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When Sanjay Dutt overshadowed former US president Barack Obama 


Back in 2004, the actor attended a political event in Chicago where the Indian fans shifted their focus from Obama to Dutt.

Mayur Lookhar

Director Rajkumar Hirani and actor Ranbir Kapoor unveiled the teaser of the much-awaited Sanjay Dutt biopic, Sanju, today.

Much of Dutt’s life has been in the public domain, but there are some personal anecdotes that the actor hasn’t shared before. One interesting anecdote from Dutt's life which will not be seen in the film was revealed by writer Abhijat Joshi at the teaser launch. It involves former US president Barack Obama.

Obama wasn’t president then but a senator. “We couldn’t take this one in the film, but we knew knew this fact. In 2004-2005, Sanjay Dutt was in Chicago. He happened to attend a political event where Barack Obama was giving a speech. Once the Indian diaspora got a whiff of Dutt’s presence, they just started to run towards Dutt. Suddenly, one could hear chants of Munna Bhai! Munnai Bhai! So, that's how Obama knows Sanjay Dutt,” quipped Joshi.

Sanju teaser: Ranbir Kapoor perfectly embodies the adventure that is Sanjay Dutt's life

“When I heard it I found it difficult to believe. I thought yeh kahi lambi chodd toh nahi raha [I wondered whether Dutt was faking the story]. So, I asked Abhijat (Joshi) to find out whether this really happened or not. To our surprise it was true, as this inicident was reported by Chicago Tribune,” said producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra.

For a man who has worked with Dutt in a few films, Chopra himself wasn’t comfortable with idea of a biopic on him.

“When Rajkumar Hirani told me about the film, I wondered what is there to be told about him. But once these guys [Hirani, Joshi] started narrating to me the story, I discovered a Sanjay Dutt that I have never discovered before. How many stars will tell you openly that they had 308 girlfriends in their lives? I wasn’t aware that in that scene from Munnabhai MBBS (2003) Sunil and Sanjay Dutt cried for real. I discovered a Sunil Dutt, that I didn’t know before. I discovered a Sanjay Dutt that I didn’t discover before,” said Chopra.

I didn’t have the confidence to play Sanjay Dutt initially, reveals Ranbir Kapoor

Dutt wasn’t present during the launch as he is shooting abroad, but the actor's video message was played. “I still don’t believe a film is being made out of my life. I have seen a few scenes, but I can't believe how Ranbir is looking like me,” Dutt said. Sanju will be released on 29 June.