On Friday, Ajay Devgn returned as the fearless cop in Singham Returns. He talks about his wait for “serious” roles and how vulgar comedies embarrass him as a father.
Was Singham significant to your career for bringing you closer to the masses?
I was always a mass hero. I wasn’t doing action for a long time but I knew people wanted to see me doing it. I was doing a lot of comedy when Singham got me back into the action zone, something that I was doing through the ‘90s and early 2000s.
How has the character of Bajirao Singham progressed in Singham Returns?
The core of the character is the same but his problems are bigger. From a small coastal town on the Goa-Maharashtra border, he has come to Mumbai. Now he tackles black money and takes on high-profile people. But he has the same style
You were once associated with serious, even intellectual roles. In the last five years you have increasingly moved in to the commercial space.
I have never planned my career. I go script by script and follow my heart. Even now if I get something like a Zakhm, I would grab it.
The reason why I haven’t done films like Omkara or The Legend of Bhagat Singh is because I haven’t heard a great script. And I am not too happy about it. I realise a part of my audience wants to see me doing serious roles.
It’s not easier to do mass entertainers. In fact, at some level, playing to the gallery is more difficult because there is less conviction in the character. So you need to do a lot of things by yourself, bringing in your own quirks and personality traits.
Is there any possibility of you working with Vishal Bhardwaj again?
Vishal and I share a great rapport and we are in touch. He had thought of doing something with me and he is working on it.
This is your eighth film with Rohit Shetty since you did Zameen in 2003. What is the best thing about him as a director?
He is very hard working and you can trust him. He doesn’t do anything casually. He thinks over small elements too, and tries to perfect them.
Does being a father of two influence your choice of films?
Yes, I have apologised for doing films like Rascals. I have consciously decided that I won’t do anything vulgar, which children can’t see. At that time, they were too small to react, but it just hit my conscience. If you see my films now, you won’t see much skin show and double-meaning dialogues.
Is Action Jackson the only confirmed film?
There is a lot of humour and action in the film but it’s not buffoonery. Prabhudheva has gone into a different zone — ‘pokerface comedy’ — which I am enjoying doing. Being a fabulous actor himself, he enacts it on the sets. And it is difficult to pull it off with the same effect.
What about your plans to produce and direct plans?
We are producing three-four films, including one with Kajol in the lead role. I might direct something next year.