Golmaal Again will be bigger and madder than the previous films, says Ajay Devgn
Ajay Devgn strides across movies of all genres with elan. His career graph includes films such as Drishyam, Gangaajal, Omkara, the Golmaal series, Bol Bachchan and All The Best, not to forget several action flicks and also the critically acclaimed films Zakhm, Raincoat.
Devgn is now back with his Golmaal gang, the usual suspects who made previous Golmaals such a laugh riot. Ahead of the release of its fourth franchise that clashes with his Ishq co-star, Aamir Khan’s Secret Superstar, this Diwali, the brooding actor talks the magic of Golmaal Again and more.
Is there an element of fear with Aamir Khan’s film Secret Superstar releasing alongside Golmaal Again?
There is absolutely no fear. Aamir and I met today and spoke about this. Both of us know that the two films are completely different from each other. There have been several instances in the past where two films have released on the same day with both having worked. This time, too, nothing different will happen. Also, Box office clashes have now become common and happens with almost every film.
You have done quite a few comedies and have been successful at it as well.
Comedy is a serious business for all. Actually it is tough to write and perform every good [comedy] film. That way we are good actors (smiles).
But is comedy difficult to perform as compared to expressing other emotions?
You can’t compare one emotion to another. Everything is difficult, nothing is easy or else every person would have been an actor.
What is magical about Golmaal series? What makes it work with the audience again and again?
At times things just fall into place. We don’t know where this magic comes from. If we knew that then we wouldn’t have had a single flop film ever.
Did you guys miss Kareena (Kapoor Khan) who has been part of 2 and 3? (Parineeti Chopra has replaced Kareena in Golmaal 4)
Now if I say that I missed her then Parineeti will feel bad and if I say I didn't then Kareena will feel bad.
What made you agree to do a horror comedy?
It is a genre that has not been tapped in Bollywood. Golmaal Again is a horror comedy which is not scaring you, but it is really funny. It is with the same main characters. Ideally, you should make a sequel when the characters are famous and Golmaal is one such franchise where people relate to all characters. There are 10 to 12 characters from the franchise who are famous.
Was there ever a time wherein Rohit Shetty came up to with an idea for Golmaal 4 but you rejected it?
He came to me nearly four years back with this. He narrated me the idea and I liked it. Then he took three and a half years to work on it and that is how Golmaal 4 happened. Having said that, I didn’t reject any script for Golmaal 4 in the last seven years.
As the franchise grows, do you feel the pressure to live up to the expectations?
That pressure is always there and I think that pressure is good. It is because of the pressure that it took us seven years to come up with this film. Shooting took only eight months, but it was the writing which took a lot of time. But Golmaal Again will be madder and bigger than the previous ones.
Horror comedies have not done well in Bollywood; Great Grand Masti is one such example…
(Cuts in) That’s not a horror comedy, that was more of a sex comedy. Bhool Bhulaiya worked, and I think that’s the only horror comedy I recall in the recent past. It’s a great genre, in fact, it is a fabulous genre. Golmaal Again has got a good story base or rather, I would say an emotional story base. The story starts from our childhood.
How do you react when a section of media and audience labels slapstick comedies like Golmaal as brainless?
Most of these intelligent people have seen the Golmaal franchise. They all are the closet audience of our films who don’t admit that they liked the film to maintain their reputation in society. Why wouldn’t you want to enjoy? When they watch a Hollywood comedy on similar lines, they love it because it’s in English.
These films have to be made with a brain. I don’t know why would you call these films brainless.
Over the last 25 years, how has your approach towards selecting a script changed?
It has changed. Detailing of the script has become important. Most of the audience feels that as actors, we have made a film. They don’t understand the concept of who has made the film and who is acting in it, so it becomes your responsibility to make sure that the film is good enough. The transition happened gradually, especially in the last two years.
Do you think entertaining films are the need of the day given the fact that not many are exploring this genre?
Entertainment doesn’t mean only laughing. Entertainment is something that grips you, something that makes you a part of the film for two hours. It can be any genre. When the audience starts relating with the characters, they get entertained.
How do you differentiate between the films for the 'mass' audience and the 'class' audience?
The gap is actually getting narrower. If a film has opened very well at a single screen, it will open well at the multiplex as well. If it drops at the single screen, it drops at multiplex as well. There will be a time when there would be no difference between single screen and multiplex audience.
Does the box office expectations add pressure on you as an actor?
Earlier nobody was printing it and hence it [pressure] was not there. Today you guys are printing it, and hence people have started taking numbers seriously. To me, box office numbers do matter because if you invest a certain amount, you need to recover. But that’s not the only concern for me, as even appreciation matters a lot.