Happy Birthday Ajay Devgn: lesser known facts about the actor

Actor-filmmaker Ajay Devgn is one of the most popular stars of Bollywood. He began his film career with ‘Phool Aur Kaante’ in 1991 and has appeared in over a hundred movies in a career spanning over two decades. He has proved himself to be a successful actor in diverse roles, including serious, comedy and hard-core action. Ajay has two National Film Awards for his performance in ‘Zakhm’ and ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’, and three Filmfare Awards under his belt. He was recently honoured with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in the country.

The talented actor celebrates his 47th birthday on Saturday, April 2. On the occasion, let us check out some interesting facts about Ajay.

Ajay was originally named Vishal which he reportedly changed for his career in the film industry. He was born to a family with Bollywood connection. His father Veeru Devgan is a stunt choreographer and action director, while his mother Veena is a film producer. His brother Anil Devgan is also a director who directed him in ‘Raju Chacha’ and ‘Blackmail’ (2005).

Before making his big debut with ‘Phool Aur Kaante’, Ajay appeared as a child artiste in the Mithun Chakraborty and Padmini Kholapure starrer 1985 film ‘Pyari Behna’. He played the younger version of Mithun.

Ajay was reportedly the first choice for Salman Khan’s role in the 1995 blockbuster ‘Karan Arjun’, but due to creative differences with director Rakesh Roshan, he walked out of the project. He also missed out the role played by Shah Rukh Khan in late Yash Chopra’s super hit film ‘Darr’. Ajay was shooting another movie in Ooty and didn’t respond to the makers.

Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali in an interview had said that he had the script of his blockbuster movie ‘Bajirao Mastani’ 12 years before making it. At that time, he wanted to cast Ajay in the lead role, with whom he worked on another blockbuster ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’. But things didn’t work out then. And years later, Bhansali revived the script and made it with Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra.

Ajay doesn’t have many friends in the industry apart from actors Abhishek Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt and filmmaker Rohit Shetty. Ajay and Rohit who have collaborated for movies like ‘Golmaal’ series, ‘Singham’, ‘Bol Bachcha’ etc are both sons of stunt action directors. They also used to attend the same birthday parties.

Ajay was also the first person whom Abhishek informed about his marriage with Aishwarya Rai, outside his family.

While Ajay’s wife Kajol has worked with Aditya Chopra and Karan Johar, Ajay has never starred in any of these filmmakers’ movies and is neither too friendly with them. In fact, it is said that Kajol distanced herself from her buddy AdityaChopra when the latter got into a legal tussle when the release of their respective films ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ and ‘Son of Sardaar’ clashed. She has also reportedly turned away from her friend Karan.