Newly released Bollywood film Runway 34 being a passion project for Ajay Devgn is illustrated by the fact that he has produced, directed, and starred in the powerful drama.
He plays a pilot, who is investigated after an emergency while flying, in the big budget Bollywood Eid release, which also stars Amitabh Bachchan, Boman Irani and Rakul Preet Singh.
Eastern Eye had a quick catch up with the popular star to find out more about the film.
What drew you towards the subject of Runway 34?
The script is exciting. It shows how the truth is not something that it appears to be, especially when it comes to an aviation thriller. In the case of Runway 34, the truth lies 35000 feet above sea level. You have to see the film to discover the real truth.
What made you want to direct it?
I was drawn to the script because it has a magnetic quality about it. Thrillers are a genre I have enjoyed even as a cine-goer. So, I had to get behind-the-scenes for this one.
Tell us about your character in Runway 34?
He’s a flying prodigy who has fantastic people skills. But he’s also a bit cocky and a rule-breaker. He’s an interesting shade of grey.
Is it fair to say you have not played a role like this before?
I have never played a role like Captain Vikrant Khanna from Runway 34. It’s a first for me.
Is he a good guy or a bad guy?
He’s a good guy with shades of grey. He’s no saint, but he’s not a sinner either. He’s very human, just like you and me.
What is it like sharing the screen space with Amitabh Bachchan and directing him?
Mr Amitabh Bachchan and I have shared screen time in Khakee, Major Saab, Bol Bachchan (where he was in a song) and now in Runway 34. I’m a fan of Mr Bachchan and also his neighbour. I have known him personally from the time I was a child because I would accompany my father (Veeru Devgan) to film shoots that had Mr Bachchan. Sharing screen space with him is a privilege and a joy. Directing him is a dream come true.
What is your own favourite moment in the movie?
Frankly there isn’t any single favourite moment. I was so involved in the film. Each and every frame is my favourite.
How do you feel before the release of a film after all these years?
I haven’t had a long gap at the theatres. Tanhaji-The Unsung Warrior, which was the biggest box office grosser of 2020, released in January, 2020 just before the pandemic struck. When the pandemic eased out, I was in guest appearances in Sooryavanshi, RRR and Gangubai Kathiawadi. So, you see I was never really away.
How do you manage to balance so many projects as a filmmaker and actor?
By working hard and preparing with precision.
Why should we watch Runway 34?
To get a first-time experience of an Indian film that is made on what seems like real-time. It’s not orchestrated. Runway 34 has believable characters, a script full of twists and it will give the audience an edge-of-the-seat thrill.