Interview with Ajay Devgan

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Ajay Devgan is a man of few words. He plays the lead role in Omkara. And he prefers to let his work do the talking. Excerpts from an interview.

What’s your role in Omkara?
Omkara is basically a love story with action in the backdrop. I play Omkara who is a very powerful man. He falls in love and his own people want to finish him. There is a conflict between me and Saif who plays Langda Tyagi in the film.

Tell us about working with Vishal Bharadwaj? You were to produce his film Barf long ago.
I think he is one of the finest directors and writers we have. The way he has adapted it and added dark humor to it is brilliant. He is flexible to all sorts of ideas. We discussed the film. His homework was also great. There were no ego clashes.

Have you read Othello?
I haven’t read the play. I have read the English version synopsis.

Whose role do you like the most in Omkara?
I like mine. I also like Saif’s role a lot. It has a lot of shades to it. I didn’t want tot take on that role because I had just done a few negative roles of late.

How different is your character in this film?
You will be able to understand it the best when you watch the film. Yes, the character is different and it had shades to it. The dialect is different. This is not a normal Hindi as it has a very interesting flavour. It wasn’t difficult but I had to get habituated to it to make myself comfortable. We attended workshops for it.

You are such a versatile actor, what is that one thing that helps you give such good performances?
I don’t know. It is just natural. When you work hard sometimes people notice it, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they like you some they don’t. So that’s part of the game.

Which film would you consider as the turning point of your career?
I don’t consider any film as the turning point of my career. I keep working and learning from my mistakes. I think it is a gradual process of learning. You just can’t say that from this particular film I learnt most and then discredit other films.

Are you happy with your performance in Omkara?
We all are happy with the whole film. For Bhagat Singh I won a national award, but today if I sit and watch the film, there are so many things I could have done in a better way. If one starts to think he has done his best, then I think he should just leave the job.

What is your take on the recent film remake culture?
There is nothing wrong in a remake. If anybody likes a particular film , he has a different angle of looking at it and if he thinks the film has potential, then why not? But yes, one should admit that they are remaking it. One should not just copy it and say I have made a new film. Remakes happen in Hollywood also and they have started here also.

In this whole Q & A session that we have had, I have learnt that your attitude is a care-a-damn.
Yes, this is my attitude. I can’t even do anything more than that. When one is in the initial phase of their career the excitement to do something new is there. But then gradually one tends to realize that you can’t do anything but work, rest is left to the audience to decide. So why tax yourself. If you tax yourself, you will still have to accept the same thing but after not accepting it. So might as well so it in advance.

Are you planning to make any film under your production banner?
No. But I have Anees Bazmee’s script with me.

Is Omkara special to you?
I believe in this film. You mat not agree with what I say today, because everyone has their own taste. But I really believe that whatever happens with the film tomorrow, it’s a film that is class apart and I am proud of. It is a film that one can proudly say has made Indian cinema reach at a different class with its aesthetic and look.

Did Kajol see the film?
Yes. She loved the film.

Any film of yours which may have not done well but is very dear to you?
Zakhm. Although I won a national award for that film, I think it would have done better now. If that movie had released in today’s times it would have done better due to the multiplex culture and the changing mindset of the audience.

Will Omkara work better in the multiplexes or small centres?
I really don’t know. The emotion, taste and aesthetics are the type which appeal to the multiplex audience and its backdrop and language is for the masses. So we are hoping it does will work at both places.

Forthcoming films?
I am shooting for Raj Kumar Santoshi’s film now. I am also doing London Dreams with him which stars Salman Khan also. I am also doing a film with Abbas Mustan with Sanjay Dutt.

Any film with Kajol?
We did a lot of films together previously. If we get a brilliant script and we both like it then why not? But nothing as of now.