||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (June 2014)|
2 April 1969
New Delhi, Delhi, India
|Residence||Mumbai, Maharashtra, India|
|Other names||Ajay Devgn|
|Occupation||Film actor, Director and Producer|
|Years active||1991 – present|
|Parent(s)||Veeru Devgan (Father)
Veena Devgan (Mother)
|Relatives||Shomu Mukherjee (Father-in-law)
Tanisha Mukherjee (Sister-in-law)
He is widely considered as one of the finest actors of Hindi cinema. Devgn has won numerous awards in his career, including two National Film Awards. He is the son of director and action director Veeru Devgan.
Devgan began his professional career with Phool Aur Kaante in 1991 and received a Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut for his performance. He then starred in successful films such as Jigar (1992), Dilwale (1994), Suhaag (1994), Naajayaz (1995), Diljale (1996) and Ishq (1997). In 1998, he appeared in a critically acclaimed performance in Mahesh Bhatt's drama Zakhm and he received his first National Film Award for Best Actor for his role in the movie. In 1999, his most-talked-about film was Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam in which he played Vanraj, a man who tries to unite his wife with her lover.
In the early 2000s he gave critically acclaimed performances in Ram Gopal Varma's fictional expose of Mumbai underworld Company. He played the character of a gangster called 'Malik' for which he won Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor. The same year he gave another critically acclaimed performance in Deewangee for which he received the Filmfare Best Villain Award. In 2003, he won his second National Film Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Bhagat Singh in Rajkumar Santoshi's biopic The Legend of Bhagat Singh. Throughout his career he has performed in many critically and commercially successful films including Raincoat (2004), Yuva (2004), Apaharan(2005), Omkara (2006), Golmaal: Fun Unlimited (2006), Halla Bol (2008), Golmaal Returns (2008), All the Best: Fun Begins (2009), Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai (2010), Golmaal 3 (2010), Raajneeti (2010), Singham (2011), Bol Bachchan (2012), Son of Sardaar (2012) and Singham Returns (2014). He has starred in more than 80 Hindi films. Having done so, he has established himself as one of the leading actors of Bollywood.
Devgn was born into a Punjabi family of Delhi to Veena and Veeru Devgan. Originally from Amritsar, members of his family are all related to the Hindi film industry in Mumbai. His father, Veeru Devgan, is a well-known stunt choreographer and his mother Veena Devgan, a film producer. Ajay's brother, Anil Devgan, is a Hindi film director. Ajay is an alumnus of the Silver Beach High School in Juhu and Mithibai College.
On 24 February 1999, they were married in a traditional Maharashtrian ceremony at the Devgn house. The couple has two children. Their daughter was born in 2003 and their son was born in 2010. Ajay Devgn and Kajol chose to store their newborn son's umbilical cord blood and tissues, which act as a stemcell source and help protect the child from several serious ailments. In August 2009, Devgn's surname was changed to its current spelling from its more well-known "Devgan", at the request of his family. He became the first Bollywood personality to acquire a private jet for transport to shooting locations, promotions and personal trips. He is the first Indian to own a Maserati Quattroporte.
Ajay Devgan's debut Phool Aur Kaante in 1991, where he costarred with Madhoo. The film was a commercial success and Ajay Devgan's entry scene where he performed a split while balancing on two motorcycles made him an immediate action hero icon. His next success came the same year when he starred in Bollywood martial arts film Jigar alongside Karisma Kapoor. It was released on Diwali weekend and became the 7th highest grossing movie of that year, grossing ₹7 crore (US$1.1 million) at box office.
In 1993, he starred in Dil Hai Betaab which focused on love triangles, romantic themes, little action and the most common being revenge. He next featured in Divya Shakti. Devgan's next release was Sangram. The film is a story of enimity between 2 fathers Danny and Amrish Puri somewhat similar to QSQT but here the main story is the love triangle between Karisma, Ajay and Ayesha Jhulka. It was an average film. Then he worked with director Deepak Bahry in action film Ek Hi Raasta, and with director Deepak Pawar in Platform. Other releases that year were Shaktiman, Dhanwan and Bedardi. Dhanwan is a romantic love triangle with Ajay Devgan, Karishma Kapoor and Manisha Koirala.
