A real role for Ajay

AJAY DEVGAN IS determined not to copy Haji Mastan when he plays the smuggler-turned-film producer in Milan Luthria’s Once Upon A Time In Mumbai.


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Published: Thu 29 Jan 2009, 10:05 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:30 PM

“We’ll take many cinematic liberties. When I played Mahesh Bhatt saab in Zakhm, I wasn’t trying to walk and talk like him,” Ajay clarified.

Haji Mastan forayed into Bollywood with Mere Garib Nawaz (1973) and was also a successful distributor. Known for his friendship with the legendary actor Dilip Kumar, Mastan took to politics later. He died in 1994.

Amitabh Bachchan’s character in the 1975 hit film Deewaar was modelled on Haji Mastan and now it’s Ajay’s turn to bring him alive onscreen once again.

From playing Bhagat Singh to now Haji Mastan is a long journey for Ajay.

Once Upon A Time In Mumbai will also focus on an aspect of Mastan’s life that Deewaar didn’t touch on - the smuggler’s liaison with starlet Sona, who apparently bore a close resemblance to the legendary Madhubala.

In fact, Sona was given a pivotal role in Raj Khosla’s Kachche Dhaage (1973) apparently on Haji Mastan’s insistence.

The problem is, who will play Sona in the Ajay-starrer? But the actor is nonchalant. “I’ve never bothered with whom I’m paired with. I only focus on my character,” said Ajay.

He is very happy with the year gone by. “I directed a film I’m proud of. People keep asking me when I’ll direct another film. In 2008, I also had Golmaal Returns, which was among the biggest hits of the year.

“I want to do sensible cinema in 2009, but I also want my ‘Golmaal’. Sensible cinema is limited in its appeal. The biggest hits the world over are entertaining escapist films and comedies. It could be a super-hero film or just a no-brainer.”

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