The usually quiet and aloof Ajay Devgn opens up to SHUBARNA MUKERJI SHU about his upcoming film Raid and more…
In his favourite hotel room at Sun and Sand, the hustle-bustle around him doesn’t seem to percolate his gruff-aloofness. Yes, Ajay Devgn might be in a war-zone for all you know, but his façade is always cool and distant. Today, it sported an indulgent smile for eager scribes, telling you, he has allotted the day to be patient with journalists. In other words, it is a happy day with a lot of questions being asked and even answered.
How did Raid come about?
Given we had just about heard the film being contemplated and its already here.
About the incident, I am sure everyone might have read or heard about it, when it happened years ago. We heard the whole story from the horse’s mouth and then our director, Raj created a skeleton. Ritesh (the writer of the film) then stepped in and took things forward.
You were actively involved all through this process and yet you are not giving yourself, your due.
Filmmaking is always a joint process, we all work on it together. I might have given my input wherever, I felt it was needed. Raj as a director is very attuned to his actors, he knows what we are trying to suggest, mostly even before we have suggested it.
The film is coming at an apt time when the nation is living in scams. But what I particularly liked was your chemistry with Ileana.
Ileana is playing a very strong character in the film, it is often that while the men go out to work, it is their wives who really must be braver. In this, film it is depicted quite well. It is wife’s quiet support and steel, that helps him go ahead and do what he needs to do. When your honesty, belief and existence is questioned or judged, you need someone to be your strength, that’s where a partner, a wife plays an important part.
As a genre, this is a paradigm shift from Golmaal Again. As an audience, we love seeing you in roles that show off your grit. But are you partial to one genre over another?
If you call yourself an actor, you cannot possibly prefer acting in one genre over another. It has to be anything that comes your way. For me, I am not particularly partial towards anything. Early, I did films for many reasons and only one of them was if the script was nice. Most of us signed films for our friends were making it, but those days are gone. Today, it is all about how entertaining is your film. When I say entertaining, I don’t mean it has to make you laugh, there are different ways you can be entertained. One must always get the thrill of the movie experience.
So putting in a social message is not high on your priorities?
If there can be a way in which we can put a social message in a script, I would be the first one to say ‘great’, but it cannot be a requisite for me to sign a film.
How was it working with Raj Kumar Gupta?
He is fabulous, his details and diligence is amazing. We shot a lot on real locations, which often causes a lot of delay etc. but frankly, this has been one of the easiest shoots. It went so well, perhaps because Raj and his crew were on the dot.
What next after Raid?
I am working on a project which I mean to direct, then there will be the sequels of Singham and Golmaal coming up next.
Why aren’t you exploring the digital space?
In all these years in the industry, I don’t think I have ever shied away from doing something different or new, digital space is exciting, but something really good needs to come by, if it does, I will definite give it a try.