Ajay Devgn’s portrayal of mafia boss Malik in Ram Gopal Varma’s cult film Company (2002) is considered one of the finest performances in the 48-year-old actor’s career. “There are films that make you proud, and stay with you for a long time. Company is one such film, and I remember everything about it,” says Ajay.
However, the actor reveals that Varma, aka RGV, had initially refused him the lead role in Company. “It’s a pretty funny story. When Ramu first came to me, he had decided that he would start working on Company in the next three or four months. Then he sat down for the script narration, and I loved my part. After he narrated the film, he said I wouldn’t be the right choice for it,” reveals Ajay.
Recounting the whole incident, he adds, “Then the next day, he (RGV) called me and said, ‘I want to meet you.’ I said, ‘We just met yesterday.’ He said, ‘When I was narrating the script to you, I thought of another film that I am making, and I think you will be perfect for it.’ I was like, ‘What is this?’ Then he said, ‘No, I’m just joking... I want you for Company.’”
The actor tells us that it was RGV’s idea to keep the character of the mafia boss calm and composed, despite being in such a violent trade. “He didn’t want me to be overpowering. The way my character used to sit [in the back seat of the car], and everything else — all of that was planned by Ramu. Had [the portrayal] been aggressive, people would’ve thought it was a negative character, and it wouldn’t have had the same impact,” says Ajay.
Divulging more details about the way his character sketch was explained, Ajay narrates an incident: “There was a scene when I was sitting at the back [in a car], and I had to ask one of my men to shoot a guy. You know what Ramu told me? He said, ‘Just chill and don’t worry. Think of it as a doctor giving an injection to one of his patients.’ That’s the way it really was.”
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