rahul was our first choice. Thankfully, he said yes,” explains Saif. Shooting for the movie has been taking place in London where the recent heavy rain has delayed things.
Hoping to build his Bollywood profile further, Rahul also plays a small role in Santosh Sivan’s Tahaan, and a larger role in Dil Kabaddi, a remake of Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives which stars Soha Ali Khan, Konkona Sen and Irrfan Khan. All are due on screen shortly. He has also just signed his first comedy, which will include Konkana Sen again, and Paresh Rawal.
Rahul is a method actor, having studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York and won the Filmfare Best Debut Award for his work in Deepa Mehta’s groundbreaking Earth, opposite Aamir Khan. He also appeared in Mehta’s less successful Bollywood Hollywood. He also took roles in Raqeeb and the surprisingly good action adventure Elaan.
Rahul is an active animal rights campaigner and has worked hard for PETA in its efforts to have elephants released from the sometimes-appalling conditions they face in zoos.