"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.
"
(Filmfare, Dec. 2001)

Husband to Kajol, son of famous stunt coordinator Veeru, Ajay Devgan was destined for the public spotlight -- but that does not mean he dwells there comfortably.

Ajay Devgan   .With 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.   

   Naturally, 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.

   Ajay does 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. 2001)

  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, Aug. 2001)

  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 bio.)

  Ajay admits, "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.

 

Ajay Devgan
born: April 2, 1970
height: 5' 8"

FILMS

1991 Phool Aur Kaante
1993 Bedardi
1993 Sangram
1994 Suhaag
1994 Vijaypath
1995 Hulchul
1995 Naajayaz
1996 Jaan
1996 Jung
1996 Diljale
1996 Haqeeqat
1997 Ishq*
1997 Itihaas
1998 Zakhm*
1998 Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha*
1999 Dil Kya Kare*
1999 Gair
1999 Hindustan Ki Kasam
1999 Hogi Pyaar Ki Jeet
1999 Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam*
1999 Kachche Dhaage
1999 Thakshak
2000 Deewane
2000 Raju Chacha
2001 Lajja*
2001 Tera Mera Saath Rahen*
2001 Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke
2002 Company
*
2002 Deewaangee*
2002 Hum Kisise Kum Nahin
2002 Legend of Bhagat Singh*
2003 Bhoot*
2003 Chori Chori*
2003 Gangaajal
2003 Qayamat
2003 LOC: Kargil
2004 Khakee
2004 Masti
2004 Raincoat*
2004 Tarzan - The Wonder Car
2004 Yuva*
2004 Zameer

* acclaimed performance


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