In 1994, he starred in Harry Baweja's romantic action movie Dilwale. Ajay played mentally retarded character "Arun Saxena". The movie was the 10th highest grossing movie of the year at boxoffice. His next release was Kanoon. He then starred in director Kuku Kohli's Suhaag with Akshay Kumar. The movie was about two friends and the life of Ajay Devgan character's Ajay Sharma/Malhotra. It was the 7th highest grossing movie of the year. He then chose to work in Vijaypath after refusing Karan Arjun because shooting dates were clashing with Vijaypath. The film was the 8th highest grossing of the year.
In 1995, he appeared in Mahesh Bhatt's movie Naajayaz. His next venture was Hulchul with new director Milan Luthria alongside Kajol. Upon the initial meeting of Ajay Devgan and Kajol, Kajol was angry at the producer for bringing an actor like Ajay and not an actor like Shah Rukh Khan. Ironically Ajay Devgan and Kajol would date for five years and eventually get married. He then appeared in Gundaraj with Kajol which didn't perform at the boxoffice. His next release was Haqeeqat alongside Tabu. The film was the 11th highest grossing movie of the year.
In 1996, he starred in action movie Jung with Mithun Chakraborty, Rambha and Aditya Pancholi. His next release was an action movie called Jaan with Twinkle Khanna which was successful. He then starred in director Harry Baweja's film Diljale where he played a terrorist character Shaka.
In 1997 he starred in Itihaas with Twinkle Khanna which was a flop. His next release was Indra Kumar's romantic comedy Ishq alongside Aamir Khan, Juhi Chawla and Kajol, in which he played Ajay, a rich boy in love with a poor girl, played by Kajol. Upon release, the film emerged as a commercial success. The film grossed ₹30 crore (US$4.8 million) and was the fourth highest grossing film of the year. a.
In 1998, he starred in Major Saab with Amitabh Bachchan and Sonali Bendre where he played the character of an army officer. The movie was successful and was the tenth highest grossing film of the year at the box office, He next starred in director Anees Bazmee's second film opposite Kajol in the romantic comedy Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha, a remake of the Hollywood hit French Kiss as Shekhar.It grossed 302,500,000 Indian rupees. His next release was Mahesh Bhatt's Zakhm . The plot involves the communal tension of Mumbai during the riots.He played the central role of the protagonist who is fed up with religious warfare. Zakhm won Devgn several awards for his performance, including the National Film Award for Best Actor and the Star Screen Award for Best Actor,
In 1999, he starred in the romantic drama Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, in which he played Vanraj, a man who tries to help his wife (Aishwarya Rai) get back together with her lover (Salman Khan).Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam marked a significant turning point in his career. The film, an adaptation of Maitreyi Devi's Bengali novel Na Hanyate, was directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and co-starred Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai.Ajay Devgn was highly praised for his performance.Rediff quoted "Ajay's role reminds you of one he did in another film, Pyar Tho Hona Hi Tha. There he is searching for the boyfriend of the girl he secretly loves. But intense scenes are his forte and he does well here. He's particularly good in the scene where he gets exasperated with his wife's stubbornness and strives to keep his cool.". The movie was both critically and commercially successful and Ajay Devgn was nominated for filmfare best actor award. After that, he appeared in Hindustan Ki Kasam with Amitabh Bachchan and Sonali Bendre which took best opening at that time in the same year he worked with director Milan Luthria in Kachche Dhaage with Saif Ali Khan and Manisha Koirala and the movie was a hit at the boxoffice. The next movie of ajay devgn in this year was Hogi Pyaar Ki Jeet which was a romantic comedy and it was successful at the boxoffice He then starred in his home production movie with director Prakash Jha's film Dil Kya Kare with wife Kajol and himself in lead roles. The film was acclaimed critically. his other movies this year were Gair and Thakshak these movies were praised for Ajay Devgn's portrayal of a strong, silent man was one of the highlights of the movie
In 2000, he worked in Harry Baweja's Deewane. In this film, he played a double role, one as a thief and the other as a police officer. The film flopped at the box office. The same year, Devgn starred in his first home production Raju Chacha opposite wife Kajol. The film was an average grosser at the box office.
In 2001, he starred in Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke with Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta. This film was an average grosser at the box office. His next release Lajja, alongside Manisha Koirala, Madhuri Dixit, Jackie Shroff and Anil Kapoor, earned him a nomination for the "Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award". The film did not perform as expected at the box office. He then worked in Mahesh Manjrekar's Tera Mera Saath Rahen.
