Though he’s busy shooting his next home production, Son Of Sardaar, he’s also cooking up ideas to market his next release, Bol Bachchan. And not only will he and his team go flat out to promote his forthcoming movies, he says there will be a surprise announcement a couple of months from now. Here’s Ajay Devgn in conversation withVajir Singh, discussing Bol Bachchan and only Bol Bachchan
So ‘Singham’ is back as pahalwan (body builder) now?
(Smiles) This is the first time I play a pahalwan, which has been beautifully written. It’s good for an actor to keep playing different types of roles or something he’s never done before. Also, today’s audience doesn’t want to see an actor don the same role time and again. How long can you entertain with the same type of character, film after film?
Whose idea was it to make you a pahalwan?
See, when a story is finalised, everyone associated with the project wants to improve it. There’s a lot of brainstorming before the best option is picked. Since, I have never played a pahalwan before, the entire team thought it would only enhance the subject we had locked. The basic idea is to entertain the audience. Now you have to decide how much entertainment you can deliver through your film. We, as a team, try to give 100 per cent entertainment. With Bol Bachchan, we will be providing 100-plus per cent entertainment.
And being a pahalwan, you get to showcase some kushti (wrestling). That’s more space for action and entertainment, especially for the younger audience, especially kids.
Now what does this pahalwan Prithvi Singh do in the film? You will have to wait and see. But I can assure you he will entertain the audience from the beginning to the end. And why just kids? Yes, kids love characters like these but who says older people don’t? Don’t they watch wrestlers on WWE, who you can also call ‘modern pahalwans’? This film is for people of all ages.
Singham released in July last year and it’s Bol Bachchan in July 2012. Was
the timing deliberate?
People say if you deliver a big hit in a particular week, one should follow that trend. It is something we filmmakers have been following for years. It is not a superstitious thing but where’s the harm?
We released Singham within a stipulated time frame. But Bol Bachchan is a bigger film made on a bigger canvas. It is not a film we could complete and release within a specific period. Luckily, we managed to finish the film recently and thus decided to release it in July. Singham is still fresh in the audience’ minds. And let me tell you, it is not just filmwallahs who remember which film released when. Today’s audience too remembers.
(Cuts in) And it helps. At the end of the day, the audience decides the fate of a film. If they were with you in your last film, they will be with you in your next film. If you give them what they want, they will stand by you. Bol Bachchan is one such film, made purely for the audience and their entertainment.
Was picturising the title track on Amitabh Bachchan a gimmick?
What gimmick? People associated with the project always knew this song was part of the film. From the inception itself, we had decided to have this song on Amit-ji. It is just that we shot it after we completed the entire film. This has prompted people to say it was to woo a bigger audience. Obviously, the presence of Amit-ji, even in the song, enhances the prospects of the film.
The title of the film is Bol Bachchan and it also has Abhishek Bachchan. So how can this film be complete if we don’t have Amit-ji?
What kind of response has the song, the trailer and the look of the film drawn?
In these times, when there’s no long term for a film, its first look and trailer play a very vital role. Today’s audience decides whether to watch a film or not from its look and trailer. So the fate of a film is decided the day you launch your trailer or first look. We took our own time so that the first impression of the film is appreciated.
The response has been overwhelming and much bigger than expected. We wanted to convey what we had made through the trailer. We also wanted to communicate that it is an entertaining film made on a much bigger and much more entertaining canvas this time.
Looking back… Rohit Shetty started his career with Zameen, which had Abhishek Bachchan and you in the lead?
Sometimes, things just fall into place and a project happens. This was not the first time Rohit thought of brining us together. Before this, either the character didn’t suit Abhishek or there was another reason why we didn’t work together. But this time, with this title, we knew it had to be Abhishek. And everything worked just right.
Since Abhishek and I have known each other for years, the chemistry on screen is outstanding. So many people have told me that we look good together on-screen. Real-life bonding helps on screen.
Why does your character speak in English?
He’s not speaking English, he’s speaking incorrect English. Now, you will once again say the character has been moulded so that the kids love him.
I was about to ask…
(Cuts in) Before you make any assumptions, let me tell you every character has been penned to be loved by every age group. Bol Bachchan is a film the family can watch, laugh and go home with a smile. Watching Bol Bachchan will be like a family picnic.
Since the film has been made lavishly and you’re also the co-producer, how do you intend to go about the publicity?
Right now, I’m shooting for Son Of Sardaar. Once I’m done with that, in a few days, I will go through the entire marketing and publicity plan for Bol Bachchan. We will go all out to promote the film 20 days before its release. This time, I will also go overseas to promote it.
You will make sure that Bol Bachchan becomes your third film that crosses the Rs 100-crore mark.
(Smiles) We make a film to entertain the audience. And if we succeed, we are rewarded in return. Who doesn’t want his or her film to do well? But I’m not among those who are, like, ‘Iski 100 huyee, uski nahin’. I want my films to do better than my previous ones. I’m always competing with myself.
It’s been a long time since you’ve signed a film.
Says who? I have signed a couple of projects but they have not yet been announced except for the ones I’m doing with Sajid Khan and one with Prabhudheva. Since they will not go on floors at one go, there’s no use announcing them. Apart from these two films, I’ve agreed to do several more but they are still being written. There’s also a surprise for my audience and I will talk about this project a couple of months from now.
After Bol Bachchan, you will only have Son Of Sardaar this year?
Yes. In the recent past, I have been having two to three releases a year. I believe this is the best way to go. Son Of Sardaar will release during Diwali and, after that, I will have my next release in 2013.
Bol Bachchan and Son Of Sardaar both have comedy as well as action. Is this mix the best bet at the ticket counter?
Making a good film is a safe bet at the ticket counter. Action and comedy always entertain. But just gags and punches on a villain’s face don’t make a film entertaining. You need to have a base, a good story. Yes, comedy and action enhance the fate of a film.