Director Sanjay Gupta is the man behind several stylish Bollywood action films. His rich repertoire of films includes popular names like Aatish, Kaante, Kaabil, Lokhandwala Shooting, among others. His collaborations with actor Sanjay Dutt have been particularly celebrated. Sanjay Gupta’s directorial debut Aatish: feel the fire (1994) featured Sanjay Dutt in the lead role. However, the collaborations stalled when the director and the actor had a falling out. The director has now spoken about the same thing in an interview with Siddharth Kannan. When asked what went wrong between them, the filmmaker said, “Nothing went wrong. I think what went wrong was the people around us. Some people around us tried to create too many misunderstandings between us. We didn’t talk for four years. But in those four years, you can search it, you will not find a statement from me against Sanjay Dutt and you will not find a statement against me from Sanjay Dutt. Neither of us opened our mouths. The world confronted us but we did not open our mouths. I was without work for three years. People had stopped taking my calls because there were people calling people and saying, ‘Sanjay Dutt has asked you not to work with Sanjay Gupta.’ “Sanjay Dutt never said that.”
He also accused producer Dharam Oberoi of falsely telling people that Sanjay Dutt had asked them not to work with Sanjay Gupta. About Dharam Oberoi, Sanjay Gupta added: “He even became Sanjay Dutt’s manager for a while. He was calling people. So when Sanjay Dutt’s manager calls people, they will believe it.” Sanjay Gupta further reiterated that Sanjay Dutt had never tried to steal job opportunities from him. “I remember at one point he had closed my office. And in fact I was going to give it up for rent and I said: ‘Now it’s over.’ He had started working at a friend’s hotel in Lonavala (he was redoing it and was planning to manage it) because he had to manage my house. “My wife was pregnant,” the filmmaker shared. He added that it was the birth of his son that pushed him to return to cinema, since he wanted to leave her “a legacy.”
Sanjay Gupta also added that even during the fight he did not allow people to speak ill of Sanjay Dutt in front of him. He shared that he and Sanjay Dutt met on Amitabh Bachchan’s 70th birthday and the aftermath was forgotten. The filmmaker said Sanjay Dutt hugged him and the two cried. Narrating the incident, the filmmaker said, “I am talking to John (Abraham) and suddenly I hear from behind, ‘Hello, Gups’… Sanju was walking in and saw me. He called me…he just came and hugged me and we both started crying. (The fight) was over…” he also hinted that they might work together soon and shared that a script for the sequel to Zinda it’s in the pipe
Similarly, Sanjay Gupta also opened up about his fight with actor Vivek Oberoi. Explaining the reason for the fight, Sanjay Gupta said, “I just felt that Vivek Oberoi at that time had been very ungrateful… We didn’t do it. Lokhandwala shooting…and all the actors agreed to be part of Dus Kahaniyaan. Only Vivek said, ‘My career is going a certain way.’ I don’t think I should do an anthology. I said, ‘Vivek, you’re doing it for me.’ I have given you a Lokhandwala shooting. I created this character for you.’” Sanjay Gupta added that while he did not force Vivek Oberoi, he decided to “stay away” from the actor. The director also said that they did not work together for a long time.
Sanjay Gupta said that the actor met him at a party and shared his desire to work with the filmmaker again. Vivek, according to Sanjay Gupta, requested a narration of Wadala shooting in the middle of a Diwali party at the director’s house. After hearing the story, she instantly agreed to be part of the project, the director revealed. Sanjay Gupta shared Vivek’s reaction and said, “He got up. I had tears in my eyes, he hugged me. He hugged my wife. She said, “I’m back home and I’m making this movie.”
However, after announcing his association with the project, Vivek Oberoi backed out, citing that he is doing another project, the director revealed. He said, “That’s where I lost it. I said that’s not right. Don’t come to my house, sit with me, listen to my narration, congratulate my wife, congratulate me and say, ‘Yes, let’s do this’ and then turn around and say, ‘I’m not going to do it.’ ‘ The filmmaker also revealed that Vivek Oberoi chose to make Zila Ghaziabad instead.
“So I was angry with him for a brief time,” confessed Sanjay Gupta, adding that “there are no permanent friendships or enmities” in the film business. Sanjay Gupta also shared that the role Vivek Oberoi had to play in Wadala shooting He was finally played by Sonu Sood.