The  story of Sanjay Dutt is brought to life as audiences get a fascinating insight into one of Bollywood’s most controversial stars..

Here we speak to Sanju star Ranbir Kapoor.

It is quite unusual for Bollywood to make biopics like this, what attracted you to the role? How did you get this role- did you have to audition or were you approached?

I was approached for the role by Raju Sir. When Raju Sir told me he was making a biopic on Sanju Sir I was quite skeptical of the fact that how could you make a biopic on a living personality who is still so popular and relevant in India cinema? But once I read the script and the story written by Raju Sir and Abhijat Sir, I knew this was an opportunity of a lifetime. I had a huge responsibility on my shoulders to portray Sanjay Dutt and I was thrilled to be working with Rajkumar Hirani. I was really excited about the Sanju.

You are also the son of famous parents, did having that in common with Sanjay Dutt help you prepare for the film?

Absolutely. You know the dynamic I share with my father and my mother is something that I guess that Sanju Sir also had, having been born into a film family.

What was it like growing up with famous parents? You have mentioned the drawbacks in previous articles but are there any funny/ warm moments you particularly remember e.g. were you ever told off by a living legend actor when you were a kid? What were special occasions like at your house?

Well, I don’t know life outside of this. I have grown up in a famous family, i have grown up listening to script sessions and rehearsals and the world of fame and glamour, and I don’t really know any life apart from this! I have many memories. Of course my sister and I were always treated differently because we were the children of famous parents and we always basked in their glory. 

But we never took advantage of anyone, and we never took what we had for granted either - we understood the value of the privilege that my sister and I had. And of course interacting with various filmmakers and actors such as Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Amir Khan while growing up was quite an amusing experience to be a part of.

What age did you decide you wanted to be an actor- was it from childhood or was there a defining moment as an adult when you thought this was the career you wanted to pursue?

I think when I finished college and went to New York for my further studies. I initially wanted to dabble into direction, but then I really liked acting. I went to the acting institute called the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film School.
But I think my ambition got fuelled more when I worked with Sanjay Leela Bhansali in Black and assisted him as an assistant director. That’s when I really found an ambition and goal in my life and that was to act.

Did you know Sanjay Dutt before the film? Has he seen it, or been in contact with you?

Oh yes, for many years as he is a family friend. I used to exercise in his gym so he would always come and give me tips on bodybuilding. 
He used to take me driving in his Ferrari car; he used to also spoil me with a lot of gifts. So I have lot of fond memories with Sanjay Sir. Portraying his life on screen was rather amusing for me though, as I’m his fan and someone who has admired him. I simply only have more respect and admiration for him after completing Sanju. 

You are regularly named on ‘most desirable’ lists - what’s it like being a sex symbol? Are you into fashion and male grooming? Favourite designers/ brands

Yeah I am quite fashion conscious and I love the world of fashion. But my fashion is very simple – my style is just a pair of jeans, snickers, a T-shirt and cap. There are so many icons like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan and other actors. I think they have an impeccable sense of style.

Favourite actors- past and present and are you a fan of any British dramas or actors?

Favourite actors – there are so many down the line in India cinema – Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Balraj Sahni, my father Rishi Kapoor, all of the three Khans, from my contemporaries – there is Ranveer Singh, Varun Dhawan, Sushant Singh and Aditya Roy Kapoor, Tiger Shroff.  I think everyone is doing really special work.

Sanju is out today in cinemas nationwide