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‘The economics of Marathi films haven’t really changed’
Debarati Palit Singh | Wednesday, 19 November 2014 AT 09:22 PM IST
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Ajay Devgn is a busy man; he is not only in midst of the promotion of his next Prabhu Deva directed Action Jackson but also promoting his first Marathi venture — Vitti Dandu. The actor-producer-director was in the city to promote Vitti... along his long-time friend and writer of the film Vikas Kadam and spoke about why he decided to present it and how he intends to produce more Marathi films

You are venturing into Marathi films with Vitti Dandu as the presenter. What really appealed you about the film?
Vikas narrated me the story of Vitti Dandu some eight months back. Actually he keeps me updated with all the good films that release in Marathi. I think Marathi films still have the culture where they concentrate on the content and that attracts me. The film is very motivating and the story of relationships touches you.

But it took you so long to foray into the Marathi film industry?
I don’t know how it happened. I always wanted to produce a Marathi film but was waiting for the right script.

If you get a chance, will you act and direct a Marathi film in the future?
I don’t know about direction but I will definitely like to act if I get something interesting. The role needs to suit me. As far as production is concerned, whenever Vikas finds a good script, I will produce it. Honestly, I don’t know how to choose Marathi scripts, he knows.   

But do you watch Marathi films?
I watch sometimes. Actually as kids, when there were no private channels, we use to watch Marathi films that came on DD on Saturdays. I have mostly watched the films that Vikas has recommended to me. We are also planning to remake some of the films in the future but it’s too early to talk about them.

I was coming to that, we have heard so many Bollywood actors including you praising Marathi films because of its great content. But when it comes to remakes in Hindi, Bollywood still relies heavily on South Indian films.

Not really. We keep looking for interesting Marathi films and plays. In fact, Rohit Shetty-directed Gomaal was adapted from a Marathi play. We have to understand that the number of films produced in Marathi industry is quite less compared to Southern film industry.  

Many Bollywood actors — Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar to Riteish Deshmukh are producing Marathi films. Is it because of the content which is superior to Hindi films or because the economics of the business has changed?
It’s the content for sure which is so strong. Honestly, the economics of the Marathi industry haven’t really changed. They should change and the media should support the industry. If you talk about the numbers, it’s still very difficult to get a Marathi film released in theatres. This needs to change. I hope that with so many Bollywood actors getting involved, it will change in the future.

Coming to Action Jackson, your dance moves have surprised everybody. What was more difficult, working on the sword fight scenes which you are doing for the first time or matching steps with Prabhu Deva?
Actually my dance has surprised me too (laughs). The sword scenes were very easy compared to the dance moves. But thankfully, Prabhu had choreographed simple steps which I could easily follow.

Prakash Jha and you recently announced Gangaajal 2 but with a female lead. Your fans were expecting to see you in film...
I was not very sure of being a part of Gangajaal 2. I keep meeting people who tell me that they have watched Gangaajal 20 to 25 times. The cop in Gangaajal is completely different from Singham. People’s expectations from the Singham cop are not the same as those from the Gangaajal cop. I, therefore worry that it might backfire if I do the role now. Prakashji always knew that no one could replace my role. So we decided to make it with a female lead which is much more interesting and will also give a boost to female cops.
 
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