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'I need a hit to make me tick'

Syed Firdaus Ashraf | June 07, 2004

Ajay DevganOn an average, he is known to deliver a hit every year. But surely Ajay Devgan is above the rat race?

That's what you think! The actor has a strong competitive streak in him.

According to him, a hit film makes him tick and continue to work in the film industry.

So, when Mani Ratnam held a press conference recently to assert that his new film Yuva is not a losing proposition, Devgan was right there in the forefront, to lend support.

The actor spoke to Syed Firdaus Ashraf:

I have seen the collections [of Yuva]. It is very good in Mumbai. The film has done well in 'A' class centres. People should at least highlight this fact. After all, if a film does well in 'A' centres, it is very big in terms of money. We should not run down the film.

Filmmakers make a film with the intention to cater to the masses. Unfortunately, the film [Yuva] was not understood well in 'B' centres.

Don't Miss: The Rediff Yuva Special!

I was very happy with my character [Michael Mukherjee] in the film. We say, "Kuch nahi hota desh ka [The country isn't making any progress]." Ultimately my character says, "Safai karni hai to khud jakar saaf karna hoga [If you need to clean the system you need to take the first step]."

Why am I making this effort to say that Yuva is doing well? I am only stating facts. And there is nothing wrong in it. I was not in the country when the film was released. I didn't know much about the controversies [that Yuva is a flop] around the film. Now I know for a fact that the film has done well in 'A' centres.

The 'B' centre people didn't understand the film and the masses could not relate [to it]. If we had made a straight film, people would have understood. But what is the point in making a routine film? I never felt that narrative was confusing the film.

I have given many hits in my career. To this day, I think the most important thing for every actor is to give a hit. A hit film means appreciation. Then you feel like working harder. You want to do better and better with every new film. Hits and appreciation of work is what keeps you ticking in the industry. What is the point of working if your films are not doing well?

I have done all kind of roles. I never think of what roles I should do and what I should not.

The only thing I can say about the film industry is that I have learnt a lot in all these years. From every new director and established director. I learnt lot of things from Mani Ratnam too. His thinking is clear and good.

Ajay Devgan, Vivek Oberoi, Kareena Kapoor, Mani Ratnam and Abhishek BachchanI am told people wait for an Ajay Devgan film. This is all part of success. Do filmein nahi chalengi to log galiyan dene lagenge [If two films of mine fail, the same people will pull me down]. I take everything my in stride. I work hard to meet people's expectations.

I don't know why the ratio of my hit films is more than my flop films. I guess I am lucky. I hope it doesn't happen vice-versa.

As far as producing is concerned, I am too occupied [right now]. Though [Devgan's earlier production] Raju Chacha did not do well, I was very happy the way the film turned out. It was more of a passion for me than business.

Work with [wife] Kajol? In future, but at the moment, I have no plans.

Photographs: Jewella C Miranda

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