Sanjay Dutt - Quotes and Statements by Sanju

Sanjay Dutt. Photo by Gautam Rajadhyaksha

Sanjay Dutt: The Story of Passion
"Passion gives me emotional strength... Passion means power!"
(Stardust Annual 1996)

He's the original child of Passion. Tragedy, his foster parent reared him. In her lap he nurtured himself. Wallowing in the lap of piety at times. Pity at others. Tragedy rocked him hard. Toughening him with blow after blow. Nature's way to harden the vulnerable. But Sanjay Dutt never forgot his real vocation. Passion. He always lived life lustily. To the brim. He wanted to drain life down to the last drop. And he believed in Passion strongly enough to be able to do so. His wine, his women, his clothes, his exercise, his music - his very life. Sanju lived it all up to the fullest. He was always larger than life. And he grew larger. He became a demigod for all those in search of a suitable role model. His survival through all the relentless tragedies only bequeathed on him an almost Christ-like Martyrdom. It made him a mega-star. A nova beyond the regular stars.

Sanjay Dutt relives some moments, especially, for his "favourite magazine" Stardust. And he shares his passions with us as well.

It's the strangest thing.

You keep growing. The years keep adding on. You see no obvious changes happening as such. But suddenly, one fine day, you look into the mirror and you see obvious changes.

You see the laugh-lines cutting deeper around your mouth. You see the little extra tiredness in the eyes. The smile seems to be a little forced. The impulsiveness is less. And you are much clearer in your thought, much more focussed. The priorities as clear as the mirror you're looking into.

Is that really me?

It is. The changes are there. But it's still me. Still Sanju. I'm the same person. But as I've grown, so have my thoughts changed. Gradually all my priorities have changed. Slowly my perceptions have changed. My perception of people. My views on them. And I'm sure their perceptions of me have changed as well. It' all a process of growth.

It's part of life. Growth. And change. F--k man! I didn't think I would be talking like this. But I guess, every man changes. And it can only be for the better.

I always was a passionate man, a passionate person. To me passion meant living it up. Enjoying life to the fullest. I always did what I wanted. I was always given whatever I desired.

Dad was a little strict with me always. He was always the one cracking the whip, laying down the law. I was very scared of him earlier, but today I have realised how he earned his respect. Not only mine, but of whoever he met - even in his constituency when he was an MP. I mean, so many people looking up to him, seeking his help, his advice. It was awesome.

Today, as I've matured I've understood his silent strength and grown even closer to him. I love my dad, I adore him. Today my love for him is something I feel strongly about. I realised how it took a change in me to appreciate my dad's strength.

I was always my mother's pet. She gave me whatever I wanted. Those days for me to whiz around in a sports car and wear Italian threads was the most important thing. I mean, life was one big party. Loud music, wild partying, the works.

I guess somewhere along the way I got misled. I got influenced wrongly. And one of the worst phases of my life began. My drug phases. I recoil today when I think of it. People tell me stories of how I used to be. Lying spaced-out. Not focussing. Life was being wasted. It would have got over in a flash. But once again it was the love and support of my family which saw me through. That is why even today, I do whatever I can to support anti-drug programmes. Or anti-AIDS programmes. Because I can identify with that feeling of helplessness. My passion for fast life led me to drugs. And my passion for pure life made me survive it. I remember, after my cure, the first day I came out to shoot for Jaan Ki Baazi. The entire Press had gathered there. Most of the industry was there. They'd already written me off. To them, I was 'finished'. That's when I decided to prove them all wrong. And I came through. Thanks to god and to the love of my family and friends.

I've always liked a fast-paced life. I was impatient with life. I wanted more out of less. I guess it was the recklessness of youth. We all live and learn.

I think that is why I loved fast cars. Fast food and a fast lifestyle. Women? I don't know. People find it hard to believe but I never was one of those come-on-strong casanova types. I guess those types tend to put women off. I've always been shy. Even a little reserved. People keep telling me about all these women who're supposed to keeping throwing themselves at me. Where are they? Frankly I don't see any around.

Actually I've always liked women. I find them far more sensitive than men. Some of the men you hang out with, all they think of is boozing and 'picking up' women. That's a phase of life guys go through. But they're supposed to outgrow it. But a man can rarely, if ever, match the sheer emotional strength of a woman. She's capable of giving of herself a lot more than a man can. She's all-sacrificing. A man is incapable of that much sacrifice.

And even if it comes to sheer passionate power, a man cannot match a woman. He may be physically more fine-tuned. But passion is more than physical. It is a balance of the physical and the emotional. They're like the twin-turbos that fuel passion. And a woman is much more fine-tuned. There's no doubt about it.

Earlier I was violent too. Hot-tempered. I used to hate myself later, after losing my cool. It is people with no directive in life, who're violent. People with zero intelligence. Zero sensitivity. Zero civility and with no powers of reasonability who resort to violence. As you get more civilized and more intelligent you learn how to reason. It is a greater power than violence. But only a gifted few get it. It is truly said that violence is the resort of the uncivilised.

I've sobered down truly. I don't know whether it had to do with growing up or with the fact that I was in prison for one-and-a-half years that made me this way. I guess, a little of both. It gave me plenty of time with myself to think about things. To rethink the course my life was taking. I've always believed that whatever happens is for the better. The chance to rethink gave me my second lease to life.

I value every little thing now. Every little gesture. I remember even small things that people do for me and I try to repay it in whatever I can. Because it always is the little things that matter most.

