Ajay Devgn’s little bundle of joy, Yug, was born during the auspicious Ganesh Festival. The actor is proud to become a father for the second time. “It is a great feeling. Yug means an era,” he smiles.
On the career front, Ajay already has had three hits this year and three of his forthcoming films look very promising. “You could say that. Atithi... Tum Kab Jaaoge? was a comedy, Raajneeti, a political thriller and Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, a crime drama. I have three films releasing in the next three months. Aakrosh, an action film, hits the screens on October 15. Golmaal 3, a comedy, is a Diwali release and then Toonpur Ka Superhero, that will hit the theatres on December 18, is a live-animation film. Look at the variety! Doing different things all the time keeps me going,” says the powerhouse performer. Looking dapper in a T-shirt that says ‘Not Made For Love’ and funky dark shades, he admits that even the audiences expect him to do diverse roles. But isn’t it quite a task doing six films in a year? He grins and says, “Shooting is not tiring but promoting the film is.” He recalls that this is the second time that six of his films are being released in a year.
“I think it was in 2003 that six of my films — Company, The Legend Of Bhagat Singh, Deewangee, Qayamat, Bhoot and Chori Chori — were released,” he says. Ajay is confident that his next release Aakrosh will also be accepted. Meanwhile, he has been so tied up with his own work that he is yet to see his wife, actress Kajol’s two releases this year My Name Is Khan and We Are Family. He admits candidly that it may be some time before he can actually get down to watching these films, as he starts work on Rajkumar Santoshi’s Power and Priyadarshan’s Tez in the coming days.
Ajay is quite excited about Aakrosh as it is an action film, his favourite genre. It is also the first time that he is working with Priyadarshan. He says that Priyan should do more of action films. “I have seen his work in Virasat, Gardish, Sazaa-e-Kaala Pani and even some of his South Indian films. He is fabulous. While comedy has worked for him, I think action is his forte. He has a tremendous sense of cinema and understands the nuances of action, aggression and emotion,” says the actor, who plays an Army officer and a Dalit in the film. He is sent to a village on special duty after three youth go missing. Aakrosh is a topical film based on the rampant honour-killings in Northern India. Ajay says that he did a lot of research for his role by reading up the subject in daily newspapers. But he found the script, written by Robin Bhatt and his team, very impressive. Deeply affected by the issue, the actor wonders why such things are allowed to happen in this day and age ‘when India is progressing so well in all quarters’. “Some law should be implemented to stop such callous acts. If the issue is raised ever, I shall do my best to oppose it,” Ajay promises saying that the film will create awareness and help change the mindset of people.
The team of Aakrosh, Ajay informs, even interacted with the Khap Panchayat and came to the conclusion that the issue is, in fact, deep-rooted. “Of course, they (the Panchayat) raised their points to which we had no answers and vice-versa. It is not a one-sided subject and they had some logical and right answers to all the queries,” he recalls. There was a delay in the release of the film because of the ‘ problem at the censors’ and after the Revising Committee ordered a few cuts, Aakrosh released on October 15.
After Deewangee, that was released in 2002, Ajay teams up with Akshaye Khanna again in Aakrosh. The actor recalls that it was like old times and they hit it off instantly. After the out-and-out comedy All The Best, Ajay will also be seen with Bipasha Basu in this action thriller. “In All The Best, she was a glamorous girl while in Aakrosh, she has gone de-glam. But she seemed very comfortable in Indian attire,” smiles Ajay. He is also all praise for Paresh Rawal ,who plays a villain in the film. “Paresh is a spontanous actor. He can give his shot, even a very intense one, and get back to masti-mazaak. His funda is ‘Give a shot and forget it’.” The duo’s last film together was Atithi.. Tum Kab Jaaoge? which was a comedy.
Recalling the shooting of Aakrosh in Karaikudi in South India, Ajay says that it was difficult as they had to shoot in the scorching heat with temperature as high 45-47 degrees. The actors would finish their shots and rush to their vanity vans. After work, they would retire in a bungalow where they all stayed together.
Having tried his hand at production and direction, Ajay now has taken a plunge into the real-estate business. “I have been regularly investing in real-estate so I decided to make it a full-fledged business. Alongwith Roha Group, I have floated a company called Ajay Devgan Infrastructure (ADi), that will be developing a high-end residential complex and a commercial building. While the residential complex called ADi West Coast would come up at Versova, Juhu and Worli in Mumbai, the commercial project, ADi EGO, will be constructed at Vile Parle (East) on the Western Express Highway. That will keep me even busier,” beams the newly-turned entrepreneur.