Ajay Devgn: ₹100 or ₹200 crore club, it’s all rubbish! Questions about it began to irritate me
Actor Ajay Devgn says these multi-crore benchmarks in Bollywood started like a joke, ‘I don’t know why people are so dumb to take it so seriously’.bollywood Updated: Mar 20, 2018 17:17 IST
How their films fare at the box office is something that matters to actors, but Ajay Devgn is not someone to have unrealistic expectations from his projects. He had a great 2017, with Golmaal Again grossing almost ₹300 crore worldwide, but that doesn’t mean he expects his following films to meet or surpass that benchmark.
Ajay gets talking:
With your latest film Raid, do you feel any pressure to live up to a successful last release? In Bollywood, people like to measure the success of a film in terms of if it makes it to the ₹100 crore club, ₹200 crore club and so on. Do you see it as a target?
You never think like this. Raid and Golmaal Again are completely different; you can’t expect this film to be a Golmaal. Every film has its own result, and reasons [for an actor] to do [it]. So, if you say that this one will do ₹250 or ₹300 crore, it is not what we are looking at, any which way. A good number is appreciated, that’s what matters to us.
Such films [like Raid] are not very expensive films, and when they do well, it make us feel very happy and appreciated. [Also] There’s no such thing as a club, that’s all rubbish! It actually began to irritate me when people asked questions about it. It started like a joke, therefore I don’t know why people are so dumb to take it so seriously. You want your film to do well, and it will do well, but what I’m saying is that there are two different zones we are talking about here.
I am not saying [Raid] won’t do ₹100 or ₹150 crore, or whatever it does. Every script has an audience and range, so if it works within that, it makes us satisfied.
Last year, you were seen in a heist-thriller Baadshaho, followed by a goofy act in Golmaal. And in Raid, your character is a no-nonsense income tax officer. Was playing these diverse roles a conscious decision?
I have been doing different kind of films since the 1990s... practically since the time I started my career, I started getting offers for different kinds of films, from Zakhm (1998) and so on. People have just started doing it, but I have been doing it since then! I’m happy that what I was doing, other people are doing now. Rather than experimenting, it’s part of my job.
You recently said that stars of your generation are lucky to have a loyal fan following. Do you feel that there’s something that the current generation of actors lacks, and hence they don’t enjoy the same kind of fandom?
No, they don’t lack anything. The fans have changed, even for us. The ones from then are still loyal, but the new ones are loyal to products. They are loyal to content. That’s how they have evolved, which is a good thing. It’s not that the new people lack anything (laughs) but just... the mindset has changed. Today, you are more practical. You don’t just go and watch any film. You want to decide which film to watch on the basis of whether it’s good [irrespective of its star cast].
There is speculation that you’ll be making a cameo appearance in Rohit Shetty’s film Simmba, starring Ranveer Singh...
It’s too early to talk about it, so I can’t say anything right now.
It was reported recently that since Kajol (Ajay’s wife) is shooting for the film Eela, you had to wrap up work early and babysit your son Yug. Is that true?
It’s not that way. I love spending time with Yug [irrespective of whether] Kajol is shooting or not shooting [for a film]. That’s what I anyway do when I pack up for the day. I go home and spend my time with Yug. Now that my daughter (Nysa) is in Singapore (for higher studies), most of my time is spent with him, and that’s all I do. I enjoy that.
You have always maintained that Nysa is your biggest critic. Which of your films is her favourite?
She has never told me that. She will anyway never tell me something like this [because] she wouldn’t want to make me happy (laughs)! She might say which is my worst film, but she will never tell me which has been my best. She did watch Golmaal Again, and she loved it. Actually, she watches everything I do, but her liking or not liking any film depends on the kind of film it is.
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