After completing his prison term, Sanjay Dutt walked free from Pune’s Yerwada Central Jail in February this year. Now, the actor is concentrating on his upcoming films. In a candid chat at his Juhu office, Sanjay talks about his career plans, why he still can’t believe that he is a free man, his contemporaries Sunny Deol, Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff, and more.
It’s been over five months since you got out. Has the feeling of being free sunk in?
Sometimes, I have to pinch myself. When I wake up in the middle of the night and find myself in my room, I have to tell myself, “Yes, I’m home.” It’s a great feeling to be home. Who would want to go back to jail?
You celebrated your birthday recently…
I requested everyone not to throw a big party. Those days are in the past. I can’t listen to loud music now. I used to in my earlier days, but things change with time and age. These days, I listen to classic rock, jazz and blues, not heavy metal.
You have teamed up with film-maker Mahesh Manjrekar after a gap of 11 years for a film that is being produced by Omung Kumar and Sandeep Singh. How does it feel?
I have done so much work with him that now what we share is beyond a director–actor relationship. We are friends. I am glad that we are getting together again to do some great work. It’s the remake of a Marathi movie. I have watched the film, and I’m happy about the movie.
Do you ever compare yourself to your contemporaries Anil Kapoor, Sunny Deol or Jackie Shroff?
I don’t, and I think even they don’t do that. Everyone is doing well. Though I entered the industry a little earlier than them, we have always been like brothers. I would like to do a project like The Expendables (American film series) with them. I hope I can get the rights for that.
A lot has been written about your film with director Siddharth Anand. What’s the current status of the project?
Siddharth is a good director and a dear friend. We have just delayed the film as it needs more work. We didn’t want to rush into things. I will definitely do the movie.
You have done films such as Mission Kashmir (2000), Munna Bhai MBBS (2003) and Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006) with film-maker Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Your first movie after your hiatus will also be produced by him. What is your relationship with him like?
Vinod sir is like family to me. I couldn’t perform the last rites of my father (late actor Sunil Dutt). He did. That shows how important he is to me. Before I went to jail, he told me, “Make sure that when you come out, you don’t have a paunch (laughs). I will announce my first film with you.” We kept our promise. He is someone who tells me, “Sanju, yeh karna hai (we need to do this),” and I do it.
What kinds of roles do you want to do now?
I’m not looking at doing anything in particular. I just want to do films that have good scripts. I can’t say that every movie should have a message, as at the end of the day, I’m an entertainer. I want to entertain the audience.