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I wanted Ranveer Singh as Sanjay Dutt, not Ranbir Kapoor, says Sanju producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra

Sanju producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra says he thought director Rajkumar Hirani had lost his mind when he announced his intention of making a biopic on Sanjay Dutt.

bollywood Updated: Jun 20, 2018 10:17 IST
Sanju,Ranbir Kapoor,Ranveer Singh
Ranveer Singh and not Ranbir Kapoor was the first choice of Vidhu Vinod Chopra to play Sanjay Dutt in Sanju.

It seems when Rajkumar Hirani decided to make a biopic on Sanjay Dutt’s life, not only the audience but his producer was also surprised. Speaking to Telegraph, Vidhu Vinod Chopra accepted that he was not on board when Hirani came to him with idea for Sanju. “When he told me, I was like, ‘What’s there in Sanjay Dutt’s life that merits being made into a film?! It’s better you make a film on my life… how I left Kashmir as a young boy and struggled when I came to Bombay.’ (Laughs) I thought Raju and Abhijat (Joshi, Sanju’s co-writer) had lost their minds!,” said Chopra.

However, it was the life of Sanjay Dutt and his bond with father Sunil Dutt which made Chopra give up Munna Bhai Chale Jail for Sanju. “When he (Hirani) sat me down and started narrating all that had happened in Sanju’s life, I was stunned! At first, I thought it was hogwash… that Sanju was somehow not telling Raju the truth, but when we started researching all that he’s said — from the 308 girlfriends he had to how he begged on the streets of US for the money to buy a bus ticket — we realised that everything he had told us was true!”

The famous Munna Bhai scene has been recreated for Sanju.

Chopra was taken aback when he realized that the tears in Munna Bhai MBBS scene where Sanjay asked his father’s forgiveness were for real. “I was standing there on the set of Munna Bhai and I had no idea they were actually living that scene,” he told the newspaper.

Another decision of Hirani that Chopra acceded to was casting Ranbir Kapoor in the film. “When he told me about Ranbir, I wasn’t happy at all. I thought someone else, like Ranveer Singh, could play this role much better. I thought Ranveer had the flamboyance, the emotional depth as well as the ability to change himself completely to play Sanjay Dutt. But Raju was adamant that Ranbir would be perfect. And when we started shooting and Ranbir became Sanjay Dutt, I had to kind of eat my words.”

First Published: Jun 20, 2018 10:16 IST