Ajay Devgn recently walked out of Prakash Jha’s Aarakshan and Rajkumar Santoshi’s Power. He retorts, “I’d never committed to Aarakshan. I’d said I’d hear the script once it was ready. So the question of walking out doesn’t arise.” And apparently the role in Power was too close to the one he’d played in Santoshi’s Lajja. “It’s a fantastic role but I want to do something different. I’m doing another film with Feroz bhai (Nadiadwala) and Rajji (Santoshi), they’re working on a script,” he says.
Meanwhile, Toonpur Ka Superhero, earlier scheduled for December 17, has been pushed forward by a week. Apparently, upset with Akshay Kumar for insisting on a Diwali release for Action Replayy, knowing it would clash with Golmaal 3, Devgn has opted to take on Kumar’s Tees Maar Khan this Christmas. “Such speculations are naïve,” he grouses. “You’re only going to think of what’s best for your film. December 17 is exam week, so we shifted it to the Christmas holidays since the film is targetting children and their elders.”
But desi animation films are yet to find an audience though Hollywood has plenty of takers. Devgn says,“That’s because of poor quality animation. Even I would prefer taking my daughter to a Lion King (1994). But we’ve tried to rectify that and set a benchmark. We did tests and only after I saw the results on screen did I breathe easy. It was difficult for me to be on the sets without actors around and fight characters who’d only appear later.”Did he agree to the toon adventure to be a superhero to his kids? "No," he laughs. "I was impressed with the script. But I hope Nysaa (his daughter) is impressed and so are other kids. Most Indian animation films talk down to them with childishly stupid jokes. But today’s kids enjoy a Golmaal 3 as much as their parents," he reasons.
Golmaal 3 in some centres has surpassed Dabangg’s collections. No full-page ads going ballistic over figures? ”Everyone knows what there is to know. We had a bash but it was more of a celebration than an announcement,” he points out. Devgn is evidently having a dream run at the theatres now.
He started out as an action hero, proved himself with dramatic roles, switched to comedy and today is known as a reliable all-rounder despite Farah Khan asserting on Koffee With Karan that he is an over-rated actor. “That comment was two years ago,” says Devgn. “I’m lucky I got to experiment with different genres, This has been a good year for me but I can’t say that I have a finger on the audience’s pulse yet.”
Giving buddy Sanjay Dutt tips on bringing up his babies since he is the more experienced parent, he smiles, “The only ones with experience are the mothers.”