"What news of Mumbai?" Ajay Devgan asks me, as we do a walk-the-talk at the Radisson, Cape Town after a media briefing of Cash. Devgan has been shooting non-stop and is, therefore, not too aware of the day-to-day happenings in Mumbai. "How's Lage Raho Munnabhai faring? I am told it's an amazing film. I hope to watch this one when I get back," he smiles.
It's a different Devgan I am talking to. He used to be media-shy once [he still is, but opens up to a select few], but his eyes light up as we talk of Cape Town. "Isn't this place amazing? It's pure bliss," he says.
That sets the mood for a nice tÊte-À-tÊte. Is it true he's getting back to film production? After producing Raju Chacha, the versatile actor had decided to concentrate on his acting assignments. But there's talk that the actor is planning to start a film with wife Kajol and himself in lead roles. "It's premature to talk about it," Ajay tells me, "Believe me, nothing is finalized. There has to be a script that does justice to our talent." Incidentally, Ajay is yet to watch Fanaa, which marked his wife's comeback to films after a hiatus. "I get so embarrassed when people ask me whether I've watched the film or not. I haven't been able to because of the workload."
The actor has proved his range with a wide variety of roles. He strikes a fine balance when he does an OMKARA with as much conviction as a Golmaal. "There never was an agenda to do any role or genre in particular. The role has to excite me. It could be a serious role or a frivolous one. I must connect to it," he states. He also denies that he has slammed the doors on action films. "Not true... Cash is an action film. I started my career with an action film. What I said was, action for the sake of action won't excite me. There has to be a reason for it in the script," he clarifies.
Of late, he has been cast in a series of multi-hero films. "There's Halla Bol [Rajkumar Santoshi] coming up next. That's a solo hero film. Incidentally, there's going to be a different title for this film. It's not Halla Bol anymore... Back to your question. It all depends on what your role is. Whether it stars two or three co-stars is a different issue altogether," he says.
If one goes through Ajay's careergraph, he has done a number of films with rank newcomers. "I don't believe in chasing big names. If a project happens, it's okay. If it doesn't, no regrets at all. But, at the same time, there's so much new talent around. There's no harm in working with them. Like Rohit Shetty, for instance. I saw potential in him and worked in Zameen. And later Golmaal. Hasn't he proved it? Unless you give someone a chance, you wouldn't know what he's capable of," he smiles.