Ajay Devgn is coined as an action hero ever since he entered film industry and has made us fall in love with his roles in 90’s. However from 20’s onwards he dabbled in different genre and tickled our funny bones with GOLMAAL series. He also entertained us with socially relevant films and made a mark with THE LEGEND OF BHAGAT SINGH. His famous films include SINGHAM 3, DRISHYAM, BAADSHAHO.
He created a benchmark with cinematography and story line with SHIVAAY and is now seen in RAID, which is based on a true story wherein he’s paired with Ileana D’Cruz. Ajay plays an income task officer, as the film is inspired from a true incident. Ajay met officers to get into the skin of the character.
In conversation with Ajay as he speaks about his experience shooting for film, how films have been impacting society with the rise of digitalization and Hollywood films, what kind of roles does he love and his upcoming projects.
Excerpts from the interview:
Did you meet the real life income tax officer who conducted this RAID?
Yes, I met them and it wasn’t just about the person but also about how he was and the honesty and morals he stood for. He did raid at a time when no one would. It is an interesting story to narrate.
How was it working with director Raj Kumar Gupta? Did you give your inputs to the story?
It was indeed a pleasure, a tuning and understanding builds with any director when you work on a film. Raj (Kumar Gupta) is a very sensible directorial and understands what the person opposite is trying to convey. A film is always a teamwork and according to my understanding I give my inputs. Raj narrated me the true incident and I thought of making a film on this. There was no screenplay at the time and then we started working on it. It was very fascinating. When you see the film, you come to know there were many layers to it and we really enjoyed it. We all decided jointly that we should make this film. I’ve known this script for the last 3-4 years. It is important to get the precision right for making such a film. When Ritesh polished the script completely, that’s when we decided to make it.
There are lot of scams that have come in the forefront just like the subject your film deals with. What is your take on that?
Scams keep happening and it’s the media due to whom these issues are coming in front more often than before. Lot of people don’t even know of the scams that happened between 80s and 90s. Economic offense has always been there.
Which is your favourite genre and what kind of films are you comfortable doing?
Films are all about entertaining the audiences. Entertainment is not just making them laugh. It’s about getting the audiences involved in the film. It’s about getting into a film, watching it and coming out thinking it was all worth it. If you can put in a social message into it that would be great.
Since your career in the 90s, have you noticed any changes in the audiences who watch your films?
Not just the audiences but we are changing as well. The change is universal with all type of audiences. There is a lot of exposure through news and internet. People have started watching world cinema and are exposed to a lot of content. Even the watchmen of my home watch content on their phones through the net. They’re evolving for sure and we as makers are also getting confident with our products.
How was it working with Ileana for the second time?
Ileana is a very sweet girl. She’s playing a very strong character. There’s a dialogue too in the promo that says, ‘Wives of an officer have to be more braver’. She’s a character that gives my character enough support and push.
How was it working with Saurabh Shukla?
I’ve worked with Saurabh Shukla earlier but the screen time, wasn’t as big as it was this time. He’s a great actor. The conflict was very interesting. The scenes that we share have a humorous touch.
Tell us about your upcoming projects, the sequel of SINGHAM or GOLMAAL?
SINGHAM 3 will happen before the next instalment of GOLMAAL.
In the 80s we saw a lot of two hero films and you’ve been doing the same too. But why do we see only a few such films?
I think a lot of actors hesitate in doing a two hero film. It’s also difficult getting two actors together. Personally I am not into genre specific, I am an actor and I enjoy working, I am not into genre specific, but would love to do a negative film.
The box office is seeing an issue with release dates where a lot of films clash. Also Hollywood films are being enjoyed more by the Indian audiences. The threat to film comes more from Bollywood or Hollywood?
The threat comes from both competitive Bollywood and Hollywood movies. It’s upon the audience what they want to watch.
still from the film RAID