'Physically, I still feel as good as a 25 year old.'
Ajay Devgn romances a much younger Rakul Preet Singh in his next comedy De De Pyaar De while his ex-wife (Tabu) hovers around, creating many hilarious moments.
"I thought I knew everything, but there's still more to learn," Devgn tells Rediff.com Contributor Ramesh S.
What made you sign up for De De Pyaar De?
It's a very new-age kind of film.
It has strong women characters and the script is quite different. There's a nice message in it.
Everything put together makes it a complete entertainment.
De De Pyaar De is humorous, many things aren't revealed in the trailer.
You don't know if Tabu is playing my wife or ex-wife, and what relationship the husband and wife actually share.
As an actor, how important is it to play or act your age on screen?
I obviously try my best to play my age on screen.
I generally play characters between the ages of 40 and 50; you will never see me playing a 25-year-old.
Even in Golmaal Again, where you were seen with Parineeti Chopra, there were dialogues that you are quite older than your love interest. Are you getting more comfortable with this now?
I was always comfortable, otherwise I would not have accepted them.
Characters of our age are being accepted by the audience and so, scripts are being written with respect to that.
So there's a lot of scope.
Some 20-30 years back, films were made with at least four songs about a romance with a young girl. Then, such things were running successfully. Things have changed now.
How different will De De Pyaar De be from your other comedy films?
It's obviously different.
I enjoy doing such films because they are written in a classy way.
It's not that I don't enjoy doing the Golmaal kind of films. That's a different kind of comedy.
Why aren't you doing more romantic movies?
Nowadays, people are coming to me with less romantic scripts, so it's actually not my decision.
When scripts come to me, I don't like some of them. The ones I like, I do.
You have known Tabu for a long time. Does that help in building that required chemistry in your films?
We are very comfortable with each other.
There's a great bond and understanding between us.
We know each other since quite a long time now, and so we can say anything to each other.
How was your experience working with Rakul Preet Singh?
When I started working with her, I didn't expect certain things from her because the script demands a depth performance. Eventually, she performed very well.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for mainstream cinema, now that audience tastes have changed?
I think everybody has become more conscious about doing scripts with good quality work.
Earlier, we used to do seven-eight films in a row and somehow, they would run successfully too.
Now, audiences don't accept this because they want good films.
So people are concentrating on one film now.
The OTT platform has become huge. Will you make your digital debut soon?
As a producer, I already have.
As an actor, I don't know.
Only when I will hear something great will I consider it.
As far as the future of OTT is concerned, it will stay. So will cinema.
I mean, you can't stay home 24/7 and watch digital. You will want to get out for some time, and an average Indian family likes to go out for a movie or dinner.
So I think cinema and OTT will both stay.
A lot of your contemporary actors are entering television. Will you appear on TV?
Not yet, because nothing I have heard suits my liking.
To be honest, people come with certain concepts which I really don't like.
It has to be something spectacular.
Otherwise, it's too much time and effort, and that's pointless.
Till what age will you do action? Akshay Kumar recently said he will do till the age of 56.
When we were in our 30s, we used to think that we will do it till our 40s.
Then in the 40s, we decided to do till the 50s.
Now if Akshay says he will do it till 56, then probably at that time, he will say, till 65.
So it's difficult to say.
Everybody has become health conscious, and everyone is getting physically fit these days.
Physically, I still feel as good as a 25 year old.
It has been 20 years of marriage with Kajol. How has the journey been?
Well, it/s different for every couple.
The most important thing is that we have not changed.
We have been there for each other through thick and thin, whenever required.
You are not seen much at award functions.
I don't perform at award functions nor attend them.
Except for the National Awards, I don't believe in any other awards because it's just software for television.
Awards are only given to those who attend the functions. So those who don't attend will not get any.
How's your equation with your contemporary actors?
We five-seven actors share the same relationship (as before) in the industry.
Because of the new generation and the corporate culture coming in, the atmosphere has changed completely.
Earlier, there was more warmth. Today, it is more professional.
Who's your favourite actor from the new generation?
From Ranbir Kapoor to Ranveer Singh, all are good today. They come prepared, which is very good.
The new generation is really prepared these days.
Regarding the #MeToo movement, many have decided to not work with the accused. What's your take on it?
See, there is a difference between 'accused' and 'proven guilty'.
If someone is proven guilty, you should not work with them.
But if someone is just accused, it becomes a very dicey situation as it can go both ways.
We are not thinking about their family and children. One can accuse anyone, but what about their personal life?
I know somebody who got accused. His daughter stopped eating and could not go to school. One just cannot imagine what they must be going through.
What has your 28 years of experience in the industry taught you?
Nothing! Every day you realise that I didn't realise this or that.
I thought I knew everything, but there's still more to learn.