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'Munnabhai should happen next year'

Last updated on: August 18, 2011 18:53 IST

'Munnabhai should happen next year'

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Sonil Dedhia in Mumbai

Sanjay Dutt is a man for all seasons. The 52-year-old actor delivered a hit with Double Dhamaal, and is now gearing up for his big release Agneepath.

He's friends with the two warring Khans, and even cameos in their films -- in Salman Khan's Ready and Shah Rukh Khan's upcoming Ra.One.

The actor sat down for a chat with Sonil Dedhia, and talked about his films -- including the upcoming Chatur Singh Two Star -- and cleared the air about his rumoured absence from the next Munnabhai film.

You very rarely give interviews. Why is that?

I am a very shy person. I don't like self-publicty. I would rather let my work and my films speak for me.

Tell us about your film Chatur Singh Two Star.

Chatur Singh Two Star is adapted from a novel Chalak Jasoos by Raza, a writer from Uttar Pradesh. It was producer Mohammed Aslam's idea and the director, Ajay Chandok, made some changes. 

The film is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and I play an infamous member of the Mumbai Police department who in his career has been most successful at botching up cases and making a fool of himself.

sanjay dutt photos

Image: Sanjay Dutt in Chatur Singh Two Star

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'It is necessary to revive the action hero'

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How chatur (clever) are you in real life?

I am not at all chatur. That is the reason I fall into trouble so many times (smiles).

Is it difficult to do a comedy?

Doing a comedy film is like a give-and-take relationship. If you don't get a proper reaction from your co-actor, it becomes difficult. Also, timing is very important in comedy.

You had to get back into shape for your upcoming movies Agneepath and Ra.One. How difficult was that?

I had to put on weight for Chatur Singh Two Star. My character required that I look like the cops we have today. But it was a problem losing weight; as we all know, putting on weight is not difficult! I did not get the time to lose weight, but last December I put my foot down and decided to get back into shape.

It's been almost eight months and I have lost almost 25 kilos and put on a lot of muscle. It was difficult, but as they say, nothing is impossible. It feels good to be back in shape.


Image: A still from Chatur Singh Two Star

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'Maybe I'll direct a film after five years'

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If rumours are to believed you are not going to be part of the next Munnabhai instalment.

I have no idea where the rumours are coming from. I am doing Munnabhai. I spoke to Rajkumar Hirani a few days back. He is working on the script and we should work it out soon. It should happen next year.

Would you like to be remembered as Munnabhai?

Munnabhai is very close to me. I have travelled all over the world and the love for Munnabhai by my fans and the audience is something beyond what I can express. I feel lucky to be Munnabhai.

Image: A still from Chatur Singh Two Star

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'My next films Agneepath and Zilla Ghaziabad are out-and-out action films'

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Action films have now become the flavour of the season. Do you think the macho hero has come back?

Yes, I think so. It's good that action films are coming back. Someone recently told me that people have forgotten the superhero. Ajay Devgn started his career as an action hero and so did I.

Romantic films and comedies have taken over the industry in between, so it is necessary to revive and get the action hero back. The stardom that an action hero has gives a different high. It's always larger than life. If you see down south, actors like Rajnikanth and Suriya are like demi-gods and it's because of their action image.

My next films, Agneepath and Zilla Ghaziabad, are out-and-out action films. I am also doing Department with Ram Gopal Varma, which also has some action sequences.

Do your experiences in your personal life help you with your on-screen characters?

I have seen and experienced a lot of things in my life. Right from being involved in drugs, to my mother's death, to the death of my first wife (Richa Sharma), the entire jail episode and the problems that I have gone through, they have somehow proved to be a learning experience. They have helped me in some way or the other. I can now play any character comfortably.

Image: Sanjay Dutt with Ameesha Patel and Anupam Kher in Chatur Singh Two Star

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'My real life experiences help me play any character comfortably'

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You just mentioned that you have gone through so many difficulties, but there's always a smile on your face.

A person shouldn't give up. I think if an individual passes through any difficulties he should be strong within and have faith in God. Whatever happens to anyone is all because of God's will.

How do you look back at your career?

I have no complaints. I had my share of ups and downs and overcame everything with a smile on my face. I will always keep working hard. I have entertained my fans and the audience for the last 31 years and will surely continue doing it.


Image: A still from Chatur Singh Two Star

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'Making films has become a dirty game now'

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In these 31 years, how has the industry changed?

I sometimes feel very sad about the changes that have taken place. When I started my career in 1979, there used to be competition among actors, but there also used to be more respect for each other.

The film industry was like a family. There used to be more togetherness.  Now that is not the case. It has become a dirty game now. I'm not a part of that game, I do my own stuff. It's a very sad situation for our industry.

How has your wife Maanyata changed you?

I'm a very lucky person to have a wife like Maanyata. She is a homemaker and has done all the right things. She bonded with our whole family, gave me two children, and settled me in life.

She has brought my life back on track. Before my marriage, I was like a nomad who would hang around with my friends till late at night and would party a lot. Now, as soon as I finish shooting, I go straight home and try to spend as much as I can with my kids.

Image: Sanjay Dutt
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
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'I don't believe in camps'

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There were a lot of rumours floating around about your spat with Salman Khan.

Salman Khan and I can never fight and even if we do, it is nobody's problem because he is like my younger brother. He came to my house and we had a lot fun. We shot for Bigg Boss the very next day.

You are also close to Shah Rukh Khan.

I don't believe in camps. I still consider this industry my family. I love all my co-stars and I respect the entire film industry. I am no one to mend things or break things. I consider every actor my brother. Shah Rukh gave me respect, so I will respect him too. Similarly, Salman gave me respect, so I respect him. All are my brothers and I don't believe in anything else.

Tell us about your tattoos. You seem to add them day by day.

(Laughs) I remember I made my first tattoo in Goa. People say that tattoos are like an addiction and I also got addicted to it. I have around nine tattoos all over my body.

You turn producer with Rascals, your next film. Any plans to direct a film?

I haven't decided as yet but, yes, I am not ruling out the option. Maybe after five years, I will direct a film. I'll make a complete commercial action entertainer.

Image: Sanjay Dutt

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'Salman is the superstar in Bollywood today'

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It is also said that you are a big prankster on the sets.

That comes very spontaneously to me (laughs). I remember recently when I was shooting for Ra.One, Priyanka Chopra was taking a little time to get ready.

I told Shah Rukh Khan to tell her that Sanju Baba was very angry, and I went and sat in a corner. As soon as Shah Rukh told Priyanka, she came running to me and apologised. I started laughing and she realised that it was a prank. She started crying!

Tell us about your cameo in Ra.One.

The basic plot of the movie is a game that a kid is playing. I am doing a cameo where Shah Rukh and I will be seen fighting against each other.

Who do you think is going to be the next superstar in Bollywood?

The next superstar has already arrived. My younger brother, Salman Khan. He is the superstar in Bollywood today.

Image: Sanjay Dutt

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