100 CR CLUB NOT FOR ME: AJAY

He’s churned out big Bol­ly­wood grossers, but the ac­tor no longer wants to be part of the mad rush

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Medha Shri Dahiya medha. dahiya@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

The 100-crore club is the new Bol­ly­wood ego booster. Ev­ery time a film gears up for re­lease, many stars feel the pres­sure for their films to clock the fastest 100 crore at the box of­fice, and then on, it’s about how many more hun­dreds are be­ing added to the first 100 crore.

How­ever, ac­tor-pro­ducer Ajay Devgn says that he would like to stay out of the mad rush. “Please keep me out of this 100-crore thing,” he an­nounces.

“You know, so many films claim to make 100 crore, but very few ac­tu­ally make sub­stan­tial profit. Some of the films have very high pro­duc­tion cost, and even if they make 100 crore at the box of­fice, they may not be mak­ing any prof­its. Like­wise, films not mak­ing 100 crore may be mak­ing a lot of profit. So, I would like to keep out of it,” says the ac­tor, who is one of the orig­i­nal 100-crore ac­tors, for many of his films made that kind of money at the box of­fice back-to-back.

He doesn’t deny that he did feel the heat though. “Peo­ple ask me why I have not done an in­tense role in a long time. There have been many scripts, but you al­ways have the in­se­cu­rity if it will get you the kind of open­ing you want. Even­tu­ally, you want films you do for cre­ative sat­is­fac­tion to also get you the money. And my latest film gave me the con­vic­tion that it’ll work, and that I had to do it. The au­di­ence is de­mand­ing smart, con­tent-backed cin­ema now, and it is a good thing for us,” says the two-time Na­tional Award win­ner.

As for pay dis­par­ity, which seems to be the latest de­bate in the in­dus­try, Ajay says, “I think it de­pends on the role and the script. And the pay gap is def­i­nitely de­creas­ing. Things are chang­ing.” Since he is also a pro­ducer, would he be okay giv­ing equal pay to his fe­male ac­tors? “If it’s jus­ti­fied, why not?” he says.

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