Ajay Devgn is set to make his web debut with a series, and is also gearing up for the digital release of his much-awaited film, Bhuj: The Pride of India. The movie, starring Sonakshi Sinha and Sanjay Dutt, will release on Disney+Hotstar on August 13. The web series, Rudra — The Edge of Darkness, for the same streamer, will see him reunite with his Cash co-star, Esha Deol.
Revealing what prompted him to take the OTT leap, Ajay said, “Today, the quality of entertainment being delivered via digital platforms is remarkable, and has opened up avenues for filmmakers to experiment and scale-up. The sheer scale of production of these projects has multiplied significantly in the last few years. My upcoming series, Rudra – The Edge of Darkness, is bigger than anything I’ve done before.”
When asked if he had to prepare differently for a series compared to a film, Ajay was quick to respond in the negative. “At the end of the day we are all just actors. I learn my lines, rehearse my scene and go to the set. May be the technology used to shoot on set is different, the platform where the show will be streamed is different. But I just have to emote in front of the camera. That is the basic we need to do as actors,” he reflected.
Rudra – The Edge of Darkness will see him play a police officer with dark shades. The crime series is the Indian adaptation of the BBC crime thriller, Luther, which featured Hollywood star Idris Elba. Ajay will be stepping into Idris's role for the series. Produced by BBC Studios India and Applause Entertainment, the series has been largely shot in Mumbai.
The actor believes this is perhaps one of the most dark characters he has ever played in his career. “I’ve played intense cops before. But this one is a lot more edgy and dark. It was a challenging role and I have worked hard on it — a character like this, requires a different kind of mindset. Once you watch it on screen you will notice the change. As an actor, I am constantly reinventing myself with diverse roles to provide an entertaining experience to the audience. I am thrilled to embrace a new form of storytelling with OTT now,” he added.
For someone who has played iconic cop roles in films like Gangaajal and Singham, Ajay says he said yes to the series because it allowed him to push his limits. “Yes, I have played cops before, but this one attracted me because of the characterisation. It made me push my limits. I was moved when I read the script,” he shared.
Ajay has worked with Esha Deol in films like Yuva, Insan, Kaal, among others. Speaking about reuniting with her, Ajay said, “Esha and I have worked together in a few movies before. She is a good actor and I am glad she is doing films again. We had a remarkable time working together. You will see her in a new avatar in the series. It will set her apart from the other roles she has done before.”
Bhuj: The Pride of India is based on Indo-Pak war of 1971. It traces the journey of IAF Squadron Vijay Karnik and the efforts of his team to protect the Bhuj Air Base. For Ajay, saying yes to Bhuj: The Pride of India was an emotional decision. “Bhuj... is a true story based on real events. I am playing a Squadron Leader. It is a big scale film. The story revolves around how a handful of people stop the Pakistani army when the Indian army cannot reach them in time. This is a war film with all the makings of the Indo-Pak war scenario,” he added.
Directed by Abhishek Dudhaiya, Bhuj: The Pride of India also features Pranitha Subhash, Sharad Kelkar, Nora Fatehi, Ammy Virk, among others. Choosing the Indian Independence Day weekend for the release of the film was a conscious decision by the makers, given the theme of the movie.
“Bhuj is about the air force and what all it had to go through in 1971 and how the locals helped in every possible way to repair the air base. For the villagers it was a historic event and people still talk about this to their grandchildren. Even though patriotism runs high, it is more about humanity as a whole, the coming together of people for a single cause,” Ajay signed off.
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