Delhi

Taking it easy: Ajay Devgn on his kids and his cinematic choices

Another Deepavali, another Ajay Devgn film. Over the years, it has almost become a ritual, but for Ajay, “Deepavali means spending three days with the family, participating in 15-minute pooja and playing with my kids.” As we settle for a quick chat, Ajay remarks, “When I was young, I was fond of crackers but my kids are against them. My daughter has always been a strong opponent of crackers and my son has also lost interest this year,” informs Ajay, adding Nysa dislikes even phuljhadis. Those who are opposing the Supreme Court ban on crackers are doing it in the name of tradition and children. “I think 90 percent of children know the harmful effects of crackers. They are more informed than we were as kids, I guess. Environmental Studies is an important part of their syllabus,” reasons Ajay.

Talking of awareness, Ajay says his kids often leave him stunned with their questions. “Once I was coming late from shooting for 4-5 days. One night I found Yug in a mood to interrogate me about my absence. I said I was working. He retorted, ‘why do you work.’ I replied so that I could earn money to buy things...to take care of him. He said how could money take care of somebody. It silenced me.”

Time to be ‘seen’

With Badshaaho failing to rise up to the expectations, right now, Ajay’s fans are wary of the star’s performance at the box office. His commercial entertainers are not making big money and his performance oriented films are not coming through. Ajay has his reasons. “See, my last so-called content driven film was Drishyam and it did get good response. After that I have done just one film ( Shivaay ). The point is in the last couple of years I have not done many films. I have been advised to be ‘seen’ more often on screen. But I wanted to take a break after the exhausting Shivaay and didn’t find compelling scripts either. Now I have signed some films and in the next couple of years you will see me more often.”

He speaks highly of Rajkumar Gupta’s Raid, which is based “on a true story of the biggest income tax raid in country.” Ajay says working with Raj, known for No One Killed Jessica , has been a fabulous experience. “He concentrates on performances.” Ajay is not known to experiment too much with filmmakers but now he says he is. “There are no rules as such. It depends on what a filmmaker brings to me. My next is an urban romantic comedy, a space I am not known for, which is with a new filmmaker (Akiv Ali).”

Industry insiders say Ajay is not easy to convince and doesn’t like to be ‘seen’ for public relations. Recently, he did a photo shoot with Aamir Khan, whose film also released this week, for celebrating 20 years of Ishq . “That way I am not going to change. It was a chance meeting that was turned into a PR exercise. PR doesn’t make a film run. Also, I am not casual about my career; it is just a perception. I don’t like to make noise about what I am doing. Ideally, I like to talk only at the time of film’s release.”

Talking of Golmaal 4 , Ajay says, the comedy’s novelty is the touch of spookiness that will make the audience laugh. “This blend has rarely been tried successfully. I remember Mehmood sahib’s Bhoot Bungla and his iconic scene with Om Prakash (in Pyar Kiye Jaa). Bhool Bhulaiyan was also a good attempt .”

The seasoned actor holds there is no point in fiddling with the acting process either. “An actor grows with his experiences. The basic process remains the same. When I work on a film, I discover new things about me. Some have to be polished, others need to be shunned.”

Impact of social media

There was a time when only box office results used to matter for stars but now it seems the image created by social media also has to be taken into account. “I don’t think social media makes a film run either. If a film is really bad, it only helps in spreading the word fast. If you have to survive in this industry, you have to do all kinds of films. The business of Baadshaho or Golmaal helps me do a Raid . You have to understand that despite negative response to Baadshaho on social media, the film kept on doing decent business. And the films that are praised a lot on social media, and I must add that I also like them, end up making Rs. 20 to 25 crores. Now social media is curious about Golmaal 4 . It means everybody needs entertainment and variety. As I always say there are only good and bad films, and our audiences know the difference.”

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 5:55:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/taking-it-easy/article19894155.ece

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