My name is not Khan: superstar Ajay Devgan
Chances are he caught your eye from the word go with his debut in the 1991 movie Phool Aur Kaante, where he became an instant action hero with his split while balancing on two motorcycles. Maybe he won your heart as the self-sacrificing husband in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam who unselfishly tried to reunite his wife with her lover. Or perhaps it was his role as Sultan in Once Upon a Time in Mumbai that set your pulse racing.
No matter when he attracted your notice, Ajay Devgan is one character in Bollywood to whom the phrase, “love him or hate him, you can’t ignore him” applies perfectly. The 45-year old is known for his power-packed action roles and his record shows that he performs well in roles requiring internal intensity and ‘underperforms brilliantly’.
A contemporary of the legendary 3 Khans of Bollywood, the 45 year old has carved out a niche for himself in this highly competitive world.
With Salman, Sharukh and Aamir Khan officially ruling the Bollywood industry since the 90s, the slightly younger Devgan still managed to stand out and be noticed right from his first film debut, going on to act With 2 Khans in the industry. In 1997, he acted in Ishq alongside Aamir Khan, and in 1999, in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam with Salman Khan.
Devgan till date has not acted alongside Shah rukh and there is reportedly fierce rivalry between the two. The closest the two have come to working with each other is in 2005, with The horror film Kaal, which was co-produced by Karan Johar and SRK. Though it was rumored that the two would finally be doing a movie together with Karan Johar in 2012, nothing came of the news.
A versitile actor, Ajay Devgan has been cast in several genres of Bollywood movies. He was present in the cast of all the three Golmaals, which though it received mixed reviews by critics was declared a blockbuster hit and also in Bol Bachchan.
He balanced this out in the realistic film Once Upon a Time in Mumbai, where he played a terrorist.
During his more than 2 decade career, he has also acted in several action-packed films like Ek Hi Raasta, directed by Deepak Bahry, romantic action film Dilwale, where he played a mentally retarded character and Zakhm, where he plays a protagonist fed up with religious conflict.
He has also acted in several romantic comedy movies like Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha , Shekhar, and Chori Chori to name a few.
Apart from working with 2 of the three Khans of Bollywood, Ajay has also starred along with superstar Amitabh Bachchan in blockbuster Major Saab and also in films Hindustan Ki Kasam, Hum Kisise Kum Nahin and Khakee. He has also worked with contemporaries Saif Ali Khan in Kachche Dhaage and Akshay Kumar in Suhaag and afore mentioned Khakee. The latter movie also saw Ajay co-star with Sanjay Dutt, , who also acted in Ajay’s home production, All the Best. Ajay has so far worked opposite several top actresses like Aishwarya Rai, Sonali bendre, Kajol, Karisma Kapoor to name a few.
Though not a Khan, Devgan’s family members are not exactly strangers to Bollywood. As many as 14] members of his family are all related to the Hindi film industry in Mumbai. In his immediate family his father, Veeru Devgan, is a well-known stunt choreographer and his mother Veena Devgan is a film producer. Ajay's brother, Anil Devgan, is a Hindi film director and Ajay has even done a cameo in his film Haal–e–dil.
Ajay has also tried his hand at producing and directing films, beginning in 2000 with production company Ajay Devgn Films. In 2008, he made his directorial debut with U Me Aur Hum, where he starred opposite wife Kajol.
From high-energy action packed stunts to sappy love dialogues, or from emotional scenes to nail-biting suspense moments, Ajay Devgan’s range of talent and versitility as an actor allowed him to make his presence felt in the Bollywood industry way back in the 90s and goes on to do so today as well. His upcoming film, Action Jackson will see Ajay working under director Prabhu Dheva and co-star with Sonakshi Sinha, Yami Gautan, Kunaal Roy Kapur and debutant Manasvi Mamgai.