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The work that went into transforming Ranbir Kapoor into Sanjay Dutt for Sanju

The making video from the makers of Sanju (2018) captures the attention to detail and effort that has gone into transforming Ranbir Kapoor into Sanjay Dutt. 

Shriram Iyengar

The success of Sanju (2018) marks the first Rs200 crore film for actor Ranbir Kapoor. The success comes after a great deal of work and effort put in by Kapoor, director Rajkumar Hirani, and an entire team of prosthetic and hair experts who worked to create the looks. The film has already earned Kapoor a lot of praise for his perfect recreation of actor Sanjay Dutt's mannerisms. In the latest making video, the makers have given a glimpse into the work that went into creating Sanju.

The video begins with director Hirani wondering who should play Dutt in a biopic about him. While he settled on Kapoor, producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra was extremely suspect of the lean Kapoor transforming into the macho Dutt.

Even Kapoor had his fears, as he says, "I am not him, I cannot be him...so I had my fears about how I will be able to play Sanjay Dutt?" This meant that the actor had to become Dutt, physically first.

So, Kapoor hit the gym with a vengeance. "To be honest, I detest the gym. I can't stand it," he says at one point. Yet, the actor had to create the muscles that embodied Sanjay Dutt's personality because "Sanjay Dutt represents the epitome of body-building, and I could not screw that up."

To physically match Dutt's giant appearance is one thing, but Hirani also had to transform his actor into looking like Dutt. The trouble lay in the facial appearance. As Kapoor admits, "The hardest look was the 'coming out of prison' moment. Since it was so iconic and so fresh in people's minds, we had to get it right."

The scene is one of the key sequences that was an emotional moment in Hirani's film. Throughout the film, Kapoor goes through six transformations from the young Dutt to a grizzled look during his prison time. These looks, according to director Hirani, were key in getting the film off the ideating boards and on to the floor.

However, getting the looks right was not as simple. Hirani had to seek the help of several professionals. From Vikram Gaekwad to work on the makeup, a professional prosthetics expert in Clover, and Hakim Alim to work on Kapoor's hair, the team got to work to create six different looks of Kapoor as Dutt from the age of 19 to 55.

The team kept failing. "It's really hard because you have to sit in a chair for six hours and in just 30 seconds you see it and it's not working." Kapoor says, "Six hours of work down the drain."

Once the team had got the look of Dutt leaving prison right, Hirani says he knew the film will follow. "Once that look matched, I was sure that we will find the other looks and will find the film."