Sanjay Dutt gets candid on Amar Singh, wife Maanyata and sisters with Subhash K Jha
Sanjay, how is life treating you?
Couldn’t be better. I’m happy with my marriage and career and the handful of friends I can trust. I can count them on the hands of my fingers.
What do you think about your mentor Amar Singh turning into a movie actor?
He’s pretty good at whatever he does. He’s quite a movie buff.
Looking back do you think going into politics was a mistake?
I didn’t go into politics. I did what I had to help Amar Singhji. At that I didn’t realize it was the wrong party (the Samajwadi). Neither did he. Now he’s started his non-political organization. I wasn’t there for politics. I was there for Amar Singhji. And I’ll continue to be there in whatever capacity I am required. Helping people has always been my first priority. Even when I campaigned during elections for the Samajwadi Party, I was actually looking after Amar Singhji who was very well. I was more concerned about him than the party while he was slogging through his illness for the party. Now see what the party has done for him. I’m glad he has dissociated himself from it.
I did what I had to help Amar Singhji
You too have been through your share of betrayals?
That’s what I told Amar Singhji when his party let him down. I told him it was god-sent opportunity to know who his real friends are.
Your loyalty to Amar Singh remains unchanged?
He’s more family than a politician for me. He has always been there for me during bad times. I respect him for that. I’ll stand by him unconditionally. He’s much misunderstood and even his political party misused him.
I think my dad he was more a social worker. Politics was just a platform to achieve his means
How do you meet him that often now?
He doesn’t come to Mumbai that often. But I visit him in Delhi and Lucknow.
Your dad Sunil Dutt was a fabulous politician. Do you think politics is your cup of tea?
As I said I did it for my brother. Otherwise politics is not my scene. Even my father was not really a politician. He wanted to help bring about a change. When he took up an agenda he saw it to the end. He promoted hockey is such a big way. I think he was more a social worker. Politics was just a platform to achieve his meansâ€¦Maybe you’re right. I went into politics for emotional rather than practical reasons.
We’ve to reach the level of the action seen in Iron Man and Avatar. Sadly our cinema doesn’t have an international market
Your career suffered because of politics?
Not at all. All The Best did well. It came after I joined hands with Amar Singhji. Blue went over-budget.
Why don’t you do a full-on action film?
I think the action film is going through a crisis in this country. We’ve to reach the level of the action seen in Iron Man and Avatar. Sadly our cinema doesn’t have an international market. I wonder why. If Chinese and Korean cinema can have a global market, why can’t we? I think we need to change the way we make our films for the global marketing.
You’re going into film production now?
Yes we got delayed because of the recession. I don’t want to make a small-budget film. My first film has to be a lavish spectacle. I think my film with David Dhawan would be the first Sanjay Dutt Production. But first let the industry recover. In my 30-year career I’ve never seen such bad times in the industry.
Are you happy?
Very happy. It has been a 30-year inning. Things have changed so much in the industry. I’m lucky to have survived.
On a personal level?
Oh I am very happy. My wife Maanyata really takes good care of me.
And your relationship with your sisters?
Perfect. Every family has its ups and downs. Our differences came into the news because we’re the Dutts. Every household has its fights. But we can never be apart. We’re the same blood.
Anything that you really want?
All I want is my freedom. I just need that one line from the law, ‘You’re free’. Every day I pray to be free. Otherwise everything is fine, I’ve started working out. And I am back in shape. I don’t drink at all.