YRF is surprised by your legal notice and their official statement says they have not received such notice?
If they didn't get the notice how did they comment? The main problem was the timing. We have been fighting it with the exhibitors and distributors to the point that they could do anything. It took us more than a month because it's a lot of paperwork; it's been going on for the past three months now. I am not against them. My fight is against right and wrong.
Yash Raj says there are 10,500 screens so where is the problem ?
I read their statement. They are trying to fool you guys by saying that there are 10, 500 screens. But in today's time, I don't think the media is so ignorant. Am I crazy to fight with them? If I had 8,000 screens, why would I spend my money and lose my reputation and go to court. Going by the statistics: of the 10,000 or 12,000 theatres, over 5,000 to 6,000 are in the South, where only regional films release and there's no Hindi audience. How many left - 4,000-or 4,500 screens? Of these theatres, 1,500 are closed. Now the quantity of operational theatres is already low. Every year, at least two films release during Diwali. If the two films are good, they run at the box office. You take a look at the BO record over the last ten years - whenever two films are released, they get equal number of shows. For example Dadar has seven single screens; YRF has blocked six and we have only one. In Delhi, there are 21 single screens and we have only three. These are actual figures. Multiplex is not an issue they are fair over there.
Did they ask you to postpone your film?
They tried telling me through the media that since Yashji expired which is a very sad thing. Many people tried to pressurize me. I have spent 80 to 90 crores and corporate are involved and also the shareholders are at stake. I know Yashji is a legend. If I release my film I will become a villain, if I don't I will be at loss. If that is the case they will have to ask Aamir Khan to push the release of Talaash, Akshay Kumars film too and Salman Khan's film in January. If they are all ready I will go ahead and postpone my film.
What was the reaction to that?
When I said this they all kept quiet. They wanted me to sacrifice. I had filed the case on October 18 2012. Try to make your product better or draw a bigger line don't erase a line that has been drawn already.
Reports suggest that you are at war with Shah Rukh Khan?
This is not a fight between Ajay Devgn and Shah Rukh Khan. At the end of the day we are both actors and I am fighting as a producer. I am fighting for my rights.
Do you have the support of the industry?
Yes they are all happy that I am fighting for my rights industry will thank me because it will help them in the long run.
You had the same issues in 1991 when Lamhe and Phool Aur Kaante released together?
Someone told me that I have done it on purpose. I was a debutant actor opposite a new heroine and a new producer and new director. Tell me where was the competition
Do you feel that the warmth that people in the industry shared earlier is no more there?
Yes with the arrival of corporate it has become more money minded and business minded. The warmth is finished. Business is good but the warmth is no longer there.
Your last film Bol Bachchan entered the Rs 100 crore club. What kind of expectations do you have with this film now that you are standing against a Yash Chopra film?
I am very confident since it has all the ingredients of a mass entertainer. There are good songs. I want all the films to do well. I know my film is good and there is honesty in the script. This film is not slapstick. There is a lot of depth in director Ashwini Dheer's writing. It's a balance of everything.
Why did you choose a Sardar's character?
I have done other roles too. In Singham I was a Maharashtrian, in Bol Bachchan a Rajasthani. Your connect should be with the common man. Our connection should be earthy. That's why films like Dabangg and Rowdy Rathore did well.
Did you see the original Telugu film 'Maryada Ramanna' before taking it up?
No I have not seen the film. The thought of the film was good. Someone had narrated the thought to me. I told Ashwini to work on it. We got the film and Ashwini saw it and worked on it. I had decided last year that this will be a Diwali film. It will appeal to the classes as well as the masses.
What are the highlights of the film?
The music and the action. We have worked on it. The action is not gruesome it will have mass appeal. The humor is intelligent. Our culture basically is the thali eating culture in the same manner we need wholesome entertainment with songs, dances, fight and humor a bit of drama.
Salman is making a special appearance and what about Sanjay Dutt's role did you think of any other actor in the role?
Sanjay Dutt has a fabulous role in the film. We wanted an elderly character and Sanjay fit into it. He is a friend and like a brother to me. We share a great rapport. His romantic track is also great. If Sanjay had said no I could only think of Sunny Deol. There is no one else who could fit into that role. Salman is a friend and his movements in the dance have become a hit. Ganesh Acharya has given him great steps.
You have played the role of Sardar in Bhagat Singh how different was Son Of Sardaar?
They are both different roles. Bhagat Singh was an iconic historical character and it was very special to me. I would wonder what kind of a man he must have been to end up as a martyr at the very young age of 23. I mean who would have done that. I was not wearing Turban throughout the film it was only in the first half. In Son Of Sardar I am a happy go lucky man the way you usually perceive a sardar to be. Sardars are known to be larger than life. Whatever they do, they do it loudly - they laugh loudly, they express their love loudly by hugging tightly and also fight loudly. So this is larger than life entertainment. Every Sardar has complimented me on the look in the film.
Did you find difficulties in speaking in Punbjabi?
I am very fluent with the language. I used to speak Punjabi with my grandmother as she didn't know Hindi. I also speak in Punjabi with my father.