Ajay Devgn and Abhishek Bachchan in Bol Bachchan
You are called Mr Blockbuster. Given the kind of expectations the audience and the industry have from your film, doesn’t that put pressure on you?
I can’t take the success I have had for granted. My approach to a film is exactly what it used to be when I started out. This pressure has been there for a while. After the first Golmaal film, every film I have done has had to be bigger and better. But I will drive myself crazy if I keep thinking of the pressure. I have learnt to handle it in the only way I know, which is to stay calm.
Both Golmaal 3 and Singham were Rs 100-crore films. Everyone expects you to score a hat-trick with Bol Bachchan.
So, if BB makes Rs 95 crore it won’t be a success? (Laughs.) To date, our investors have never lost their money. So I am praying that everything goes as hoped.
Before Singham, you were known for your comedies with dollops of action. How would you describe BB?
BB has more action than Singham. It’s a 50-50 mix of action and comedy. The Golmaal series had a lot of characters and was all about slapstick comedy. With BB, the dialogues and situations are also very fun. BB is a simple family entertainer.
This is your eighth film with Ajay Devgn. What is the upside and the downside of working with him?
Ajay is, obviously, a brilliant actor. As a director, I appreciate his knowledge and understanding of cinema and the filmmaking process. He is a producer and director so that makes my job a lot easier. The downside is that he is very punctual (laughs). I have never known him to be late. So, I can never be late.
Your films are a big hit with kids. Do you keep them in mind while making your films?
I have always maintained that I make family entertainers — films that you can see with your children and your parents. This is the reason why I don’t have item songs in my films. Or, in an action film like Singham, you won’t have seen a single drop of blood. Until families come in and watch, you can’t have a Rs 100-crore film.
An absolute must in a Rohit Shetty film is cars or buses being blown up. Why?
I am doing it for the kids. They love to see things being blown up!
Does your six-year-old son Ishaan love your films?
(Laughs) He does. Ishaan thinks that I make films only for him. He loves all the action scenes. He is my personal fan club.
Kids might love you but critics don’t. Does that upset you?
I am not going to lie. Yes, it did bother me initially. I used to wonder why the critics don’t like my films and how I can get them to like it (laughs). But after my third film, I realised that I am making films for my audience. If I try to cater to both the critics and the audience, I will not do justice to both.
Do you ever see yourself making a film that critics would like?
No. I make films as per my sensibilities. Whether it is an Anurag Kashyap, Shoojit Sircar or me, we are all here to make our kind of films.
After BB, you start work on Chennai Express, your first film without Ajay and starring Shah Rukh Khan…
(Laughs) Which is why people are saying that Ajay and I are divorced now. It is just so ridiculous. What is wrong if I am doing a film with SRK? What is funny is that I am planning a film with Ajay immediately after I am done with Chennai Express.
Didn’t Shah Rukh want to remake Angoor with you?
Yes he did want to remake Angoor but I realised that it is not a big enough film for us to work on. I already had the script of Chennai Express and so I shared that with him. He said he wanted to work with me and I could do whatever I was comfortable with. So, SRK is producing the film.
Shah Rukh has mentioned telling you that Chennai Express should have lots of cars and buses exploding.
(Laughs) Someone recently even asked if I’ll blow a train in Chennai Express. I can assure you that the film has lots of explosions.