At a time when most superstars of Bollywood have miserably failed the box-office test, Ajay Devgn is still going strong. The actor who will soon be seen romancing two heroines in his next, doesn’t shy away from playing characters close to his real age. “When I talk about my age, that shows how comfortable I am. You will never see me playing a 25-year-old. Now, there are characters written for our age group. Earlier, it was only about a man romancing a young girl but things have changed today,” says the actor adding that most actors of his generation have no qualms in accepting their age on screen. “Whoever I talk to, whether it is Akshay [Kumar] or Salman (Khan), nobody has a problem with their age. The entire nation knows how old we are. That’s the fun of it,” he adds.
The film was also mired in controversy regarding veteran actor Alok Nath’s inclusion in the cast. Nath was accused of indecent behaviour by several women during the #MeToo wave which hit the country last year. But Ajay clears the air reiterating that the film was ready long before the scandal erupted and says that he would never work with someone who is proven guilty of sexual harassment. “The difference is between being accused and proven guilty. I totally agree that you shouldn’t work with the one proven guilty. But if somebody is just accused, I don’t know if I should work or not. How do we be fair? All of us need to be fair,” he says adding that the plight of their families should also be taken into account. “We are not thinking about their children and family. Forget about the career, what about their families? I know somebody who got accused and his daughter couldn’t go to school. You can imagine what the kids must be going through,” he rues.
Over the years, the 50-year-old actor has experimented with various genres and found success, especially in comedy and action-oriented roles. After a hiatus of many years, the actor returns to play a romantic hero. Speaking about the reason for his absence from romantic films, he says, “There should be a right script. I have done my share of romantic films in the past. In recent times, nobody has come to me with a romantic script, which I have liked or is convincing. Maybe, people don’t come to me with romantic roles.”
But unlike most stars, Ajay doesn’t shy away from discussing his failures. “I have done a lot of terrible films and I accept that. But I won’t name them because it is not fair on the makers. Many a time, while shooting, you realise that you are going wrong and you debate it with the maker. But finally, it is his point of view,” he points out. The two-time National Award winner, is, however, critical of the multiple film award functions and says that apart from National Award, he doesn’t believe in any other award. “I don’t attend award shows, forget about performing in them. Except for the national award, I don’t believe in anything else. Whoever will attend, gets an award. Have you seen anybody not attending and still getting an award? They ask you first and if you refuse, then they give it to someone else,” he reveals.
This year, the actor completes 28 years in the industry and despite stiff competition from the young brigade; Ajay reveals he doesn’t feel insecure. He says, “I am doing fine and there is no competition. The younger generation is doing well and we are also still here; what more can I ask for?” But the actor admits that times have changed and content is important. “I think it’s just that everyone has become more conscious about scripts and are inclined to do more quality work. Earlier, we used to do eight films and it used to work at the box-office. Now the audience doesn’t accept everything, so we also concentrate on working on one film,” he shares. A lot of it also has to do with the evolving digital age and social media, which is ever critical of the actors and their performances. “It is keeping us on our toes so that we don’t get lazy. Though we try our best, it’s more challenging now,” he feels.
The actor who has been married to Kajol, recently completed 20 years reveals that the key to making a marriage work is giving enough space to each other. “I don’t really know what it takes to make a marriage work. Kajol and I have been together through thick and thin,” he says....