AJAY DEVGN: AWARDS DON’T DICTATE MY CHOICE OF ROLES
His absence at most award galas is proof enough that Ajay Devgn is not one to fawn over titles. However, there’s a special place in his heart for the National Award trophies he has garnered over the years. While shooting in Hyderabad for his next directorial venture, ‘Bholaa’, he learnt about being honoured with the Best Actor gong for ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’ (2020) at the 68th National Film Awards. This would be Devgn’s third National Award after ‘Zakhm’ (1998) and ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’ (2002).
The Saif Ali Khan and Kajolstarrer also won awards in the Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and Best Costume Design categories. Expressing that he doesn’t orchestrate films with the aim to win an award, Devgn says, “Awards are a reiteration of a job well done. So, whenever it comes, it motivates you to better yourself with every film. [However], they don’t dictate my choice of roles or movies. Films are a lifetime passion.” Drawn to essay characters that exhibit valour, strength, and sacrifice, the actor believes that choosing such roles gives him a “different high”.
While he essays most roles with ease, the period action drama was no cakewalk for Devgn, who also presided as the producer of the film. “I had to just feel the fire in my belly to [play Tanhaji], but the role of a producer was more challenging. It took months for pre-production and postproduction work. Any project that involves VFX means mega-budgets, patience, and perseverance,” says the actor. Ask him why the film deserved a national award, and the actor-filmmaker is quick to point out that it provides wholesome entertainment. “It has strong national sentiments, superb VFX, sincere performances, and honesty in every department. From grand sets, and wellresearched costumes, to music that played on loop, ‘Tanhaji’ had everything. And it appealed to everyone from six to 60.”
Honoured with the National Award for ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’, Ajay on not pandering to characters with the scope to garner
Giving credit where it is due, Devgn applauds director Om Raut and costume designers Nachiket Barve and Mahesh Sherla for their contribution to the project. “When any aspect of cinema gets appreciation— it’s terrific. Nachiket and Mahesh worked closely with Om and me and [they deserve] the credit.”
Noting that south films’ success proves that drama and emotions rule the day, Karan Johar says he is making classic family entertainer in ‘Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani’
That familiar rush of thrill, joy, and chaos. That’s what Karan Johar felt when he began filming ‘Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani’ (RARKPK) late last year, wielding the directorial baton almost six years after ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ (2016). Tell him it’s a long time to be away from a movie set, and he agrees wholeheartedly, stating, “It made me realise that I love being on set the most. At 50, [I have decided] that I will not take such long gaps.”
The break was unintentional. Johar had initially planned to helm the magnum opus, Takht. When the project hit a roadblock due to the pandemic and several other factors, the filmmaker went back to the writing table and developed RAR KPK, featuring Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan and Shabana Azmi. He believes the family drama is perfectly in sync with the audience’s taste that has changed dramatically in the past two years. “As filmmakers, we all have to go back to the basics, if we want commercial [success]. If you want to make an artistic film, go ahead, but know that your audience will get limited. Now, the cinemagoing audiences want the tadka of Hindi cinema that got diluted over the decades. The [success of] KGF: Chapter 2, RRR, and Pushpa: The Rise  [proves the theory]. We need to go back to [the elements] we grew up on — drama, songs, dance, and emotions. The phase of smalltown, high-concept movies is great, but this is the reality of our times.”
His upcoming film is a quintessential “happy Indian family drama”, he says. “There is unabashed naach-gaana. Dharamji is a ball of love, and at 86, he is so passionate. Shabana Ji is an acting institution. With Jayaji, whom I call aunty J, I feel like I have a mom on the set.”
Even as he is confident about AKPK, Johar knows that any film will have its share of criticism
Armaan Malik who recently turned 27, on his birthday as he launched his latest single Tu/You with Spotify. Besides the celebrations, the popular singer sat down for a conversation about his plans for the future. He recently collaborated with Ed Sheeran for 2step, besides launching his own label with
Speaking of his dream collaborations he said, “Justin
Charlie Puth are my favourite artists.
Puth is someone I really love. I love his musicality, the way he writes and produces. Just overall, he’s such an amazing musician. I feel like when we get together in the studio, some
magic is bound to happen. So, Justin Bieber and Charlie Puth are the two collaborations.”
It doesn’t end there, Armaan has some more big goals that he is
working towards. “I’m putting on a big performance! I’ve always dreamt of performing at Madison Square Garden. I know it’s not going to happen this year but I hope it
these keep When goal
it. that’s my biggest dream,” says the singer. happens in the next twothree years. I know it’s a big feat
I always very lofty dreams and dreams you going! you have a you work towards
So I hope I perform at Madison Square