Kajol, son of famous stunt coordinator Veeru, Ajay Devgan was
destined for the public spotlight -- but that does not mean he
dwells there comfortably.
a father who choreographed the action for films including Sholay
-- which many claim is the greatest action film ever made -- it
should not come as a surprise that Ajay Devgan insists on doing
his own stunts. He pays a price, however. "My ankle has been
broken twice, my hipbone, all my ribs; practically every bone
in my body has been broken," he tells Rediff
in an April 1997 interview.
one might assume that action is his niche. But Ajay has also received
widespread praise for his more dramatic roles in Zakhm and Hum
Dil De Chuke Sanam, and his romantic Romeos in Ishq and Pyaar
To Hona Hi Tha set the box office afire. Inevitably, they also
stirred curiosity about his love life, which, despite his three
years' marriage to Kajol, still accommodates a good deal of scandal.
not appreciate the rumors that his marriage is floundering. "I've
sent a legal notice to the columnist who's written that Kajol
and I are breaking up. Either she tenders a written apology or
prepares to face the consequences. It's the giddy limit. Kajol
and I know each other inside out so nothing can instigate us.
Even if there was an iota of truth in the rumours, I'd have kept
quiet. But totally baseless accusations can't be taken lying down."
(Filmfare, Dec. 2001)
As far as the gossip that he is involved with co-star
Urmila, "This is news to me. Urmila and I haven't met after
we wrapped up Deewane. And she's not a part of Ramu's Company
either. So where's the question of our meeting. Anees Bazmee has
signed Urmila opposite me for Deewangee but we haven't started
shooting for it yet. So tell me, where and when did we get close?
Those who indulge in yellow journalism seem to have a lot of fursat
[free time]." (Filmfare, Dec.
And Preity Zinta?
"Preity and I are two mature individuals who happen
to work together and work cordially. If people see hidden meanings
between our exchanged hellos, too bad. I'd love to say I simply
don't care about all that is written. But these rumours make working
together really awkward at one level or another." (Rediff,
Ajay should be
the expert on awkward working relationships, seeing as he's nursed
a years-long grudge against actress Raveena Tandon. Karisma
Kapoor joined in the feud during her (pre-Kajol) romance with
Ajay, allegedly pulling strings to have Raveena removed from four
films. (For the lowdown on Karisma and Raveena, see Raveena's
bio. For juice on Karisma and Ajay, see Karisma's
"I get along with all my heroines except one... Yeah,
it is Raveena I'm talking about. But it is all in the past now.
And yes, the two of us will be completing Shaktishaali, I'm a
professional and so is she. So our personal differences won't
get in the way of completing the film." (Rediff,
Apr. 1997) In turn, Raveena says, "I don't have a problem
with Ajay because he is not so important in my life. I don't even
think about it. I'm too content with my life. Probably he is unhappy
to yet talk about me this way. I'm significant in his life somewhere
that he yet holds a grudge. It doesn't make any difference to
me. I can work with anybody." (Rediff,
Jun. 1997) However, the film in which they co-star, Shaktishaali,
still hasn't released.
One of Ajay's
most recent releases, Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke, was an unmitigated
disaster at the box office, for which Ajay allegedly thanked --
in a heated confrontation -- the director, Deepak Shivdasani.
Was he angry? "I had every reason to be. What he narrated
is not what he shot. He's so stubborn. He refused to listen to
any reason. Who wants to work with such men? Certainly not me."
(Filmfare, Dec. 2001)
As far as the
overall quality of Hindi films is concerned, Ajay has a theory: "In
the South, it is different, they have a audience that is literate.
The literacy rate in the South is 90%. The film-makers in the
South have a conditioned audience. For Hindi films, our audiences
are all over the country, and the literacy rate in most parts
up north is considerably lower. I mean, even our comedy cannot
be subtle because of this, as subtle comedy will go over the heads
of our audience. Which is why everything - our stories, our comedy
tracks, our romances and even the violence in our films, is overstated."
(Rediff, Apr. 1997) Despite this,
Ajay's acting is renowned for its air of subtle, repressed intensity,
one that translates with equal ease to the longing of a lover
or the quiet fury of bandit bent on revenge. Thus, lawsuits against
gossip columnists aside, he is still an actor to reckon with.
born: April 2, 1970
height: 5' 8"
1991 Phool Aur Kaante
1998 Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha*
1999 Dil Kya Kare*
1999 Hindustan Ki Kasam
1999 Hogi Pyaar Ki Jeet
1999 Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam*
1999 Kachche Dhaage
2000 Raju Chacha
2001 Tera Mera Saath Rahen*
2001 Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke
2002 Hum Kisise Kum Nahin
2002 Legend of Bhagat Singh*
2003 Chori Chori*
2003 LOC: Kargil
2004 Tarzan - The Wonder Car
* acclaimed performance