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Ajay Devgn: Why are people betraying the country?

Last updated on: January 18, 2011 19:03 IST

'Why are people betraying the country?'

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Patcy N in Mumbai

Ajay Devgn was quite candid when we caught up with him for a chat.

The actor talked about his upcoming film, Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji, and also revealed the truth about award functions in India. The actor also told Patcy N why he hated his 1990's hairstyle!

Read on:

What made you say yes to Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji?

When Madhur told me he wanted to make a comedy, I decided to listen to the script out of curiosity because Madhur is known for making realistic dramas. I wanted to see what kind of comedy he will make.

When Madhur narrated the script, I was taken aback because this film will make you cry as well as laugh.

You can see Madhur's touch in the characters -- they are very real. When you see the film, it will seem like your tale or your neighbour's tale.

The characters don't do comedy but the situations are so comic that you will automatically laugh.


Image: A scene from Dil Toh Bachha Hai Ji

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'I don't identify with the character in DTBHJ'

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What can we expect from DTBHJ?
 
It is story of three friends. I play a bank manager, going through a mid-life crisis. He's going through a divorce.

An 18-year old girl comes into his life, and chats casually with him like today's youngsters. But he thinks like an old man, and feels that the girl is in love with him. He tries to please her and starts acting like a 20-year old. He starts modifying himself, goes out with youngsters, and it's funny in its own way. Slowly, he realises that if he had put in so much effort in his marriage, it would have been saved.

Emraan Hashmi's character Emmy does not believe in love. He goes out with different women every night. Since he is a gym instructor, he targets wealthy women and lives off their money. He advises Omi and me on how to behave with women and flirt with them. But when he finally falls in love, his character behaves the worst because he advises himself!
 
Omi's character is very simple. He does not even touch the girl before marriage.

So we have tried to present today's generation and their different types of thinking and how it eventually changes.
 
I enjoyed shooting for this film because the comedy is different.
 
How much do you identify with this character?


I don't identify with the character. I am happy in life. But this character is going through a divorce, that's why he is going through a mid-life crisis.

I have gone through all the phases in my life, shown in the film, except the divorce part. In my younger days, I used to run behind girls and do many things that I would not do now -- things that you later wonder what I was doing.
 
So how many girls did you fall in love with before Kajol?

Can't remember the count (laughs)!


Image: A scene from Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji

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'Rohit Shetty's Golmaal comedy is very different'

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Which of Madhur Bhandarkar movies?
 
Page 3 and Corporate.

All his films are entertaining. Even Page 3 has dark humour.

In fact, Madhur is a very humourous person. He's very good at cracking jokes and making fun.
 
Do you think Emraan is an underrated actor?

No. I think people know that he is a decent actor. He is very confident in the film. His timing is right; that's the most important thing in comedy.

How different is this comedy from Rohit Shetty's Golmaal sort of comedy?
 
Very different. Rohit's comedy is on a bigger scale. It's slapstick comedy. But this is very real.


Image: A scene from Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji

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'People only want to see entertaining films like Robot'

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Do you think today's action films are different from the kind you did earlier in your career?

All of us think action has changed but I don't think so. Look at the last few films that have worked at the box office -- Wanted, Dabangg and Ghajini. We did this kind of action 17 years ago, and the audience is enjoying it.

I think we were trying hard to become over-intelligent and make different kind of movies. But at the end of the day, the audience wants entertainment. They only want to see entertaining films like Robot.

What is the one thing that you look for in a script?

The script should touch you. There should be no confusion about whether you want to do it or not. If you start wondering if you want to do it, you should not take it up.

Then the next thing would be the producer and director, and whether they will be able to make the kind of film he promise to.


Image: A scene from Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji

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'I don't attend awards shows'

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What do you think about the awards season that has started?

I don't attend awards shows. The fact is that the organiser calls you, saying that please come for the show, we will give you an award.

If you refuse, they will give the award to someone else.

They have to market and sell their award function. That's why it's a problem for them (if you don't attend). So they give awards to whoever attends the awards show.

The minute stars say they are coming, the organisers give awards to everyone in different categories like Critic's award, Viewer's choice, Performer of the Year and what not.

What about the National awards?

Those are good but even they have been tarnished once or twice. The only satisfaction is that you are getting the award from the President of India -- at least the country's highest civilian is giving it to you.

Do you think we can make it to the Oscars?

Yes. But the problem is that there's a lot of politics in our country. There are so many small and big films that are good. Small films don't do well because we start manipulating the process and they have to lobby for their film. My question is: Why are you betraying your country? Why don't you send films that are worthy?

Here's an example. A few years back, Devdas and The Legend of Bhagat Singh were in queue for Oscars. If we need a chance at the Oscars, we must send the best film. In that case, which film would you send -- that of a drunkard or a freedom fighter? Who has the better chance? And which film did you send?

There may be many small films made by small directors and newcomers. But nobody sends them. So who are we cheating? Our country.


Image: Ajay Devgn

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'My fan following among kids has increased'

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Why did you walk out of Aarakshan and Power?

I did not walk out of Aarakshan because I had never committed to it. We were just discussing the film. But since I was preoccupied, I decided not to go on with it.

But Power, I had taken up. I was not in a position to do it, so I called the producer and director and told them that I didn't have dates. Last year, I had worked very hard. I didn't want to do that this year, as I wanted to spend time with my family.

Toonpur Ka Superrhero did do well on the box office. Why do you think?

Children saw the film and enjoyed it. But their parents did not go for it. I checked with a lot of theatres if parents accompanied the kids but I found out that one parent accompanied about 20 kids. So only the kids saw the film.

The plus point is that my fan following among kids has increased.


Image: A scene from Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji

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'I hate my hairstyle of the 1990s'

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What do you think about your hairstyle in the 1990s?

I hate it now! But even if you see your films that are two or three years old, you hate yourself and want to switch off the television. You feel you could have done it better.

Which are the films that you've regretted doing?

There are many but I don't want to name them. 

There are many films where I've wondered what I was doing in them. In the olden days, we would not get scripts or narrations. We would know that there would be four action scenes and five songs. And the films would work too.

Today, the audience has changed. There is a lot of exposure to international cinema through television. Literacy rates have gone up too. So today, if you're making a superhero film, it should be better than Superman because people have seen that. In those days, audiences had not seen Superman so they would love whatever you showed them.

I remember a song where Dharamji was dressed in Superman's clothes. If you show that today, people would come to your house and beat you up!


Image: Ajay Devgn in Jigar (1992)

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'I am trying to balance all genres'

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What are your forthcoming films?

After Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji, I am doing an action film -- it's a remake of Tamil film Singham. Then, there's Tezz, and then another comedy.

I am trying to balance all genres. I like doing comedy but I think I should do other genres too or else I will get bored.

How has life changed after your second child, Yug?

I don't know yet. But I have to spend more time with Nysa because Kajol has to give her whole time to Yug. So we have divided the responsibility. Nysa does not let me come home late from work. She starts calling me from 7 pm.


Image: The Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji poster

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