'It’s everybody’s dream to direct Amitabh Bachchan sir,' says Ajay Devgn

The Bollywood star gets candid about Runway 34, working with the megastar, and more

Lipika VarmaUpdated: Sunday, April 24, 2022, 06:55 AM IST
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Pic: Viral Bhayani

Ajay Devgn will soon be seen in Runway 34. The film, also produced and directed by him, stars Amitabh Bachchan and Rakul Preet Singh as well. It will release on April 29. The Free Press Journal caught up with Ajay for a tête-à-tête. Excerpts:

Is it the story of a failed pilot or the one who rises out of the situation?

It’s not a depressing film. This character has shades of grey. He is intelligent, and the most brilliant pilot but doesn’t follow the rules. He is arrogant but does he make mistakes because of his arrogance, or is he unaware about it. He doesn’t know what mistakes he has made. When he faces such mistakes, what happens has a little mystery to it.

How did you choose this subject?

I liked the story, and I started seeing it, and then I decided that I wanted to do it. The story was very strong. Secondly, I like to make films which are challenging. Even in Shivaay, the camera moves, and the action which was canned on top of the mountain was not possible because no one had done it earlier. In this film, the drama that we had to create in the cockpit was not an easy job. It couldn’t be shot in a regular way. I created a lot of things to be able to create that drama.

How did you plan everything, so it falls in place successfully?

Yes, you have to think a lot and plan a lot. You may be facing such situations while you are flying, but you are not even aware of them. It’s a very strange thing; when you are sitting in the car, you are constantly telling your driver or whoever is driving it to be careful. A pilot is somebody whom you have not seen at all. And yet you trust him with your life completely. You have to trust the pilot. Even if your family member is flying the plane, you will not sit there. And that is something you have to think about so much, and there are situations which you will not come to know as a passenger. Even if there is a small jolt, you will say that the pilot is there and he will take care of everything. But you don’t know what is happening in the cockpit.

As a teenager, did you ever wish to become a pilot?

Yes, it was in our age group. Either you wanted to become an engineer, doctor, pilot or join the army. There were no other options then. Since my father was in the film industry, I knew I would do something in the same industry. Nowadays, children have so many options. They come with so many different terms that are unheard of, which is a very good thing. Everyone has such great jobs.

How different are you as an actor, director and producer, and when on the set, which role takes a backseat?

The actor has to take a backseat as the director is directing the actor. When you come in front of the cameras, you have to turn completely into an actor. So you have to have a balance. It is a lot of hard work, but if you are clear in your work right from the beginning, then it’s fine.

How was it to direct Amitabh Bachchan?

I think it’s everybody’s dream to direct Amitabh Bachchan sir. His kind of performance, the kind of dedication he puts in, is worthwhile. He’s a director’s actor. He inspires you completely. He is someone you cannot talk about casually. He is a legend.

Were you under pressure while directing him?

I have known him since childhood; hence there wasn’t any pressure. I share a great rapport with him.

Is this the first time you directed him?

Officially, yes, this is the first time I directed him. Unofficially, during the shoot of Major Saab, our director (Tinnu Anand) fell sick, and Amitji told me to take care of things on the sets. He said, ‘Can you take over?’. So I directed a few scenes.

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