Ajay Devgn

Last Updated on August 29, 2020

Vishal Devgan , known professionally as Ajay Devgn, is an Indian film actor, director and producer. He is widely considered as one of the most popular and influential actors of Hindi cinema, who has appeared in over a hundred Hindi films. Devgn has won numerous accolades, including two National Film Awards and four Filmfare Awards. In 2016, he was honoured by the Government of India with the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian honour of the country.

Ajay Devgn - Biography India
BornVishal Devgan
2 April 1969 (age 51)
New Delhi, India
EducationMithibai College
OccupationActor, producer, director
Years active1991–present
Spouse(s)Kajol (m. 1999)
Children2
Parent(s)Veena and Veeru Devgan
RelativesSee Devgan family
AwardsList
Websiteajaydevgnffilms.com

Devgn 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), Sangram (1993), Vijaypath (1994), Dilwale (1994), Suhaag (1994), Haqeeqat (1995 film),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 exposé of the Mumbai underworld Company. He played the character of a gangster, 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), Gangajal, (2004), Yuva (2004), Apaharan (2005), Omkara (2006), Golmaal: Fun Unlimited (2006), 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), Singham Returns (2014), Drishyam (2015), Shivaay (2016), Golmaal Again (2017), Raid (2018), Total Dhamaal (2019), and De De Pyaar De (2019). Devgn has starred in more than a hundred Hindi films. Having done so, he has established himself as one of the leading actors of Hindi cinema.

In addition, Devgn owns a production company Ajay Devgn FFilms, which was established in 2000. In 2008, he debuted as a film director with U Me Aur Hum. He is married to film actress Kajol since 1999 and the couple have two children. In August 2009, Devgn changed his surname from Devgan to Devgn on the request of his family.

Family background and marriage

Devgan with his wife Kajol at an event in 2013

Ajay Devgn - Biography India
Devgan with his wife Kajol at an event in 2013

Devgan was born to a Punjabi family originally from Amritsar (Punjab).[The family has connections to the Hindi film industry in Mumbai. Devgn’s father, Veeru Devgan, was a stunt choreographer and action-film director and his mother, Veena, is a film producer. His brother, Anil Devgan, is a filmmaker and screenwriter. Devgn graduated from the Silver Beach High School in Juhu and then studied at Mithibai College.

Devgn began a relationship with the actress Karisma Kapoor while filming Jigar, however, the couple ended their relationship in 1995. That same year, Devgn’s relationship with the actress, Kajol Mukherjee, began whilst they were co-starring in Gundaraj. The media called them “an unlikely pair” due to their contrasting personalities. On 24 February 1999, the couple married in a traditional Maharashtrian Hindu ceremony at the Devgan home. The couple has two children. Their daughter, Nysa, was born in 2003 and their son, Yug, was born in 2010. Devgn and Kajol stored their newborn son’s umbilical cord blood and tissues to act as a source of stem cells in case of serious ailment. In August 2009, Devgn changed the spelling of his surname Devgan to Devgn, at the request of his family. He is a practicing Shaiva Hindu who prominently wears a Rudraksha which, along with other religious themes, features in his films. Devgn was the first Bollywood personality to own a private jet for transport to shooting locations, to promotions and for personal trips.

Career

Commercial success (2010–present)

In the following decade, Devgn performed roles in Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai (2010), Golmaal 3 (2010), Raajneeti (2010), Singham (2011), Bol Bachchan (2012), Son of Sardaar (2012), Singham Returns (2014) and Drishyam (2015). In 2010, Devgn featured in the financially successful comedy Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge? with Paresh Rawal and Konkona Sen Sharma. He then featured in Prakash Jha’s political thriller RajneetiRaajneeti was released internationally on 4 June 2010, after some controversies regarding similarities between actual people and the characters in the film. There were also issues about the use of the national anthem in the film. The film was made with a budget of ₹60 crore (US$8.4 million) When the film was released, it had positive reviews and was financially successful. Again, in 2010, Devgn starred in Milan Luthria’s Once Upon a Time in Mumbai, which was among the top-grossing films of that year.Both the film and Devgn’s performance were well received by the critics. Taran Adarsh said: “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. Komal Nahta said: “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!

