After 2012, Ajay Devgn and Sonakshi Sinha will be seen sharing screen space once again in their upcoming film. In conversation with HT Café at the Fever 104 FM office, the actors talk about working together, selecting films, and more.You two have worked together in the past; what’s the equation that you share with each other?
Sonakshi Sinha: It’s been great from the beginning. Both the films that we’ve done together have been in the fun space, and that makes it even better. I’ve enjoyed the experience; I don’t know about him. I think he’s fried now. He thinks I talk too much.
Ajay Devgn: That’s nice. I think at least somebody needs to talk.
Did he play any pranks on you in line with his ‘prankster’ image?
Sonakshi: He doesn’t play pranks on me. Everyone has this one question on their list all the time, but he doesn’t play pranks.
Ajay: Not anymore. I used to play a lot of pranks, but for the last three-four years I haven’t been in that zone.
Watch: Action Jackson trailer
Did you have any inhibitions about working with Ajay in your new film?
Sonakshi: No, I don’t think so.
Ajay: That’s what I like about her; she’s always been very confident.
Sonakshi: I made my debut with Salman Khan. Then my second film was with Akshay (Kumar), and the third one was with Ajay… by that time, I was used to it (working with established actors). So, I really didn’t have that ‘awe’ factor.
Ajay, this is your second film with Sonakshi after Son Of Sardaar (SOS; 2012). How have you seen her change since then?
Ajay Devgn: She has always been very confident. We were going to give our first shot together (for SOS), when I told her that after a long time I am working with someone who is spontaneous and isn’t just acting.
Sonakshi was a newcomer at that time. Are you comfortable working with newcomers?
Ajay: I’m always comfortable working with everybody, but it’s not necessary that I share a great rapport with them. I do not talk much, and sometimes when other people are also very quiet, we don’t end up striking a rapport. Here, it was different because Sonakshi talks a lot (laughs). Also, I think because I was the producer of the first film (SOS) we worked together in, there was that added responsibility to make sure she’s okay.
He rarely dances in films, but he has shaken a leg in Action Jackson. Sonakshi, was it hard for you to match Ajay’s steps?
Sonakshi Sinha: Oh God, it was the most difficult task of my life (laughs). Actually, it was a lot of fun; just watching Prabhu sir (director Prabhudheva) trying to convince Ajay was funny. But once he (Ajay) got it, he was very comfortable.
You both have known Prabhudheva for a while. How was it working with him?
Ajay: He’s a fabulous director, and because he’s a fabulous actor too, he knows how to present his actors well. He’s got a great sense of comic timing, and it’s very different from the people who depend a lot on funny dialogues and making faces. He’s very subtle.
Sonakshi: This is my third film with him (after Rowdy Rathore in 2012 and R… Rajkumar in 2013) and it’s always great working with him. He makes an actor’s job a lot easier because he knows exactly what he wants. Nobody understands the pulse of the masses like Prabhu sir does.
Ajay, you usually work with established directors. Are you open to working with new directors too?
Ajay: Of course I am, but I need to be sure; that’s why I prefer hearing a director narrate a script, as a writer’s vision is completely different from a director’s vision. So, if a new director gives me a narration that really convinces me, then I’d love to do his or her film.
How do you select your roles?
Sonakshi: If the film seems entertaining to me at the narration stage, I’ll do it. I like being part of films that I would like to watch myself. It could be anything — art-house or commercial cinema. I’m very instinctive when it comes to choosing films.
As a producer, Ajay, what kinds of movies would you like to make — parallel or offbeat films or out-and-out commercial potboilers?
Ajay: I would like to do both and I am trying to do that. But it all depends on the budget. That’s what I keep saying — films don’t fail, budgets fail. If the budget is right, you’re fine.