For the last two months Ajay Devgan’s practically living in the studios. He’s not resting on his laurels or basking in the glory of having won the prestigious National Award twice, rather he’s diligently wrapping up his shooting, finalising last minute distribution details of Gangaa Jal, taking time out to do his mandatory media interviews without a frown. But then Ajay’s like that. In his 12-year stint in the glamour industry, he’s never let his private life overshadow his reel life and vice versa. If he took a day off to pray at Ajmer Sharief then it was because “Kajol wanted to go there and I had to respect her wishes.”
His date diary is booked for the next three years, and he has four back-to-back releases lined up: Prakash Jha’s Gangaa Jal (releasing tomorrow), NR Pachisia’s Zameen, JP Dutta’s LoC, Deepak Bahry’s long pending Parwana, and he’s not biting his nails off yet. “I’ve never attached too much importance to my film’s commercial success. It’s not in my hands. My job is to do my role sincerely and hopefully the results will show. I’ve not had a big disaster in recent times so I guess I am not going wrong yet,” feels Ajay.
Playing the honest, workaholic police officer in Gangaa Jal must have given him a sense of déjà vu, after all he’s played similar roles before. “Not quite. In most films made about the police force, you do have an honest police officer who divides his energies singing duets and bashing up the baddies. In Gangaa Jal there’s a lot of authenticity to the character: there’s no room for his personal problem. I’ve played an honest cop before but Gangaa Jal is the most realistic character so far,” he confesses. Add to that working with close friend Prakash Jha also helps. “I enjoy working with directors I share a good rapport with, but I don’t restrict myself only to them. I am also working with Mani Ratnam and J.P. Dutta, so you can’t say I am biased.”
The National Awards have only made Ajay determined to “grow” more as an “actor. I want to learn from my mistakes. The actor in me is very greedy. He’s not easily satisfied and now only wants the best roles.” In the middle of his hectic schedule Ajay does find time for his family, he’s enjoying every minute of his fatherhood, likes spending time with his friends “when I can”, planning a home production: “hopefully next year” and cooking biryani for Kajol “when I have time.”