Dutt, who is currently serving a jail term in Pune’s Yerawada prison for his involvement in the 1993 Mumbai blasts, had a disastrous start to his Bollywood career. He was dubbed as a flop initially, however Bhatt gave him and his career a lifeline by signing him for Naam, which turned out to be a massive hit.

Dutt’s first movie was his father and legendary actor Sunil Dutt’s home production ‘Rocky’ but he could only manage to make a name for himself in the Bollywood through Bhatt’s Naam.

Sanju baba also had to tackle drug abuse in his early days, and as an actor he was largely snubbed by the directors during his initial days in the Bollywood.

However, Bhatt believes the turning point in Sanju baba’s life came when he returned from United States after taking treatment for his drug addiction.

"After Sunil Dutt Sahab had brought out Sanju Baba of his drug addiction by treatment in US Sanjay was a changed man but unfortunately the film industry had written him off as a flop actor and there were no takers for him!” Bhatt said in an interview.

"Readers would be surprised to know that when I decided to take up the direction of NAAM, which was produced by Rajendra Kumar, film industry mocked at me for taking a flop actor. In fact even Sunil Dutt, had reservation about me as a director,” he added.

"Dutt Sahab was over protective of his son and did not wish to let Sanjay work in outside banner. But I had seen a fire in Sanjay and I knew I could bring out a good actor in Sanjay,” Bhatt further said.
Bhatt then revealed that once Sunil Dutt was convinced of his son Sanjay’s acting credential after so many flops, it was up to him to make Sanju baba a Bollywood star – something which he did with absolute aplomb.

"After few meetings Sunil Dutt sahab was convinced and he gave the green signal. Now it was for me to take the challenge,” Bhatt said.

“I knew a little mentoring and a little structural support from the script were all it would take to get an effective performance out of him,” he added.

“Thus Salim Khan’s (of Salim Javed) excellent script helped me in polishing the rough edges of Sanjay Dutt. As for Sanju, he gave everything to the film - he was single-minded, as focused as a horse with blinkers, he just did not see anything beyond the movie. The result the movie was a huge hit. It celebrated golden jubilee and Sanjay became a Star!" he said.

Latest news from Entertainment News Desk