Innocents’ day out
Ajay Devgan shares his experience about working with a child and acting like one in “Main Aisa Hi Hoon” with RANA SIDDIQUI
History proves that if you play up a child in a film with the sensitivity that the character deserves, it goes down well with the audience irrespective of the age group. And it is so because whatever the age of the audience, they identify with such films. We have Sadma, Eeshwar and Koi… Mil Gaya as examples in which Sridevi, Anil Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan, respectively, brought out the child in them to perfection. Going by such precedents, Harry Baweja’s latest dish-out, Main Aisa Hi Hoon, is likely to strike a chord with many.
Ajay Devgan portrays a man with the mental age of a seven-year-old. He is also a father to a seven-year-old daughter played by child artist Rucha.
For Ajay, acting with children is difficult, not only because of the their “mood swings” but also because it is “challenging.” Remember he has worked with children in Tera Mera Sath Rahe and his own production Raju Chacha, and thus knows they are quite capable of stealing a scene from their adult counterparts.
Admits Ajay, “It is not actually easy to work with children. After all they are kids and have lots of mood swings. They would not be ready to do a shot and have to be pampered a lot. But at the same time they are very honest. They don’t plan, plot or manipulate. Whatever they feel, they do. And it is here they steal the show. I was lucky to have a child like Rucha in the film who was very natural in her approach. While she was behaving naturally, I had to act her age.”
The child’s show
And he feebly confesses that in the climactic scene where he gets separated from his daughter, Rucha’s acting indeed “moved him”.
“It is the scene where the daughter runs away from the hostel at night to meet her father,” says Pammi Baweja, producer of the film. “She cries intensely on meeting him. Rucha was the more mature of the two in it.” And for Ajay, this scene is important also because he himself is a father of a four-year-old girl. “Yes. It makes a lot of difference. You can feel the pain,” he adds.
To act like a child, he met many mentally challenged children, observed them from close quarters and tried to absorb that in his acting. He also had to be cautious not to go overboard.
“I had to be conscious all the time, because to every action, the reaction I had to give was abnormal. I never did that kind of a role earlier. So it was complete unlearning of acting in one way,” he says.
Though Ajay denies he had any hangover of the shots, it did creep in at times.
“One day on the sets, Ajay was going to the bathroom walking like a seven-year-old. Suddenly he realised it was not a shot,” recalls Pammi.
Following Main… Ajay has three films in his kitty. Prakash Jha’s Apharan, Raj Kumar Santoshi’s Samna and one as yetuntitled film by John Mathew.
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