I remember the first time I met Ajay Devgn in London. It was at his hotel where he was put up, and if I'm getting my antenna's to adjust, it was for his unreleased film Mr Fraud. When I see him from a distance sitting in the bar area of the hotel, I notice his craggy feature and a courteous welcome in his sleepy hooded eyes. Once you are done talking with him, you notice again, that new stars come and go, but seldom do truly great screen actors appear, performers of such intensity and focus they are near-guaranteed a long, illustrious and award-strewn career. Such an actor is Ajay Devgn.
This special correspondent chats with India's rare definition of versatility and knows more about his co-star in Aakrosh - Akshaye Khanna, his friend and producer - Kumar Mangat, his production house, his best friend - Rohit Shetty, his London fans and his second directorial venture. That's Devgn - ambitious and hungry, unwilling to rest on his laurels and always "excited to do something good". Well then, good is to come in the form of Aakrosh and Golmaal 3 for sure!
My co-star: Akshaye Khanna
Akshaye Khanna and I did a film with Urmila called Deewangee. He is a fabulous actor. He is controlled and delivers whatever you tell him to. I don't know somewhere maybe he is lost but he is a brilliant actor we have in our industry.
My friend, my mentor: Kumar Mangat
Kumar Mangat has been with me ever since I started. He started off as my secretary with Phool Aur Kaante. He creatively understands the project and gives a free hand to the director if he backs it as a producer, which is very important. He is co-producing my next film with Madhur Bhandarkar titled Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji. He has grown by leaps and bounds.
My Production House
Actors make a production house not just to do business. They try and make cinema they believe in. All the actors who have their production houses won't produce eight films in a year. There is no comparison between studios like UTV and actors like me and many others who've started. For the big studios it's business but for us, it's the passion.
My London fans
If people in the UK compare me to Sanjeev Kumar saab's versatility, then it's nothing but their love for me which I reciprocate to in form of versatile films I do. I hope not to let my fans in London down and will always ensure to push the envelope in each of the films I do. At the moment, my London fans can get ready for the most hilarious Diwali they've ever witnessed in form of Golmaal 3.
My inspiration: Paresh Rawal
Paresh Rawal is one of the greatest actors of today's time. Words aren't enough to describe him. Working with a man of such intense and humorous sensibilities make you wonder how he can ever do it so simply. But a lot of dedication and hard work goes behind it. If you look at him, you feel he is taking acting not so seriously but that's what makes him a genius.
My family...Rohit Shetty
Rohit Shetty is a part of my family since twenty years. If Golmaal is working since it all began four years ago, then I don't understand why Rohit should think anything else besides Golmaal, as of now. Of course, once Golmaal 3 finishes, he will move on. But Rohit has learnt the knack of entertaining people over the years which have resulted in good grosses. As long as he has got the right script he is doing great. You can't tell your director to change his style. He should keep on doing what he thinks works for him till he runs out of ideas.
My second directorial film
I am working on a script right now which I don't want to discuss too much about at the moment. I need a little time to make my second directorial debut and need six months off but I don't have time right now. I am looking at the end of next year to kick start the proceedings.