Ajay Devgn: I take up films which will work at the box office!
One of the most intense yet humorous actors of Bollywood, Ajay Devgn talks exclusively to BollywoodLife. Read on to find out what he has to say…
The Bajirao Singham of Bollywood, Ajay Devgn will be seen in a different avatar in Drishyam. Ahead of the film’s release, Ajay speaks about his upcoming release directed by Nishikant Kamat, the comparison it will draw with its earlier versions and his future projects.
The audience will get to see you in an intense role after a while, were you looking for something like this?
You play a simple family guy in Drishyam, but in Singham you played an aggressive cop. Which character do you relate more to?
I guess I am a simple guy and hence I relate more with the character of this film. But, my director Nishikant Kamat had a complaint always that my mannerisms and looks are very heroic and I should tone them down. I told him that I am being my normal self, still I had to change myself a bit more to be more normal. Whenever I used to walk, everyone thought that I was walking likeSingham, but it was my normal walk. So, I had to change my style of walking also.
As an actor do you have to prepare yourself differently for different roles?
No, I really don’t have to prepare differently. I go and do exactly what I have to on the sets. I discuss everything with the director and I give him my point of view also and then he agrees and we start the shoot. I actually can’t even rehearse because when they ask for a rehearsal, I forget my lines and then I don’t know what I am going to do. Whoever has worked with me knows it that he or she will have to do the shot in one take.
Is there any particular reason that attracted you to the film?
The script and the screenplay attracted me a lot. The main reason I accepted the film is that it has a brilliant script.
This film has had multiple remakes, this being the fourth. So, this film will be compared to the other three, while your performance will also be compared with Kamal Haasan and Mohanlal. Do you feel any pressure about this?
Films are always compared, but if you talk about performance then No, I am not at all worried. You take pressure when you feel that there is a competition. Actors like Mohanlal and Kamal Haasan aren’t competition, they are my seniors and they are fabulous actors, but they are not my contemporaries. I haven’t seen the film also because I didn’t want to get influenced by them as they are fabulous. If it was a weaker actor, I would have seen the film so that I would understand what not to do, but if I see Mohanlal on the screen, then maybe I would have got influenced.
In what way is the Hindi version different from the Tamil and Malayalam versions?
It’s become more urban and lots of things what we felt could be trimmed have been trimmed. The drama has also been enhanced, but we haven’t touched the basics.
With the film already made thrice, will it still pull in the audience into the theatres?
Absolutely, the film obviously has many similarities to the previous three films, but the way the screenplay unfolds is unique and that will keep people on the edge of their seats and hence it will pull in the audience.
The other three films have been successful at the box office, so what are your expectations of this film at the box office?
Box office is very important and I want to do different kind of films, but only those which will work at the box office. With films like Drishyam (the original film) and Papanasam (Tamil version), you can’t make promos as you don’t have those punch line and songs, so they started slow, but the word of mouth publicity became so strong that the film just smashed records. I feel the same thing will happen for our film.
If you also have a look at the last few years, most of the festival dates are booked by A-list actors to release their films, what is your take on this monopoly?
We cannot book a date, we announce our film’s release date, but that does not mean that nobody else can release their film with us. We are not blocking any film and everybody has a right to release their film on a festival date too. I had told this earlier also that it was bound to happen that two-two films will release on a festival date and that will keep on happening. Yes, the business will get divided but everybody wants a festival date as it is the main reason the film is pushed above Rs 200 crore or even more. So, it is fair for everyone to want that festival dates. Many films have clashed at the box office earlier also and both have survived, so it’s not a big issue.
Actors are now also accepting their age and playing older roles, are you also of the same thought?
Yes, why not. I don’t mind playing a 60-year-old guy in a film. It’s a new challenge and audiences also understand the challenge. I am happy with my age and I feel I am stronger than what I was when I was 25. I have evolved a lot.
You were also going to produce a film for Kajol, when does that take off?
Yes I will be producing a film for Kajol and that will take off by the end of the year, however I will not be acting in that film.
How is Shivaay shaping up?
Shivaay is one of my most ambitious projects and a lot of work is going on currently, even though it is a hectic schedule we have accomplished a lot. Currently, the pre-production has been going on as I feel it needs a lot of pre-production work.
Any plans with Rohit Shetty any time soon?
Yes, we are in talks and we have to decide between Golmaal 4 and Singham 3.