Life sure seems to be rocking (touch wood!) for this tall, dark and handsome actor, with two back to back hits like Rajeenti and Once Upon a Time in Mumbai and a new baby to look forward to. Once one of the most underrated stars, he is one of the hottest stars of Bollywood today.
He’s proved that he is a performer of incredible range, whose myriad of characterizations over the past 20 years leave the filmgoer with a continued sense of awe and admiration.
Based on his portrayals of the tough guy in most of his films, one would assume that Ajay Devgn would be tough in person too. In fact, Devgn is so cool, laid-back and unassuming, and one of the coolest dads in Bollywood, as was evident from the way he behaved with his seven year old daughter Nysa, who had accompanied him for the interview.
Over a cup of coffee, and an uncountable number of cigarettes, he spoke about his latest hits, his excitement of being a dad again and his forthcoming films….
Once Upon a Time in Mumbai has been widely appreciated both critically and at the box office, how excited are you?
I am very excited and also very happy that people have appreciated the film.
Now that you have two back to back hits like Rajeenti and Once Upon a Time in Mumbai ,do you feel the pressure to perform even better?
Pressure is always there to do the right kind of roles but yes I am more confident now to do better work.
OUTIM is your third film with Milan Luthria, you’ve earlier worked with him in Kachche Dhaage, Chori Chori. What is your equation with him?
Milan and I are very good friends, we know each other well and understand each other. I met him four years before he directed Kachche Dhaage, when he was assisting Mahesh Bhatt. I had told him that whenever he would make his first film, I would work with him.
Most of your co-stars in OUTIM are the newer lot, how was it working with them?
It feels great to work with newcomers, especially because all of them, Emraan Hashmi, Kangna Ranaut and Prachi Desai are all good actors and also very professional. I think this generation knows a lot more than we did when we started out, because of the kind of education and also exposure to international cinema.
All of them have done a great job in the film.
You seem to be donning new looks for every film you do these days what is the reason behind that?
I feel the need to have a constant new look in my films and also the fact that these days I do one film at a time, so I have the liberty to play around with my looks.
You’ve done a variety of films like comedy, action, gangster flicks etc. what genre of films do you enjoy doing the most?
I don’t like to stick to one particular genre, I like doing different genre of films. It’s exciting and I enjoy that.
You have more of the tough action hero kind of looks how easy or difficult is it for you to do comedy and do you enjoy it?
I wouldn’t say it’s difficult; I enjoy doing comedy a lot. I have just completed shooting for Golmaal 3 and I’ve enjoyed doing it.
What do you think of offbeat cinema, would you be open to doing it?
I think it’s great and yes if the script is fabulous I would love to do offbeat cinema.
What was that one character you played that will stay with you for long?
I think it would be the character of Bhagat Singh that I did. Because I had to do a lot of research and study the character while doing the film and it was during that time I learnt small details of his life, about how selfless he was and I admired Bhagat Singh.
You have often been underrated and also sometimes things don’t go the way you want them to go, does that frustrate you?
Yes things always don’t go the way one would want it to go but now that I’ve been almost twenty years in the industry, I don’t get affected by such things.
How do you deal with the low phases in life?
(Laughs) Honestly there have never been any low phases in my life and I would say that I have been lucky. I have been in this industry for almost twenty years and almost all my films have been hits.
You are going to be a father once again after seven years, how does it feel?
Well I am very excited about the baby and every day I pray for a healthy baby. I really don’t care if it’s a boy or a girl all I care about is that the baby should be healthy.
Do you think your responsibilities are going to increase with a new baby?
Responsibilities keep increasing. (Just then Nysa quips in "Papa I want you to stop smoking!"). Yes, that is one thing I need to change about myself, I have to quit smoking very soon!
Have you watched Kajol’s film We are Family?
No I haven’t but I’ve seen the promos and it looks good.
What are your forthcoming films?
My forthcoming films are Aakrosh, Golmaal 3 and Toonpur Ka Superhero. I will also be shooting for Dil Toh Bachcha Hai and Bullet Train soon.