Drugs, alcohol, ammunition, jail sentences, divorces.. his life story would make for interesting reading. And he admits he’s seriously thinking of writing an autobiography. Sanjay Dutt in a rare confessional mood with Rachana Dubey
So, you are writing an autobiography now?
(With a wry smile) Thanks to you guys (read journalists) every thought that passes through my mind makes news. Yes, I have been thinking of penning my life story. Now, whether Manyaata helps me or I do it on my own, you will know when the time is right. Or maybe your ‘reliable sources’ will tell you.
Why not a biopic?
You think I’m such a mahaan person that people would be interested in my biopic?
Will it be a tell-all-book or will it only highlight certain aspects of your life?
You seem to be an intelligent, well read girl. When I start work on the book, I will take your advice
The buzz is that you are contesting the elections next year. Then I’m sure you know which political party is giving me a ticket too?
(With a laugh) After watching EMI, Anna (Suniel Shetty) thinks I would make a perfect finance minister and could solve all the country’s monetary problems.
What’s your take on the political attacks on the Bachchans?
I think more than political attacks, they are media attacks. Public figures are always soft targets for you guys. Sure, you do some good deeds but a lot of bad deeds too. The issue with the Bachchans was blown out of proportion. Had the media been a little more responsible, the picture would have been different. Now, can we talk about my films, please?
Sure, how many EMIs have you paid in your life?
Ha ha.. I’ve never had to pay loan installments, thank God. Our family never went through a phase like that. Also, when we were kids, the banks didn’t offer such facilities. (Smiles) But maybe after this movie, I will have to start paying EMIs. And vasooli?
I’ve never had to go down that road either. Vasooli is only for Anna’s movie. (Smiles) And let me tell you, I’ve never seen a recovery agent as handsome as Sattar Bhai.
That’s your character in EMI, right?
Yup, he helps the others realise their dreams, at a price.
You mean you make threatening calls to those who fall back on their monthly installments. Have you ever been threatened in your life?
Nothing has been as threatening as this interview. (Smiles) But jokes apart, I’ve not reached that stage in 49 years when someone gives me threatening phone calls.
Still, you’ve been saddled with the image of a goon.
(In mock horror) What are you saying? Do I look or sound like a goon to you? The don of Vaastav became Munna in the Munnabhai series. The same Munna is now Sattar Bhai. People like me in such avatars. I’m the most loved goon for sure but no one calls me Bhai. I’m Baba to one and all.
Is Sattar Bhai anything like Munna?
I’ll be happy if he comes close to Munna. Sattar Bhai is a nice guy but no, he’s not Munna.
Don’t you miss working with Circuit? Apparently, the third Munnabhai movie, Munnabhai Chale Amrika, is stuck?
I don’t know about the Munnabhai movie but yes, I miss working with Arshad. He’s a sweet kid brother. Sometimes, when I don’t meet him for days, I call him up. But we don’t talk shop, we just talk heart-to-heart. Recently, when I was shooting in Thailand for Blue, I called saying, “Yaar, I’m missing you!” And he was like, “Bhai, let’s catch up once you’re back.”
Apparently, Akshay Kumar is getting Rs 71 crore for Blue as against the Rs 18 crore that you are charging. Why the disparity?
(Thoughtfully) I’ve heard that too. I think I should ask him for a loan of Rs 10 crore. I’m sure he won’t mind. The EMIs should take care of the debt.
Is it true that you’re mad because of Akshay’s undue interference?
(Evasively) Akshay is doing well in his career and I wish him well. The film has amazing stunts which I’ve enjoyed doing. But after Blue, apart from taking a shower, I’ll never go close to water.
Can two actors be friends?
Of course, they can. I have a lot of friends. Two of your buddies, Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan, have had a fight recently.
Whose side are you on?
This industry is like a big family. Brothers and sisters fight because two people never think alike. But then they patch up too. Shah Rukh and Salman are my brothers. And I’m sure some day they will bury the hatchet too.
Will you act as a mediator?
(Shrugs) I don’t know. The fight was between them. But I can try to get them back together.
There was supposed to be a spat between Suniel Shetty and you too?
What was reported was in bad taste. There was no fight. Look at us? We even sport the same hairdo. The reports didn’t affect our relationship because well, Anna is my anna too. But it left a bitter taste. (Shrugs) I’ve become somewhat immune to irresponsible journalism. I switch my TV set off for 24 hours. The next day, someone else is making news.
But you did have a heated argument over re-shooting certain scenes in EMI which you weren’t happy with.
Look, as an actor, I’ve always enjoyed creative freedom, more so when I’ve worked with friends. If I wasn’t happy about something, I could suggest changes. And had I suggested a re-shoot, it would have happened. But Anna and I mutually agreed that we needed to add more scenes between the bankers and the recovery agent. And we did it amicably.
Suniel Shetty once said that Amitabh Bachchan and you are the only ‘actors’ in the industry.
It’s sweet of him to have taken Bachchan sir and my name in the same breath. But I’m nowhere close to him. He’s a far superior actor. He made KBC a household name.
Will we see you hosting a TV show too?
If someone pays me good money, why not?