The Rs 100-crore club is the new Bollywood ego booster. Every time a film gears up for release, many stars feel the pressure for their films to clock the ­fastest Rs 100 crore at the box office, and then on, it’s about how many more ­hundreds are being added to the first Rs 100 crore. However, actor-producer Ajay Devgn says that he would like to stay out of the mad rush. "Please keep me out of this Rs 100-crore thing," he announces.
"You know, so many films claim to make Rs 100 crore, but very few actually make substantial profit. Some of the films have very high production cost, and even if they make Rs 100 crore at the box office, they may not be making any profits. Likewise, films not making Rs 100 crore may be making a lot of profit. So, I would like to keep out of it," says the actor, who is one of the ­original Rs 100-crore actors, for many of his films, including Golmaal, Singham and Bol Bachchan, made that kind of money at the box office back-to-back.
He doesn’t deny that he did feel the heat though. "People ask me why I have not done an intense role in a long time. There have been many scripts, but you always have the insecurity if it will get you the kind of opening you want. Eventually, you want films you do for creative ­satisfaction to also get you the money. And my ­latest film (Drishyam) gave me the conviction that it’ll work, and that I had to do it. The ­audience is demanding smart, content-backed cinema now, and it is a good thing for us," says the two-time National Award winner.
As for pay disparity, which seems to be the latest debate in the industry, Ajay says, "I think it depends on the role and the script. And the pay gap is definitely decreasing. Things are changing.” Since he is also a producer, would he be okay giving equal pay to his female actors? “If it’s justified, why not?” he says.