Let there be more lights, action, camera. Sixteen years after his Sensational Actor Debut, he has turned director with You, Me aur Hum which is being finessed at this very moment. Plus, as an actor he will soon be seen in Halla Bol. A man of few interviews, Ajay Devgan is inveigled into one by Hiren Kotwani
You seem to have become inaccessible after Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag.
I've been preoccupied with You, Me aur Hum. We've almost completed the film... except for a song sequence.
Do you regret doing.. Aag?
No. It's not Ramu's fault, we're all to be blamed. But I do regret taking up Cash.
I believe you have warned (director) Anubhav Sinha to stay out of your sight after the Cash fiasco.
Nothing like that. We're all sensible and grown-up professionals. As long as I'm not working with him, I've no issues. If we ever work together in the future, we'll have to sort out some issues.
How come you didn't appear in the Om Shanti Om starry number? Was it because Farah Khan some made unpleasant remarks about you on Koffee with Karan?
It's not about that. To begin with, Farah didn't approach at all. Shah Rukh Khan had told Kajol to ask me.. and I would have made the appearance for sure. But I wasn't in the country when it was being shot. I would have definitely shot for Shah Rukh. I didn't even think that Farah was a part of it.
<b1>So, finally you're okay with Shah Rukh Khan now?
Okay in the sense that there are no issues. We don't exactly call each other regularly and chat, but there are no issues at all.
Incidentally, P J Singh, the producer of London Dreams, has been crying that he has lost Rs 10 crore.
Rajkumar Santoshi didn't even shoot 10 minutes of the film. If you ask the people associated with the film, it is PJ Singh's fault, and no one else's. Why don't you ask Rajji and him what happened? I'm just an actor. About 100 days of mine have already been wasted. I can't give any more dates because the producer is still not ready.
Reportedly, there's a cold war between you and Salman Khan over the shelving of London Dreams.
Salman and I get along very well, thank you. Why should there be a cold war? Just because it's PJ Singh's fault?
News is that Salman is trying to get the same film made by Vipul Shah.
I don't know about this. I'm not a part of the film any more. PJ Singh is the producer. If he wants to go ahead and make it with others, it's his wish.
<b2>How come you don't feature in the Tata Indicom commercials any more?
I requested them to give me a six-month break.. so I could complete my film. Now that the film is almost over, I'll be shooting for them soon.
You play the role of an actor in Halla Bol. Which actor is the reference point?
Why should there be a reference point? It's a fictitious story.
Isn't the movie star-politician rivalry in Halla Bol sourced from the real-life friction between Rajnikant-Jayalalitha, Shah Rukh Khan-Amar Singh and Aamir Khan-Narendra Modi?
Not really. The conflicts aren't from any actor's differences with politicians. The film revolves around an actor who struggles to achieve his dreams.
But somewhere down the line, he loses touch with his conscience. He ignores his values to realise his dreams. And then he has to make a choice between his fame and his conscience.
Can actors take up a cause without political consequences?
If we worry too much about repercussions, then we can never stand up for our beliefs. If a department of the government machinery is corrupt.. it's because the people have made it that way.
Do you expect fierce competition from
Taare Zameen Parand
Welcomewhich will also be releasing like
Bolon December 21?
I'm not sure if
is releasing on the same day. Each one of the films is different. Ideally, I'd appreciate if the films didn't come in a bunch.
Since you have now worked with Rajkumar Santoshi in four films (
Lajja, The Legend of Bhagat Singh, Khakee, Halla Bol), have you picked up any pointers to apply as a director?
Raj is a fantastic writer, he believes in high voltage drama, humour and action. Actually, it's difficult to pinpoint what one learns and from whom.
You, Me aur Humis inspired from Hollywood's
Apparently, it's not. I'lljustify this after the film's release. Where did you get this from? No one knows about the script. Get me an official statement which proves what you have said.
If someone says so, please see the worth of the informer. Is he or she associated with the movie in any which way? Whoever claims it is based on The Notebook is a fool.
<b3>I've heard that Kajol was her fiery self on the sets of You Me aur Hum.
Was she? Now, who told you this? This is news to me.
Have you changed in any which way after directing the movie?
What does change have to do with film direction? But yes, with age one becomes more responsible. I don't react to circumstances today the way I did when I was in my 20s. Look, I'm not making a classic.. it's a commercial film, straight from the heart. I'm not saying this is the gospel truth in film direction for anyone. I'm not showing off.
Are you worried about detractors who'll be ready with daggers drawn?
No. Because even if you make a fabulous film, daggers will be drawn. As an actor too, I've faced this.. there has never been a shortage of daggers to rip me apart. Today film marketing is key.
Can you play the hype and hoopla game?
I'm aware of the changing market scenario. Hype is important. The producer has to explore every avenue besides creating new ones to ensure that his film reaches every corner of the world.
I know I need to do that as a producer-director. As an actor, I could have just turned around and said that it's the producer's job. Not any more.
Will you visit reality show sets?
I'll do everything that's worth the effort.