The actor, who has teamed up with director Rohit Shetty for yet another comic caper, talks about his rapport with Abhishek Bachchan, being on the sets of Jeetendra’s Himmatwala, and saving the girl child.
This is your eighth film with Rohit!
Really? (Pauses, to mentally count their collaborations). Yes, It started with Zameen, after which there was Golmaal, Sunday, Golmaal Returns, All The Best, Golmaal 3, Singham and now Bol Bachchan.... Wow!
Both of you clearly make quite a combination. What is it that works?
I don’t really know what works. More than the combination, the fact that we make commerical films works. It helps that we think along similar lines when it comes to the films that we want to make. Both of us only want to entertain the audience. Rohit has got the pulse of the audience. Also, Rohit knows me really well. He knows my plus and minus points and understands how to present me in a film. We’ve known each other for so long, so I think we are quite tuned into each other. And then there is also luck. I also have to mention that Rohit is a very hardworking boy. He works round-the-clock.
Do you ever have disagreements?
Not really. If we don’t agree on something, either he’ll convince me or vice versa. We know each other too well to get into lengthy discussions. And, neither of us has a problem with accepting that the other person is right.
|Ajay Devgn with Rohit Shetty
Considering Rohit and you are so close, does it get tough to wear the different hats of co-producer, actor and friend?
Once the scripting and pre-production is done, I am just an actor. As a producer, I don’t get involved. Rohit and his team are like the producers on the set. I only get involved for larger issues.
After a blockbuster like Singham, everyone expected Rohit and you to do more action films together.
Well, BB is an action-comedy as is my next film Son of Sardaar. We are planning another action film after this.
You have said that BB is not a remake of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Gol Maal. So why did you buy the rights of the 1979 film starring Amol Palekar and Utpal Dutt?
Well, in terms of characters there is no similarity. The original was made more than 30 years ago, so obviously we’ve adapted it to our times and tastes. But the core idea of the film is from Gol Maal. A lot of people told us that we don’t need to buy the rights but I think it was the ethical thing to do.
Abhishek and you have been friends for years. What was it like working with him again?
Having been friends for all these years means that we have a great chemistry and, obviously, that translates on screen. He is a good actor and he has done a fabulous job in the film. Making BB was like chilling with friends at home. It did take him a day or two to adapt to our kind of comedy. We had to explain to him that our energy levels had to match for this film to work.
Did you decide to have Amitabh Bachchan in the title song because the film is called Bol Bachchan?
The idea came from Rohit. I have a great rapport with Amitji, so it was great working with him again.
in Bol Bachchan
You play a wrestler in the film. Though you have always been fit, did you have any special fitness routine for this one?
Not really. When we started the film immediately after Singham, I still had the six-packs. I thought that I needed to lose that. So, I started eating regular food.
Singham released in July 2011 and it’s BB in July 2012. Was the timing deliberate?
I had decided the date for Singham last year because after July no other films are released until Eid. So, the film will get a clear four-five week run at the theatres. That’s exactly the thought process behind BB’s release date.
Everyone is talking about Bollywood’s Rs 100 crore club...
I was just telling everyone that there is no such club. It’s not like we sit together for a drink in the evenings (laughs). It is just a media-created tag and we are going to move to higher numbers soon.
Between Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai, Raajneeti and BB, you have obviously struck a balance between different genres.
It is a conscious effort on my part to do different films because otherwise I will get bored. So, I switch genres for my own satisfaction.
No one could have imagined you remaking Himmatwala. What got you interested?
Why? You can’t imagine me in white pants? (Laughs.) It’s actually a completely different take on the original. Sajid (Khan) is a very big fan of the film. The way he has adapted the film is fabulous.
Do you remember the original?
Of course I have seen it and my father (Veeru Devgan) had worked on the film so I remember going on the various sets around Chennai.
Finally, you are planning a short film on female foeticide with Kajol. Tell us about that.
The Maharashtra government asked Kajol and me to be a part of their Save The Girl Child campaign. The idea is to spread awareness against female foeticide. The kind of information that the government officials have shared with us about female foeticide has just been shocking. I love my daughter (Nysa) to bits and I just can’t understand why a parent would kill their child. What do people have against a girl child? I could understand if this was prevalent a century ago. But in today’s times, it just doesn’t make sense. I think many women now continue to look after their old parents even after marriage while the sons move away. Kajol and I are hoping that we can make a difference by creating awareness.
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super fool hai yardi: Producer Ekta Kapoor has thrown her weight around to get Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum director Sachin Yardi to cut out a dialogue that she found offensive. The sex comedy, set to release on July 27, had a line that took a dig at Rockstar heroine Nargis Fakhri and newcomer Diana Penty, who makes her debut with Cocktail next Friday. Ekta saw red when Yardi played out the dialogue in which brother Tusshar Kapoor tells Riteish Deshmukh: “Pehle ki heroines ke naam hote thhe Madhubala, Waheeda Rahman, aur ab dekho Penty, Fakhri!”
Yardi initially ignored Ekta’s prod to drop the dialogue, going as far to say: “We argued a lot and I told her that I am the director. It is my film and I will do it my way.” What a Super Fool he turned out to be! Now having removed the line, Yardi should know how dirty the picture can get after a panga with Ekta!
SONAKSHI GETS SUPERSTITIOUS: Sonakshi Sinha is on cloud nine after Rowdy Rathore managed to power its way into the 100-crore club. With her debut Dabangg, too, sitting pretty in the 100-crore list, the two-film actress has got a little superstitious, if sources are to be believed.
For Shrish Kunder’s Joker, in which she pairs up with Akshay Kumar once more, Sonakshi will be sporting her lucky charm — remember the heart-shaped glasses that stole the show in Dabangg?
What’s more, Sonakshi reportedly wants the glares to get a place in every subsequent release of hers. Talk about seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses.