Bollywood actor Paresh Rawal, who essayed the role of Sunil Dutt in the recent film Sanju based on the controversial life of Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt, has revealed what prompted him to accept the role in the movie.
Speaking to Indian Express, Paresh shared a letter that Sunil had written him just hours before his death. The letter bears Dutt’s letterhead with a stamp
The letter reads, “Dear Paresh Ji! As your birthday falls on 30th May, let me wish you all the happiness, prosperity and good luck in life, May God shower his choicest blessings on you and your family.”
Recalling the incident, Rawal said, “On May 25, 2005, I was shooting for a movie and I called up home to say that I will be late today. And during the shooting, we got to know that Dutt Sahab (Sunil Dutt) has passed away, so I called up my wife and said I will come a bit late because Dutt Sahab has passed away and I am going to his house. She then told me that there is a letter for you from him (Sunil Dutt). I asked her what the letter was and she said it is for wishing you a happy birthday. I told her that my birthday is on May 30, which is five days away but she said the letter is for you and she even read it to me. I was so surprised. Why would Dutt Sahab send me a birthday letter five days before my birthday? And we have never exchanged any holiday greetings in the past – be it Diwali or Christmas – so why would he write to me?”
Paresh further added, “On January 3, 2017, I asked my wife to take out a couple of my documents as I was going to meet Rajkumar Hirani. I told her I will pick up those documents when I come back. When I was sitting with Rajkumar Hirani, my wife called me and said that along with the documents, that letter from Sunil Dutt Sahab was also there. She asked me what I wanted to do about it? And I was stunned as I was narrated the part of Sunil Dutt for the movie.”
Referring to it as a ‘divine intervention’ of sorts, Rawal said, “You usually don’t keep birthday cards for 12 years, you discard them. You forget about them, but that letter was there with all my important documents and it was again found on the same day Rajkumar Hirani narrated the Sanju role to me. It is like a divine intervention. I showed that letter to Hirani later.”
Directed by Rajkumar Hirani, Sanju, which starres Ranbir Kapoor as Sanjay Dutt, opened to mixed reviews but the audiences have loved the performances making the film a box-office hit.
The film, which hit the cinemas on June 29, also stars Sonam Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Dia Mirza Manisha Koirala and Jim Sarbh among others.