In 2002, he was featured in Ram Gopal Varma's fictional expose of Mumbai underworld Company. In this film he played the character of a gangster called 'Malik'.Company received critical acclaim and performance of Devgn was highly praised by critics.Taran Adarsh concluded about his performance "Ajay Devgn enacts his role to perfection. A controlled performance, the actor takes to this complex character like a fish takes to water. He underplays his part with admirable ease". He was nominated for the Filmfare Best Actor Award and won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor. The film fared well at the box office.[clarification needed] His next release was Hum Kisise Kum Nahin alongside Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt and Aishwarya Rai.
The same year, he also starred in Rajkumar Santoshi's biopic The Legend of Bhagat Singh. in the title role. His performance was well received by critics. Taran Adarsh concluded "Ajay Devgn has lived the role. To state that he is excellent would be an understatement. His performance is bound to win admiration from cinegoers, besides fetching awards". Film was released on 7 June 2002 and went on to win two National Film Awards, including the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi, and three Filmfare Awards, including the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Movie.The film didn't fare well at the box office. However, he won his second National Film Award for Best Actor for his performance. He then starred in Anees Bazmee's Deewangee. The film was partially inspired by William Diehl's English language novel Primal Fear and earned Devgn several awards for his negative role including, "Filmfare Best Villain Award", "Star Screen Award for Best Villain" and "Zee Cine Award for Best Actor in a Negative Role". The film was a success at the box office.
In 2003, he starred in Ram Gopal Verma's Bhoot opposite Urmila Matondkar. The film was appreciated critically & performed very well at the box office. He then starred in action thriller Qayamat: City Under Threat opposite debutante Neha Dhupia which was huge commercial success. He then worked in Milan Luthria's romantic film Chori Chori opposite Rani Mukherji and Sonali Bendre. This film did not succeed at the box office.
In that same year he featured in Prakash Jha's Gangaajal,The movie as a sidetrack also mentions the blinding incident at Bhagalpur. Gangaajal was declared above average at Indian box-office. His performance was well received by critics, rediff noted "Ajay Devgn pulls up an ace with a part tailormade to reinforce his seething-under-the-surface angry hero image. To his credit (and the director's), he brings style and grace to a largely stereotypical, righteous protagonist. To a great extent, his presence covers up the film's patchiness in the second half". he was also nominated for the Filmfare Best Actor Award. He then worked in Rohit Shetty's directional debut Zameen and J. P. Dutta's war film LOC Kargil.
In 2004 he was cast alongside Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Akshay Kumar in Rajkumar Santoshi's Khakee . The film was released on 23 January 2004 to positive reviews and went on to became one of the highest-grossing film of 2004. In Khakee, Devgan played a villain for the second time. His performance as a police officer turned murderer was well received by critics, Taran Adarsh concluded "Ajay Devgn adds yet another feather in his cap with a performance that could've been played only by a master performer. His confrontations with Amitabh Bachchan are exemplary.". Later that year he appeared in director Indra Kumar's Masti: Sanam Teri Kasamand also starred in the critically acclaimed movie Yuva
Ajay Devgn next collaborated with director Rituparno Ghosh's, in the relationship drama Raincoat, an adaptation of O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi. Also featuring Aishwaraya Rai, Raincoat met with wide critical acclaim and among other wins, won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi. his performance in Raincoat was highly praise by critics,rediff noted "Hesitation, desperation, humiliation – Ajay Devgn conveys them eloquently. His Manoj is no cool dude, but just another lower middle-class guy in misery, with whom none would like to switch place. He particularly stands out in the scenes where he cries in the bathroom, or begs Neeru not to marry someone else" He was also seen in a cameo appearance in Taarzan: The Wonder Car.
2005 was less successful for him as he starred in a series of flop movies like Insan, Blackmail, Main Aisa Hi Hoon, Tango Charlie and Shikhar whilst Kaal and Apaharan succeeded at the Box Office. For his performance in Apaharan Devgn was nominated for the National Film Award for Best Actor and Filmfare Best Actor Award. His villainous performance in Kaal also earned him a nomination for the Filmfare Best Villain Award.
