With his famous bike stunt in Phool Aur Kaante (1991), Ajay Devgn literally arrived in Bollywood with a bang. The film was not only a hit, it also got Devgn Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut. There was no looking back since then for action director Veeru Devgan’s son, who went on to give many blockbusters in his two-decade career so far.
We can divide Ajay Devgn’s career into two phases – before Zakhm (1998) and after it. While prior to Zakhm, Ajay Devgn gave many hits, his intense acting skills came into light only after this Mahesh Bhatt film hit the theatres. It not only established Devgn as a sensitive actor, it opened new doors for him to experiment.
In the first phase Ajay Devgn impressed more with his action skills than acting prowess. In between his action avatars, he also delved into some emotional and romantic roles. Jigar (1992), Dilwale (1994), Suhaag (1994), Naajayaz (1995), Diljale (1996) and Ishq (1997) were some of the movies that got him box-office success.
Another of his notable action film was Vijaypath (1994), where he starred opposite Tabu. The film was a huge hit and Ajay Devgn developed a loyal fanbase. The film’s music apart from its action was another reason for its success.Major Saab (1998) with Amitabh Bachchan was another landmark movie for the actor who impressed the audience even in the presence of a megastar like Big B.
Then came Zakhm (1998), which was a breakthrough film for Devgn. It not only earned him the much-coveted National Award, it heralded a new phase for the actor who could now do justice to a range of roles that went beyond action.
The second phase in his career established him in the so-called A-league.
1999 was an important year for him as on one hand he garnered praise for a sensitive portrayal in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and on the other did justice to action roles in Hindustan Ki Kasam and Kachche Dhaage.
The period between 2000 and 2001 was not so good for the actor though. His Deewane was a flop and production venture Raju Chacha was a dud. Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke (2001) with Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta didn't help either. Lajja (2001), alongside Manisha Koirala, Madhuri Dixit, Jackie Shroff and Anil Kapoor, though critically acclaimed could not prove to be a box office success. Mahesh Manjrekar's Tera Mera Saath Rahe (2001) was another flop around the same time.
2002 was the year of awards and accolades for Devgn. He not only bagged National Award for Legend of Bhagat Singh, he also won Best Villain Award (Star Screen and Zee Cine) for Anees Bazmi’s Deewangi. He also won Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for Ram Gopal Varma’s Company. Hits continued to pour in for the actor with movies like Bhoot (2003), Qayamat: City Under Threat (2003), Gangaajal and Yuva (2004). Another wave of flops engulfed the actor in 2005 when he delivered duds like Insan, Blackmail, Main Aisa Hi Hoon, Tango Charlie and Shikhar. In 2006, he made up for the flops with memorable films like Golmaal and Omkara.He produced another successful movie U, Me aur Hum in 2008. Rohit Shetty's Golmaal Returns was a blockbuster hit. In 2009 he produced his third film All the Best also directed by Rohit Shetty. The film did good business Vipul Shah's London Dreams however crashed.
In 2010, he gave hits like Prakash Jha's Raajneeti and Milan Luthria's Once Upon a Time in Mumbai. Devgn also delivered another blockbuster in the form of Rohit Shetty's Golmaal 3.
His experiment with comedy did not go well as in 2011 Madhur Bhandarkar's comedy Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji bombed. He gave another commercial hit Singham in 2011. The film grossed 100 crore net in India. Ajay's next film Bol Bachchan, also reached 100 cr mark.
Phool Aur Kaante (1991): It was Ajay Devgn's debut in Bollywood.
Vijaypath (1994): The action films opposite Tabu helped establish a loyal fanbase for the actor.
Major Saab (1998): Ajay Devgn impressed even in the presence of an actor like Amitabh Bachchan.
Zakhm (1998): This was another defining movie for Ajay Devgn, as he joined the league of A-list actors with the movie.
Gangaajal (2004): In this Prakash Jha movie, Ajay Devgn showed his range as an actor.
Company (2002): Ram Gopal Varma’s Company was Ajay Devgn's another landmark movie.
Gomaal series: With three Golmaal movies with Rohit Shetty, Ajay Devgn showed he’s a master of comedy genre too.
Raajneeti (2010): Though Ajay Devgn was not the main lead, yet he shined with his performance.
Singham (2011): Ajay Devgn entered the 100 cr club with Singham. The film mark Devgn’s return to action genre.
Bol Bachchan (2012): Again Ajay Devgn showed he can do more than Golmaal by winning hearts with Bol Bachchan. The film entered 100 cr club.
1999 – National Film Award for Best Actor for Zakhm
2003 – National Film Award for Best Actor for The Legend of Bhagat Singh
1991 – Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut for Phool Aur Kaante
2002 – Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role for Deewangee
2002 – Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance for Company and The Legend of Bhagat Singh
1998 – Star Screen Award for Best Actor for Zakhm
2002 – Star Screen Award for Best Actor for Company
2002 – Star Screen Award for Best Villain for Deewangee
2011 – Best Performer for Golmaal 3
2002 – Zee Cine Award for Best Actor in a Negative Role for Deewangee
2003 – Stardust Star of the Year Award - Male for Company
2010 – Best Actor In A Comedy Role for All the Best – Fun Begins
2011 – Best Actor – Thriller/Action for Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai
2012 – Best Actor – Thriller/Action for Singham
2010 – Best Actor in a Comic Role for All the Best – Fun Begins
2003 – "Achiever of the Year" by The Foundation of Promotion of Film Arts and Crafts (FPFAC).
2008 – "Jasarat Award"
2011 – "Most Profitable Celeb of 2010" at the ETC Bollywood Business Awards 2010.
2011 - Gold Lions Awards-Best Actor Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai
2011 – NDTV's Actor of the Year – Male.
2012 - Abhineta No.1 Award by Bhaskar Bollywood Awards.
2012 - National Media Award For Asian Academy Of Film And Television-Best Actor Singham
2012 - Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards - Best Performance-Male Singham
2012 - The GQ Men of the Year Awards - Cinematic Icon of the Year.
2003 – Rajiv Gandhi Award, Achievement in Bollywood.
2012 Dada Saheb Phalke Academy Award for Outstanding Performance in Singham
On Son of Sardaar controversy: I have never been into controversies for last 20 years but I have been in one today. I would have been all the more excited about the film if not for such distractions. Aakhir hamaari film ka buzz sabko maloom hai. - Bollywood Hungama
On being an unconventional hero: "I don't mind being a different kind of a hero. I've always attempted unconventional heroism. I think audiences are ready for a change." - India Glitz
On Raju Chacha's failure: "Yes, Raju Chacha was a huge loss. I have had to sign a lot of films to make up. We spent too much on it. But it's a lesson for the next time. - RediffOn working with Madhuri: "I love Madhuri's work - it was a pleasure to work with a senior. She inspires you to give more to the film. I am glad to have done at least one film with her."- Rediff
On personal life: "I do not want to comment on my personal affairs. People talk too much - it's really irritating me now. They jump to conclusions for no reason, without sufficient proof. I never talk about my personal life. After these rumours, I definitely do not want to comment on anything." – Rediff