The edit room of Dharma Productions, located in suburban Mumbai, is a chaotic place as journalists wait for Sanjay Dutt to arrive. When he does, his towering presence in that crammed room brings a pause to the conversations.
In this interview with Ankur Pathak, Dutt talks about playing a villain in Karan Johar's upcoming revenge drama Agneepath, how he is way past the stage where films help him grow as a person, and also why he would never allow his daughter to make a career in the movies. The antagonist of Agneepath has risen to heroic fame. Tell us about the Voldemort-like Kancha Cheena.
He's a kind of villain never seen in Indian cinema. I have been in this industry for over 30 years and have come across all kinds of villains. They are all somewhat alike. They enter in one scene looking menacing but eventually, get bashed up by the hero. What sort of villain is that?
Kancha Cheena is a very unpredictable character. He has interpreted the Bhagwad Gita in a weird way of his own. All his decisions and moves are directly or indirectly influenced by that holy book. He is a very complex character who is exceedingly difficult to process. It's a brilliantly written character.
If you look at any Hollywood superhero films, their baddies are just too powerful. In fact, they are so overbearing, the good guy gets the beating almost throughout the film. In fact, I see a lot of parallels between Kancha and The Joker from The Dark Knight. It's great that both Karan Johar (the producer) and Karan Malhotra (the director) have come up with a negative character that is so larger-than-life that defeating him towards the end makes the hero worthy of the title.