[an error occurred while processing this directive] Known as a versatile actor Ajay Devgan is spinning out one hit comedy film after another and the latest of the series is Rohit Shetty's 'Sunday'. Normally, Ajay is accused of avoiding the media, but we caught him up during the shooting of 'Sunday' and discussed a whole lot of things. He was candid as well as casual during the conversation. Here are the excerpts.
Q: Any special reason for accepting the role in 'Sunday'?
A: Actually, I was charmed by the story of the film. Can you imagine what will happen if 'Sunday' disappears from one's life? The story of this film is its specialty and here we don't have to make faces to make the audience laugh. I think that if one's intentions are right, everything is possible. And this is what I have done. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
Q: After having done the role of an honest police officer in 'Gangajaal' how does it feel to play a corrupt cop?
A: (Laughingly) Frankly speaking, it is feeling great as I have done two different types of roles in these two films. Actually, 'Gangajaal' is a very serious film, while 'Sunday' is a comedy. The characterization of the police has not been taken too seriously in 'Sunday'.
Q: This is your second film with Rohit Shetty. What is your take on this?
A: I know Rohit for the last 16 years and have seen him grow as a director. He is a member of our family and as a director he knows what the audience wants. And this the reason why a comfort level has developed between both of us. I am sure that like 'Golmaal', 'Sunday' will also entertain the audience a lot.
Q: You have excelled in action and serious roles and now in comedy. What do you have to say regarding this?
A: Look, in order to strike a balance with you career it is essential do to various kinds of roles. It is not necessary that all your films will run well, but to prove that you are a versatile actor, this is very important. This way you not only offer variety to your audience, but also test yourself as an actor. After all, an actor also needs job satisfaction.
Q: How much do you enjoy doing comedy roles? A: According to me, making comedy and comedy happening are two different things. I enjoy doing comedy roles because this not only entertains the audience, but also the performers. And it is a known fact that comedy not only makes us laugh, but also makes us forget the stress and strains in life.
Q: Already two of your films have been released in the first month of the New Year. Is it a double 'dhamaka' for your audience in 2008?
A: I cannot comment on this and leave the issue to the audience. Personally, I am not too happy with two films being released at the same time. It has been often seen that when two films of an actor releases at the same time, they clash between them. Nevertheless, certain things are not in our hands and so we can do little about it. The best thing is that the stories of these two films are entirely on different lines.
Q: These days you are the leading man in most of Rajkumar Santoshi's films …
A: First of all let me make one thing very clear. I don't have any hang-ups working with anyone in this entire film industry and I work with anyone and everyone with whom I find myself free and relaxed. Unlike many, I do not belong to any camp and it is also not necessary that I will be in all the films of any particular director. And everyone in the industry is aware of this. What is happening is mere coincidence and I can tell you one thing and that is if a director finds a more competent actor than me for any particular role in his film, I would prefer to withdraw myself from the project.
Q: It is often said that you try to avoid the media …
A: (Laughingly) No, there is no truth in this. I never avoid the media, but it is true that I am a bit lazy on this matter.
Q: Would you like to say something about your film 'U Me Aur Hum '?
A: Well, this is my film and what can I say about it. I put the responsibility of talking about the film on you…
Q: What inspired you to make this film?
A: Just like that. The idea came to me all of a sudden and I decided to make a film of the topic to satisfy my dreams or wishes. Today very few people are aware of the fact that before becoming an actor, I have worked on all the aspects of filmmaking that remain behind the scene. Through this film, I am trying to revive my old memories.
Q: Why have you chosen Kajol for this film and not any other heroine?
A: I have not taken Kajol in the film, but it is she who has shown eagerness to work in the project. She liked the story very much and she proposed to act in the film. Fortunately, even today we are actors and not mere husband and wife before the camera.
Q: We are told that Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan are quite annoyed over the comments made against them in you film 'Halla Bol'. Would you like to comment on this?
A: Don't you think that all these is utter nonsense? After all, even I am an actor and who would like to make fun of himself. I don't feel that we have hurt anyone's sentiments through this film. But if we deliberately want to demean someone there are thousand and one ways for this.
Q: 'Nukkad natak' has been given a lot of prominence in 'Halla Bol'. What would you like to say on this?
A: Look, I have never watched a 'nukkad natak' nor do I know much on this. All that I know is that this is a very effective way to pass any message to the public and is widely utilized in northern India. As far as the film is concerned, 'nukkad natak' has not been used to stop any corruption, but to create awareness among the masses just like it was done in the Jessica Lall murder case.
Q: Do you sincerely believe that stardom can be used effectively to create awareness among the masses?
A: Certainly. But I also believe that if the media is helpful even the common man can make himself through the media. We have tried to convey this message through 'Halla Bol'.
Q: So, you feel that the media has become very strong?
A: Don't you also think so? Today the media is certainly very powerful and I want to give you an example. Today if you write something wrong or untrue about me only I and those close to me will know that this is a gossip. But more than 80 percent of the people will believe what you will write. And interestingly, if I need to clarify my stand, I will again have to seek the help of the media as I don't have any other alternative. It is only the media that has told the people that Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan are annoyed with me. The two actors never conveyed this to me. So I appeal to the media to realize their responsibilities and present the truth before the people.
Q: Tell us something about your forthcoming films.
A: My forthcoming films include Rohit Shetty's 'Golmaal Returns' and Rajkumar Santoshi's 'Ashoka – the Great'. Right now we are working on the story of 'Ashoka'. In addition, I had another film titled 'Mr Fraud', but this has got stuck owing to Sanjay Dutt. There are a number of other films, but they are in very preliminary stages and it would be too early to say anything about these.