The strife between Ajay Devgn and Shah Rukh Khan is no secret. Ajay is, in fact, known to avoid interacting with Shah Rukh or seeing his films, despite the latter’s close friendship with his wife Kajol.
However, Shetty says that when it comes to work, Ajay is a complete professional. He says, “Ajay has no issues with me directing Shah Rukh Khan. My equation with Ajay will not change just because SRK is playing the lead in Chennai Express.”
He adds, “I have been working on the script and the pre-production of Chennai Express for a year, during which I also directed two films with Ajay. Neither has ever asked me what the other is doing. Both actors share this similarity — they leave the film to the director’s conviction and don’t ask too many questions or indulge in politics or gossip.”
The director will be working with Ajay even while Chennai Express is being shot. The Rohit-Ajay team is also working on an action film, besides Golmaal’s next installment.
Rohit started his career assisting director Kuku Kohli on Phool Aur Kaante (1991), which was Ajay’s debut film. They also worked together on Suhaag (1994), Haqeeqat (1995), Hindustan Ki Kasam (1999) and three more of Kohli’s films which starred Ajay in them. Rohit later worked with Ajay’s father, action choreographer Veeru Devgan, in Pyaar Toh Hona Hi Tha (1998) and other films thereafter.
Shetty says, “My first producer Babloo Paschisa didn’t say yes to Zameen (2003) because I was talented — I got the break because of Ajay. Thanks to his belief in me, despite our first flop, Golmaal (2006) happened. I respect him like an elder brother.”
The director will begin work with SRK for Chennai Express from september onwards.
Both Ajay and SRK don’t ask too many questions or indulge in politics or gossip.
—Director Rohit Shetty