Sanjay Dutt: People want to see me as Baba again
At 59, Sanjay Dutt is ready to reassess his career. The actor admits that the failure of his last two releases, Bhoomi (2017) and Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3 (2018), has made him more discerning while choosing projects.
"I can't take my work for granted. I have to start taking onus of my characters; earlier, I would leave it on the directors. [Having said that] I will still surrender myself to Bhatt saab [Mahesh Bhatt] for Sadak 2, which we start soon," says the actor, who dominated the '90s with his action hero image. "People want to see me as Baba again, and I will give them that. In my next few films, you will see a lot of action and comedy. So, I am confident that it will be a good journey ahead."
The Abhishek Varman-directed Kalank is his first step in that direction. The pre-Partition drama was originally conceptualised by producer Karan Johar's father, the late Yash Johar.
Dutt, who plays the patriarch Balraj Chaudhry, is proud to have earned a place in Karan's vision. "During the shoot of Gumrah , Yash uncle had briefly mentioned about the story. Dharma Productions is like family; so when Karan approached me with the film, I had to do it. It is also a coincidence that my character is named Balraj, which is my father's [Sunil Dutt] real name. He too came from Pakistan during Partition, so it has an emotional connect."
The multi-starrer marks his on-screen reunion with Madhuri Dixit-Nene 22 years since their last outing, Mahaanta (1997).
"It was great to work with her again. I was a little nervous, but she made things easy. She's got terrific command as an actor. We spoke about our kids. In fact, I made my children [Shahraan and Iqra] meet her when they dropped by on the sets."