2006–09: Golmaal and other projects
In 2006's he portrayed the character of Othello in Omkara, the Hindi adaptation of William Shakespeare's Othello. Directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, the film is a tragedy of sexual jealousy set against the backdrop of the political system in Uttar Pradesh. It premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival and was screened at the Cairo International Film Festival. Omkara was received highly positive by critics,Rediff concluded about his performance"Othello is a tricky role, a leading man eclipsed by the villain. Yet the Moor is a brooding and compelling character, and Ajay Devgn does valiantly with his material. Omkara strips Othello of the racism, exchanging his black skin for surprisingly inconsequential half-Brahminism. Ajay's best bits are when restrained, and while there is a bit of a seen-that feel to his character, by the time the film is over, you realise just how unflinchingly solid he's been." Taran Adarsh Describe about his performance"Ajay makes a stirring and powerful interpretation of a man haunted by uncertainty about his lover's faithfulness. The serious look that Ajay carries suits him to the T. Of course, Ajay is exceptional in the film and looks every inch the character he portrays".
In same year, he starred in Rohit Shetty's Golmaal. The latter film was soon to be followed by two sequels Golmaal Returns and Golmaal 3. In the same year he also featured in a short documentary about the Mumbai floods of 2005 named The Awakening.
In 2008's he worked in social film Halla Bol with Rajkumar Santoshi and was cast with Pankaj Kapoor and Vidya Balan. The film was based on the life of activist Safdar Hashmi, who was killed by political rivals while performing on a street play (by the name of Halla Bol) in 1989. The film was a critical failure. He then starred in director Rohit Shetty's third film Sunday,
He next starred in his directorial debut film, U Me Aur Hum (2008) with wife Kajol. Upon release, the film performed moderately well at the box-office and earned positive critical reviews for his performance as well as for direction.Rediff concluded about his performance "his character grows, discovers both shirt-buttons and subtlety, delivering an intense acting job. Speaking almost entirely in platitudes – pithy at first, profound as he goes on – this grows into an extraordinarily well-written character, replete with flaws and relatability. The way he treats his remorse, drunkenly pointing every finger at himself around a dinner table, is superbly handled, as is his guilty struggle to delineate his life experience from his professional opinion". He also had a cameo appearance in his brother Anil Devgan's film Haal–e–dil. He starred in Afzal Khan's Mehbooba.
He then appeared in Rohit Shetty's comedy Golmaal Returns, the sequel to the 2006 film Golmaal: Fun Unlimited about a mistrustful wife who believed her husband was unfaithful. The Indian Express said the screenplay was derivative, concluding: "There is nothing particularly new about a suspicious wife keeping tabs on her husband, and there is nothing particularly new in the way Ajay-Kareena play it." Golmaal Returns was a financial success with global revenues of ₹79.25 crore (US$13 million).
In 2009 he produced his third film All the Best also directed by Rohit Shetty. The film did good business[vague]. Later in the year he starred in Vipul Shah's London Dreams with Salman Khan and Tamil film star Asin. The film was declared a flop.
In 2010 he featured in the comedy Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge? alongside Paresh Rawal and Konkona Sen Sharma which was a success. same year, he featured in Prakash Jha's multi-starrer political thriller Rajneeti, Raajneeti was released in theatres worldwide on 4 June 2010, after some controversies regarding similarities between real-life people and the characters in the film, as well as issues about the national anthem.film was Made on budget of ₹60 crore (US$9.5 million) was released on June 2010, The film opened to positive reviews and was declared a "blockbuster". His performance was well received with critic Nikhat Kazmi
The same year, Devgn starred in Milan Luthria's Once Upon a Time in Mumbai which was among the top grossers of 2010. The film and Devgn's performance was well received by critics. Taran Adarsh noted " Ajay Devgn is splendid as Sultan. The actor had enacted a similar role in Company, but it must be said that his interpretation is so different in Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai. He adds so much depth to the character, which only goes to prove his range and versatility. This is, without a trace of doubt, Ajay's finest work so far". Another critics Komal nahta concluded "Ajay Devgn is simply fantastic in the role of Sultan Mirza. So real is his performance that it looks like he was born to play this role. Right from his look to his acting including dialogue-delivery, everything is fabulous. Indeed, an award-winning performance!".