Ajay Devgn - Biography India
Devgn and Ileana D’Cruz during trailer launch of their film Baadshaho (2017)

Devgn then starred in Priyadarshan’s action-thriller film Aakrosh. The movie explores the subject of honour killings. Aakrosh received some positive reviews, but was financially unsuccessful. At the end of 2010, Devgn worked again with Rohit Shetty in Golmaal 3, a sequel to Golmaal Returns (2008). Although, like its predecessor, the film received mixed reviews, it was the most successful of the Golmaal series, earning more than ₹107 crore (US$15 million). Devgn also worked as a voice artist in Toonpur Ka Super Hero, an animated film.

In 2011, Devgn performed with Emraan Hashmi in Madhur Bhandarkar’s comedy Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji. He was a narrator in Yamla Pagla Deewana and also made a cameo appearance in Ready. Devgn starred in Rohit Shetty’s Singham. Taran Adarsh said: “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.

The following year, Devgn starred in Tezz, directed by Priyadarshan. His co-stars were Anil Kapoor, Boman Irani, Kangana Ranaut, Sameera Reddy and Zayed Khan. Devgan then starred in Rohit Shetty’s film Bol Bachchan. He then starred in Son Of Sardaar. In 2013, Devgn featured in the critically and commercially unsuccessful remake of Himmatwala. Devgn next featured in Prakash Jha’s political drama Satyagraha.Devgn and Ileana D’Cruz during trailer launch of their film Baadshaho (2017)

In 2014, Devgn featured in Rohit Shetty’s Singham Returns, a sequel to Singham.Singham Returns received mixed reviews from Indian critics. Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave it 4 stars and said: “The film is a complete mass entertainer with power-packed drama, hi-intensity dialogue and towering performances as its aces. The brand value attached to it coupled with a long weekend will help the film reap a harvest and rule the box office in days to come.”.[96] Collection of over ₹32.09 crore (US$4.5 million) on the first day of its release in India. Domestic net of Singham Returns are ₹140.62 crore (US$20 million). Devgn next featured in Prabhu Deva’s Action Jackson which did not perform well at box office.

Ajay Devgn - Biography India

In 2015, Devgn starred in Drishyam, directed by Nishikant Kamat. The film received positive reviews, Meena Iyer of The Times of India gave the film four out of five stars, describing it as “A suspense drama with a nail-biting finish.” She praised Devgan’s performances: “Ajay, who is the prey here, shines in his role of the protective father. The film was successful at the box office, by the end of its sixth week, the film had grossed about ₹76.48 crore (US$11 million) at the domestic box office.

In 2016, Devgn was seen in his own production, Shivaay, which released around Diwali 2016. Shivaay is an action drama movie. Shivaay opened to mixed reviews and grossed more than ₹146 crore (US$20 million) In 2017, Devgn featured in director Milan Luthria’s Baadshaho and Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal Again. Both films were mild commercial successes. While Baadshaho was a hit, Golmaal Again became the highest-grossing film of 2017 collecting 100 crores in 4 days of its release and a lifetime collection of 205 crores at the Indian box office while making a hefty 300 crores at worldwide box office

In 2018, Devgn starred in Raj Kumar Gupta’s Raid where he plays the role of an honest Indian Revenue Service officer, which released to positive critical feedback on 16 March, and was a commercial success. Devgn has long been working on producing Sons of Sardaar: The Battle of Saragari, a sequel to Son of Sardaar. In August 2017, Devgn stated: “We are working on the script but it won’t happen for another two years because of the scale of the project. He has also committed to star with Rakul Preet Singh and Tabu in his next Hindi romcom, produced by Luv Ranjan. In addition, Devgn is set to portray 17th-century military leader Tanaji Malusare in an eponymously titled film, Taanaji: The Unsung Warrior; directed by Om Raut, the film will release on 22 November 2019. In 2019, he is expected to appear alongside Sanjay Dutt, Rana Daggubati, Parineeti Chopra and Sonakshi Sinha in a historical film, Bhuj: The Pride of India..

