Even with 50 films under his belt, actor Ajith remains down to earth, eschewing the trappings of stardom.
Ajith's unflagging enthusiasm, backed by persistence, has seen him through all the lows in life, so when success comes calling in the form of Mankatha, his 50th film, he is not duly affected as he has put in the same effort for all his projects.
The Hyderabad-born actor is confident that Gambler, the dubbed version, which released this Friday will equally entertain movie lovers in Andhra Pradesh. In Gambler, he plays an anti-hero. One has seen him either as a cop or a don numerous times but Ajith says he has experimented with various genres all along. “All my cop/gangster dramas have been spaced out but somewhere the films in which I played the bad guy were extremely successful, so people are under the impression that I play only such roles. I call it selective amnesia.”
Script is the hero
Not many top heroes would agree to go grey, Ajith's salt and pepper look and his willingness to submit to the script unconditionally has won him encomiums; yet he isn't willing to take the credit.
The modest actor says that the script is the hero. “Any artiste in my place, be it in Mumbai or Andhra Pradesh would have grabbed it, it's that exciting. I had an uncanny feeling that it would work big time while it was being made and even before the release I mentioned this to my director Venkat Prabhu and my wife. It was an emotional roller coaster ride but all's well that ends well. Arjun was very magnanimous, he agreed to do the role at the last minute, Nagarjuna was supposed to do it but he had date problems. The boys and the heroines, all of them have carried me on their shoulders.”
Ajith's Billa 2, a prequel to Billa is currently in progress. He explains the latest version shows the rise of the underworld don. He adds, “It shows how David became Billa, it was a collective idea and when Billa was released, critics and others panned it as a fashion show. Right now the negotiations are on with my next project, in three weeks it will be made official.”
The actor has a huge fan base but it surprised many when he disbanded his fan club. He cites the reasons,
“Just as they wish well for me I too want them to think and live well and prioritise their lives. Let them fend for roti, kapda and makaan first, we don't need fan clubs. I'm aware of their unconditional love and they need not prove it to the world. I want them to just take the good things from my cinema. There is also an unholy nexus between cinema and politics. All fans need is a good cinema, I don't want fans taking a stance and using my name, they have a free hand to support a political party and I too don't make my preferences public. About fans running films for 100 days - even God can't save a bad film, I'm happy they were with me through my worst crisis.”
Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.
The actor has it all and is full of gratitude.
When he isn't doing films, Ajith is a race driver and his wife Shalini turned a badminton player at the state level. So ask him if his daughter Anoushka is showing an interest in sport or drama and he remarks;
“I wish she grows up to be a simple and a sensible woman. I don't want 100 films, I just want a happy ending.”