He was then starred in Priyadarshan's action-thriller film, Aakrosh.The movie is based on the topic of honour killings.Aakrosh mostly garnered positive reviews from all critics but was a huge disaster at the box office.At the end of the year, he reunited with director Rohit Shetty for his sequel Golmaal 3 to the 2008 release Golmaal Returns. Although (like its predecessor) the film received mixed reviews it was the most successful entry in the Golmaal series, earning more than ₹107 crore (US$17 million) domestically. Devgn later lent his voice to the animated film Toonpur Ka Super Hero.
In 2011 he teamed up with Emraan Hashmi for Madhur Bhandarkar's comedy Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji. He was a narrator in Yamla Pagla Deewana and also did a cameo role in Ready. He also featured in Rohit Shetty's Singham. Taran Adarsh said about his performance "The title means 'Lion' and Ajay is in the centre of the battle between good and evil. Ajay is well known for the lines, "aataa maajhi satakli". The embodiment of screen masculinity, Ajay enacts the central character of a righteous, hardhearted cop with flourish. He brings alive on screen a larger-than-life hero character with determined conviction, which renders you thunderstruck. One of the few actors who underplays his part admirably, he returns to the over-the-top-action genre of films with this one. In a nutshell, his performance plays a pivotal role in carrying the film to the winning post.". He then starred David Dhawan's action comedy film Rascals.
In a small interview Ajay Devgan said "I haven't seen watched Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. There is no particular reason why I haven't seen it yet. It's just that I haven't got the time. Not really. I hardly watch my films also. I have not seen a lot of my films."
Film production and direction
In 2000 Devgn selt up a production company known as Ajay Devgan Films Productions. Its first film was Raju Chacha. The movie was released in 2000, starring Devgn as the lead actor and his wife Kajol as the lead actress.
In 2008 he co-produced the drama U Me Aur Hum which marked his directorial debut. Devgn also played the lead role in the film, sharing the screen with his wife Kajol. The film was also Written by Devgn and three other writers and tells the story of a person who has very weak memory forgets the things even she forgets her husband.. Taran Adarsh gave the film 4 out of 5 stars and described it as "a well-made, absorbing love story that's high on the emotional quotient".
In 2009, Devgn released his home production All the Best: Fun Begins which was directed by Rohit Shetty and starred Devgn, Sanjay Dutt, Fardeen Khan, Bipasha Basu and Mugdha Godse. The film was released on 16 October 2009, and was the ninth highest grossing Bollywood film of 2009.
In 2012, Devgn starred in Rohit Shetty's Bollywood romantic action comedy film, Bol Bachchan which was joint production by Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd, also featuring Abhishek Bachchan, Asin and Prachi Desai in lead roles. The film, made on a budget of ₹70 crore (US$11 million), is an official remake of the 1979 film Gol Maal. The film was released on 6 July 2012 in around 2575 screens worldwide with 2700 prints. It received mixed critical acclaim but had a good opening at the box office. The film supposedly created a record for its advance bookings. Bol Bachchan has become one of the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time in India. Box Office India declared the film as a "hit". where it grossed ₹158 crore (US$25 million) worldwide.
The same year he starred in Ashwni Dhir's Bollywood romantic action comedy film, Son of Sardaar which was joint production by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures. The film released on 13 November 2012. Whilst having competition with the Yash Raj film Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Son of Sardaar managed to do excellent business at the box office worldwide. It went on to gross ₹150 crore (US$24 million) worldwide. In 2014 movie Action Jackson  was released which was not that successful on box office.
Ajay Devgn began dating actress, Kajol, in 1994, while filming for Hulchul. Members of the media, however, labelled them as an "unlikely pair" due to their contrasting personalities. Devgn explained their relationship by saying, "We never resorted to the usual 'I Love you' routine. A proposal never happened. We grew with each other. Marriage was never discussed, but it was always imminent". They subsequently got married on 24 February 1999 in a traditional Maharashtrian style ceremony at the Devgn house. The wedding was subject to wide media scrutiny, as certain members of the media criticised Kajol's decision to settle down at the "peak of her career". Post marriage, there was news in the media claiming that Devgn didn't allow Kajol to work in films any more. However, it was later clarified by Kajol that instead of quitting films, she would cut down on the amount of work that she did.
In 2001, Kajol was pregnant with her first child. However, due to an ectopic pregnancy, she suffered a miscarriage. In 2003, Kajol gave birth to a daughter. In 2010, she gave birth to a son.
Devgn was the first person in Bollywood to acquire a six-seater private jet for transport to shooting locations, promotions and personal trips.
Awards and honours
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