Production

Ajay Devgn FFilms is an Indian film production and distribution company established by actor Ajay Devgn in 2000. Based in Mumbai, it mainly produces and distributes Hindi films. In 2000, ADF released its first film, Raju Chacha. The film starred Devgn himself as the lead actor and his wife Kajol as the lead actress. Raju Chacha received mixed reviews but grossed Rs 82.5 million at the box office.

In 2008, Devgn 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 again with Kajol. The film was written by Devgn himself and three other writers. Critical reception was generally positive, with Taran Adarsh giving the film 4 out of 5 stars and describing it as “A well-made, absorbing love story that’s high on emotional quotient”.

In 2009, Devgn released and acted in his home production All the Best: Fun Begins, which was directed by Rohit Shetty and also starring, Sanjay Dutt, Fardeen Khan, Bipasha Basu and Mugdha Godse. The film was released on 16 October 2009 and received positive response from critics. It was rated a hit in India, and is the ninth highest grossing Bollywood film of 2009.

In 2014, ADF produced Singham Returns starring Devgn and Kareena Kapoor. In 2016 Devgn produced and starred in Shivaay which is to be the most expensive film of his production.

In late December 2017, ADF collaborated with Fox Star Studios to produce Total Dhamaal starring Devgn, Riteish Deshmukh, Arshad Warsi, Javed Jaffrey, Madhuri Dixit, and Anil Kapoor .

NY VFXWAALA

In October 2015, Devgn established a visual effects company, NY VFXWAALA, after his children. It has been involved with many major films, such as Prem Ratan Dhan PayoTamashaBajirao MastaniMersalDilwaleForce 2, and Simmba. The company won the Best Special Effects award at the 64th National Film Awards for the film Shivaay (2016).

Other works

Prachi Desai, Abhishek Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Asin ‘Bol Bachchan’ team on the sets of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah

Devgn’s production company Ajay Devgn FFilms, was established in 2000. The company’s first film was Raju Chacha, (2000) starring Devgan and Kajol. In 2008, Devgn made his directorial debut and co-produced U Me Aur Hum. Devgn was part of the drama film’s team of four writers. The film tells the story of a woman (Kajol) who has a very weak memory and even forgets her own husband. Taran Adarsh, a film critic, described it as “a well-made, absorbing love story that’s high on the emotional quotient.

Ajay Devgn - Biography India
Prachi Desai, Abhishek Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Asin ‘Bol Bachchan’ team on the sets of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah

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 romantic action comedy film Bol Bachchan, which was a joint production with Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd. It also featured Abhishek Bachchan, Asin and Prachi Desai. The film, made with a budget of ₹70 crore (US$9.8 million),[ is an official remake of Gol Maal (1979). The film was released on 6 July 2012 in about 2,575 cinemas around the world and had 2,700 prints. It received mixed reviews but had a good opening at the box office. The film had record advance bookings. Bol Bachchan was one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films. It took ₹158 crore (US$22 million).

Devgn also starred in Ashwni Dhir’s romantic action comedy film Son of Sardaar, which was a joint production with Viacom 18 Motion Pictures. The film was released on 13 November 2012. Despite competition with Yash Raj’s film Jab Tak Hai JaanSon of Sardaar was a financial success. It made ₹150 crore (US$21 million).

In 2018, Ajay Devgn released his first Marathi production Aapla Manus. The movie was in Marathi language. It was directed by Satish Rajwade and starred Nana Patekar, Iravati Harshe, and Sumeet Raghavan. The film was produced by Ajay Devgn, Nana Patekar, Abhinav Shuklaa, Manish Mishra, & Rohit Choudhary and released on 9 February 2018. The story was a dramatic thriller and written by Vivek Bele. The film was distributed by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures.

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