Ajay Devgn is a name that brings out respect from his peers, contemporaries and juniors et al. And that′s probably because the man has never compromised on his beliefs that he is known for. Co-stars vouch that he is one of the most secure actors around, and he rarely makes public appearances even to promote his films. He smiles wryly and says, “But that′s changing now. Things around me are changing rapidly. Filmmaking isn′t only about making a film and putting it out there in the theatres,” he explains. “Marketing and promotions have huge budgets dedicated to them and as an actor it′s my responsibility to do the best for my film,” he adds.
And how does it go with his principles, Ajay has been known to be the most reluctant star in the industry so far? “I don′t get stardom in terms of throwing your weight around the sets or at airports,” he admits. “Cinema is a passion in our country and actors are revered, I get that. But I have just been extremely uncomfortable putting my private life out there in the past. Why would it interest anyone, I′d think,” he reasons. “I am getting better at it now, maybe also coz I am opening up as a person a bit more as well. Having said that I can′t have aimless conversations with people at parties, which is why I avoid going to them if I can. I′d rather invite my friends home and talk to them,” he says. Kajol is no different; they must get along just fine. He laughs heartily at the remark. “Yes Kajol is a home person as well and we like doing things at home, entertaining friends and family, or at our farmhouse. It′s more comfortable that way,” he says.
Ajay Devgn, the perfect family man is a picture drawn by many, but Ajay himself has given credit for his familial bliss to wifey Kajol. Now that she is busy with a couple of projects oh her own and away from home, does Ajay feel he has to make up for it? “Firstly, Kajol′s not away that much and she′s still taking care of the house, and thinking about what needs to be done at home when she′s away,” he smiles. “Our daughter Nysa usually travels with her when she is on an outdoor. But then I love spending time with Nysa myself, and I rush back home as soon as I finish shooting to be with her. And we live with our parents as well, so no one really feels shortchanged,” he adds.
But what about Kajol′s decision to act in movies again? She′s been quite busy off late with her acting assignments… “See, it′s simple. I have never stopped Kajol from acting. She is a fabulous actress, we all know that. It′s always been up to her if she wants to do a film or not, how many films she wants to do at a time. It′s always been her decision,” he defends. “I respect the fact that when we got married she took a break for a few years and said I want to do this for my family.” And do we see Kajol in all his directorials post U Me Aur Hum? “First let us have a script and a project to begin with. Why wouldn′t I want her in all my films? But it also depends on her,” he laughs.
His production company is on a steady wicket after the success of his last production All The Best. “Last year was a bad one for the industry, it was bad all around with recession,” he takes stock. “In that regards I am glad our film did well at the box-office. It′s a very unpredictable business and you cannot pre-empt what′s going to happen. Our production company has made some monumental mistakes in the past,” he expresses. “I am largely to blame for that because I saw movies only in a certain way and wanted to make my movies only the way I saw them. But you live and learn and I have learned from my mistakes,” he says.
Ajay has donned many hats, from actor to producer and now director and has proven quite successful with each of that. Some years ago he had a series of blockbuster hits and intense performances and he was being pitted against Shah Rukh Khan as the top Gun of the industry. But that′s not the case today, although he is still one of the most bankable stars in the industry and a huge draw at the box–office. “All that talk was created by the media,” he steers clear of the issue. “I have never looked at acting as competition, and you seriously can′t. As long as my producers make money, my fans aren′t disappointed and I am doing things that interest me, I am happy,” he says.
Ajay has always been associated with big banner movies with multistar cast. His next Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge? seems to be one of those today′s film on a much smaller canvas and scale. “Those lines are blurred today,” Ajay says clearly. “You cannot classify movies as big films and small films, because audience doesn′t do it that way. They think of movies as good movies or bad movies, movies they enjoy watching or they don′t. It has nothing to do with how many big names you have in the movie and all of that. And it certainly doesn′t bother me,” he says. And is there anything Ajay would want to do at this point in time after just about trying everything? “Yes I′d like to do an action film,” pat comes the reply. “I haven′t done one of those in a while and I enjoy doing them. But it can′t be something that′s just put together because I want to do an action film. Everything has to fall into place for that to happen, but I am keen on doing one,” he says. Sign of an actor reaching the end of his prime? Certainly not.