Devgan scales another peak

Updated on Aug 30, 2003 06:10 PM IST

Whatever Ajay Devgan has chosen to touch of late has turned to gold, writes Saibal Chatterjee.

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HT Image
PTI | BySaibal Chatterjee, New Delhi

Ajay Devgan can do no wrong. No matter what the actor has chosen to touch of late has turned to gold.

He already has Best Actor National Award number two under his belt for his sterling performance in last year's The Legend of Bhagat Singh. He has notched up two certified hits (Bhoot and Qayamat) this year. And two more films (Zameen and Parwana) are lined up for release in the weeks ahead. As if that were not enough, Devgan has come up with yet another amazing display of skill in Prakash Jha's Gangaajal, a controlled performance that puts the star firmly in the running for another Rajat Kamal next year.

So does he see himself making national awards a bit of a habit? Says Devgan: "I know it's too much to expect a National Award every year. After all, you have to contend with so many great actors from all across the country. But is there any harm in setting high goals for oneself?" It most certainly isn't.

Keenly aware of his rising stocks in the industry, the actor is understandably not resting on his laurels: Devgan still grabs any good role that comes his way. "I have just said yes to Aparna Sen's Gulel," he reveals. "I've read the script and really loved it," he reveals. Gulel, being produced by Pritish Nandy Communications, is Sen's first film in Hindi and will be shot entirely in Mumbai. "We start shooting in November," says Devgan.

Another offer that Devgan has recently accepted is of a meaty role in Rituparno Ghosh's maiden Hindi film. "This film will be shot in Kolkata," Devgan says. He had earlier turned down another film Ghosh is in the processs of developing - Kaaya -- because the role required him to put on weight, which might have thrown his other films on the floors out of gear.

Devgan's mobile phone hasn't stopped ringing since the release of Gangaajal. "It's great, the film has opened strongly everywhere," he says. "It is the authentic tenor of the film that has struck a chord."

Talking about his own widely applauded performance in the film, he says: "The character I play is real and believable. There is none of the typical dialogues you expect from a Hindi movie cop. That would have sounded fake in a film like Gangaajal," says Devgan.

But true to form, Devgan refuses to hog all the credit for the impact Gangaajal seems to have had. "You cannot take away from the contribution of the supporting cast. They are all wonderful actors. They have added immensely to the power of the film. Gangaajal wouldn't have turned out they way it has without them," he says.

Did the role of the IPS officer require any special preparations? "The director handled everything," he says, pointing to Prakash Jha. "All I had to do was play my part. My lingo in the film is straight-laced Hindi and so I needed no special preparations of any kind." 

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