Anyone else who had not slept well for two weeks would be highly irritable. But not Sanjay Dutt. Instead, he’s pleased as the cause of his sleepless nights are his month-and-a-half young babies, Shahraan and Iqra.
The actor concedes that this time it’s different, unlike after the birth of his daughter, Trishala, who is now 21. "Unfortunately, Richa was not well then, and Trishala was in the US," he says, adding, "It’s amazing now with Shahraan and Iqra, changing diapers and all. I attend to one baby, while my wife Maanyata attends to the other."
Ask him about the unusual names and Dutt says, "There were a lot of suggestions, which Maanya and I discussed. But she was keen on these Persian names. Iqra means the most learned and Shahraan is a royal warrior," he says, adding that he goes home for lunch to spend some time with his kids. "That’s the advantage of shooting in Mehboob studio (Bandra)," gushes the actor who’s currently working on his maiden home production Rascals with Ajay Devgn, Arjun Rampal and Kangna Ranaut, under the aegis of director buddy David Dhawan.
Taking a break
Another reason why Dutt’s mid-afternoon trips home are crucial right now is the two upcoming month-long outdoor schedules that he will have to travel for. "I’m worried about not being able to see my kids for two months, when I go to Hong Kong for Double Dhamaal and then to Bangkok for Rascals," he confesses.
Mention his production house and Dutt’s eyes light up. He reveals that he has Soham Shah’s remake of Satte Pe Satta (1982) lined up next, in association with Shree Ashtavinayak Cinevision. "The idea is to make absolute entertainers… total commercial fare. No serious movies because I’ve seen what happened to good films like Lamhaa and Knock Out. Despite garnering acclaim, Lamhaa didn’t do the business we expected and Knock Out released during Dusshera, when people are shopping and celebrating," he explains.
Even though he’s played action roles in several films, the actor is comfortably settled in the comedy genre, more so as the lovable gangster in Rajkumar Hirani’s Munnabhai MBBS (2003) and Lage Raho Munnabhai (2006).
No wonder he’s upbeat about No Problem, which releases this Friday. “I’ve been in the comedy action genre since Thanedaar (1990),” he recalls, adding, “The success of films like All The Best, Dabangg and Golmaal 3 is proof that the audience wants to be entertained. They don’t want to be lectured or depressed with intense gloomy stuff.”
Dutt recollects having a wonderful experience working with Anil Kapoor, Akshaye Khanna and Paresh Rawal in No Problem. “It’s a typical Anees Bazmee film. He’s a great writer, so we have some fantastic dialogue and one-liners,” he says, adding that he made a suggestion to the director to make a film called ‘Please’ next.
“Anees has already made Welcome. After No Problem, he also has Thank you. So why not Please? If he comes up with a suitable script, I just might produce it,” he says.