They have worked together on films like Khamoshi: The Musical (1996), Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) and Saawariya (2007). But earlier this month, when Salman Khan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali made news, it wasn’t regarding a new collaboration. In fact, it was a statement made by the actor about the film-maker’s working style that raked up a controversy.
In a video-recorded interview with director Sooraj Barjatya — that was meant to mark the 20th anniversary of their film, Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994) — Salman said, “One day, I saw Sanjay Leela Bhansali yelling, and apparently he does that quite a lot. I had to tell him, ‘I think you should go and hang around with Sooraj for a bit. Just go and see how Sooraj Barjatya directs. What is this throwing things and stuff like that?’ (sic)”
Although Bhansali is yet to react to Salman’s comment, the film-maker’s latest protégé Ranveer Singh did have a few words to say about it. “Every creative person is temperamental. And I know that since I have been working in the industry for three and a half years now. I don’t know why Mr Bhansali is singled out,” says Ranveer, who has starred in Bhansali’s Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (2013) and will again collaborate with the film-maker in an upcoming film.
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He adds, “Not just directors, but artists, musicians — everyone tends to be temperamental. Creative people have a tendency to be temperamental because they function from a place of emotion. So if you are hyper sensitive or wear your emotions on your sleeve, which a lot of creative people do, then you tend to have a bit of a temper. Everyone does that, so I don’t know why people single him (Bhansali) out.”
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Ask Ranveer if he has ever had a similar experience while working with Bhansali, and he says, “Not at all. He spoils me like a little kid. I have no idea what experiences other actors have had. What I do know is that he is famous for getting the best performances from his actors. Actors who work in his films walk away being lauded for their roles,” he says.