He may not be fighting the battle of being one of the contenders for the Top-5 actors that we have in the industry today. Still, Ajay Devgn has made a definite place for himself with two decades of hard work and a line up of films that could make majority of actors nervous. Starting off his career as an action hero with multiple hits like Phool Aur Kaante, Jigar, Divyashakti and Vijaypath, Ajay is today known as one of the few versatile actors that we have in the industry today.
“Yes, in a way I am lucky that I can do action, comedy, drama or an emotional film. This is what keeps me going. Working in a similar genre for years can’t really work for you all the time. You have to bring in a change in your approach towards making films and this is what I strive for. I know for sure that not many actors and stars are capable of being versatile today. This way, I am blessed”, says Ajay whose London Dreams has seen a steady progress at the box office ever since it’s opening.
With films like All The Best, London Dreams, Rajneeti, Once Upon a Time in Mumbai, Priyadarshan’s next, Atithi Tum Kab Jaaoge, Toonpur Ka Superhero and a sequel to Golmaal or All The Best in his kitty, his statement does make sense. After all, the man is enjoying his status as an actor who can work in movies belonging to diverse genres.
Coming back to London Dreams, with critic reviews going in the favour of the film and audiences too giving a thumbs-up to this Vipul Shah venture, it is now Ajay’s second film in quick succession that has brought smiles back for the industry. From a slapstick comedy All The Best, was it the confidence of getting into a different kind of ‘home territory’ with an intense role in the offering that made him go for London Dreams?
“I really don’t know what exactly is like being in a ‘home territory'”, smiles Ajay, “I knew for sure that London Dreams is a kind of an intense film and since I have done quite a few successful films with a similar requirement in the past, perhaps audiences were expecting me to do well again. But yes, London Dreams did bring in a different dimension of intensity.”
Can he elaborate on this?
“See, every film has a different dimension regardless of the genre that it belongs to. Every script has its own dimension and every actor or a director looks at it in a different way. Vipul and I envisaged the character of Arjun and his placement in London Dreams in a particular way and this is what is reflected on screen”, he explains.
What was the kind of vision that he and his friend/director Rohit Shetty had when it came to making All The Best? It was pretty much a scary Friday leading to stable weekdays for the comic entertainer. Had he actually bargained for that over the Diwali weekend?
“Pretty much so”, promptly replies Ajay, “We were very much prepared that All The Best would take a slow start on the day of it’s release. Even the distributors assured us that they weren’t worried since family films take time to find their share of audiences. Moreover, this being a Diwali weekend, masses were expected to drop in once the festivities were through. That’s what exactly happened in case of All The Best and results are there for all to see.”
Another factor working in the favour of the film was unanimously good reviews that the film fetched.
“Yes, that really helped though we were quite sure about this”, says Ajay, “We knew that we had a decent film that catered to all kind of audiences. Comedies do tend to bring in some double meaning dialogues but there wasn’t anything like that in case of All The Best. We were confident that our effort would be appreciated.”
No wonder, his association with Rohit Shetty is being labelled as a reliable actor-director ‘jodi’. Do we see a modern day replacement of Priyadarshan in Rohit here?
“Hey, don’t compare him with anybody”, Ajay is quick to comment, “Yes, Rohit has a knack of comedy and that reflects in his work. Success of films like All The Best, Golmaal Returns and Golmaal is a testimony to that. Moreover, he also has a contemporary bent of mind which further gives him an edge. However, it would be unfair to compare him with anyone. Let his work talks for itself.”
Meanwhile, what happens to his own directorial outing? It has been quite some time since U Me Aur Hum came and industry is waiting for him to announce his next.
“I am still working on my next film”, says Ajay, “People do ask me a question that since I started with an action film (Phool Aur Kaante), would I be directing an action film next? Well, I am yet to lock on it and would be making an announcement at a later stage.”