He steals the show by playing oddball characters, be it as a hero or in a supporting role, and Akshaye Khanna says every actor's shelf life is their destiny in filmdom which is written by the audience.
The 42-year-old actor says every actor's stay in films can range from five years to a massive 50 years, as per the viewers' whims and fancies.
In an interview with PTI, Akshaye says, "Every artiste's shelf life... is their destiny. I have been working for so many years and one can see I have worked with so many actors, but some of them do not have work. For me, to be a working actor is enough and more.
"Their shelf life has expired. But there will be a Lata Mangeshkar or a Rishi Kapoor who are in demand even today. The audience determines whether they still want to watch you or not."
Akshaye has often been appreciated for his acting chops, irrespective of whether the film turns out to be a hit or not. He says his intention is always to perform to the best of his ability.
"Whenever any person in the creative field does a film, they think it is going to be of good quality or this is something people will like. The intention is always positive. As a creative person, you never embark on something thinking it will be substandard.
"After that, once the creative process is finished and the film is shown to audience, it is up to them (people) whether they like it or not. The audience reaction is difficult to judge."
The actor says he wanted to test the waters before experimenting further with his choice of parts and so he deliberately chose to switch over to character roles.
"As I had taken a long break from work, I mentally decided I want to start again with smaller roles initially at least in the first two-three films. I don't want to be rusty, my craft should be well-oiled.
"I did not want to compromise on the quality of the roles - so whether it was 'Dishoom' or 'Mom' or 'Ittefaq' the quality of my role was never compromised. The size of the role might be smaller. The role may be smaller but the impact it should have on the audience should be uncompromising," he says.
Akshaye was recently seen as a cop in the remake of the 1969 thriller "Ittefaq". Also starring Sidharth Malhotra and Sonakshi Sinha, the film opened to positive reviews.