Little gestures of my friends. Those who kept in touch with me when I was in jail. Those few people who visited me. It mattered so much because all I had was a wall, a barred window and a daily visiting sparrow for company. It made me value all those who stood by me then. It's far more important than all the fair-weather types who're hanging around me today - only for the good times.

I concentrate on my work. I've made it my passion today. I laugh within when people praise my acting today. The same people had predicted that I'd never make it. I laugh at them, but I've forgiven them. Because life is full of such comedians.

Like I said, priorities change. When I got married, I thought this is it. But life plays such cruel tricks on you. Richa fell tragically ill. Today she's suffering the most horrible disease anyone can suffer. Life has been unfair to her. I want to cure her. I want her to be okay. I want to destroy that tumor in her head and I want her to live. I don't want my memories of her to be sad. But that's something I cannot help. What can I do? I'm as helpless as any mortal at the mercy of his god. Only god can cause a miracle now.

I feel strongly for my daughter Trishala. I want to substitute what she's losing in Richa. I want to give her the best. I want to give her the world. If she wants to study abroad, fine. I know that Ena will make a great guardian. She is a strong woman who I can totally bank on. Ena is indeed a rare woman of strength. I appreciate and respect that. And I thank her, like I thank all the other Sharmas, for their support.

Today, there must be a hand of God upon my head. He's given me tremendous strength and courage. Anyone would have crumbled, I would have. But I thank God for his support.

Today, I have beside me another woman who I can never thank enough for all she's done for me. And she did it with passion. Rhea is a dream woman. She's perfect. Her beauty runs more than skin-deep. They don't make golden-hearted people like her anymore. She glows with an inner strength that not many people possess. She's great, man. She's fabulous. She's probably the best thing to have ever happened to me. I got most of my strength from her. From her passion. From her zest for life. It inspires me to toughen up as well. I thank God for Rhea.

Passion has many colours. Like I said already. Priorities change. But passion burns on forever.

That's one thing you should never let burn out. For it is passion that gives me emotional strength. Passion means power. It can power your will. It can make you achieve whatever you want if you feel about it passionately enough.

Passion definitely means power. Raw power. Channelize it right and the skies can be at your feet.

Wishes can become horses, if passion becomes their wings.

Don't ever forget your passions. Feed them. And keep them alive. It'll keep you alive.

Passionately Yours

Lots of Love
Sanjay Dutt

(Original: Link 1 - Link 2 - Link 3 - Link 4 - Link 5)

Sanjay Dutt: My Page
(Stardust, July 1991)

Link 1 - Link 2 - Link 3 - Link 4 - Link 5

Sanjay Dutt: Dear Me
(Zee Premiere, December 1998)

Link 1 - Link 2 - Link 3 - Link 4 - Link 5 - Link 6 - Link 7

Sanjay Dutt's Top Ten
(Filmfare, August 2005)
Link 1 - Link 2

Sanjay Dutt: I have never argued with my directors
(Filmfare, October 2005)

Link 1 - Link 2

Sanjay's secrets
(Filmfare, November 2002)

Secret desire: "To have my own aircraft and a ranch in Mexico. And if fantasies can come true, an island in the sun, like the one Marlon Brando has in Tahiti."

Secret confession: "It takes very little to make me cry."

Secret kink: "I know I have a wild image but believe me, I don’t go for the kinky stuff. I like wooing my women with flowers, notes and diamonds, not by roughing them up."

Secret fear: "Losing my freedom."

(Btw, in the Stardust 3/1999 Sanju admitted that he's afraid of cockroaches: "I’m shit scared of the f---ing ba----ds!“)

Sanjay Dutt talks...

Why do you keep experimenting with your hair?

"So that it looks different. I like to try out something new."

What do you feel about so many newcomers flooding the industry? Do you feel threatened by the Aamir and Salman era?
"It feels nice. We are all like a big family so there is a family feeling. The industry has to grow. It can't stop at a point - it's dynamic."

Sanjay, you're known to be a prankster. Are all the jokes you crack a facade that covers private frustrations? Is it all a mask?
"No, it is not a mask. I am made that way I guess. I just cannot work till I don't crack jokes and don't do those stupid things that lightens the atmosphere. It makes me comfortable and makes the others also feel at ease. I would never put on any mask."

(Sanjay Dutt questioned by Raveena Tandon, in: Movie 5/1991)


"...all humans are equal. That's what I believe at least. And I definitely believe that a woman is equal to a man in every way. Of course they are different from each other but then that is the way it was meant to be. They were not meant to be two peas in a pod; they were only meant to complement each other and to love and cherish each other. A man is superiour in some ways and a woman is superiour in some other ways, so it all evens out. I personally am not an M.C.P. I believe in equal relations. However I am very old-fashioned in my beliefs. Like I wouldn't like a woman to throw herself at me. I believe in the art of wooing, hunting, courting, etc. But I wouldn't chase too long. Also I like feminine women. I wouldn't go for the hard core bra-burning types. Those babes are sick man. What are they fighting for? Don't they know that they can never be like men? It's not easy. It takes more than balls to ba a man after all. And similarly men can't be like women. Let's not fight nature, man. Let things take their own cause." (Stardust 1/1992)

"People come and tell me, now that you've had two hits (Saajan and Sadak), you must celebrate. But how does one celebrate? I get so embarrassed. And it is not true that I have hiked my price. I'm still taking what I did earlier. Unless I give 3 to 4 hits, I don't think I'd be justified in hiking my price. I'm in no hurry. I'm an actor, not a calculator." (Showtime 2/1992)

"They're crazy characters I'm playing man. But I am crazy. I want to give good performances, so I get obsessed with my roles. But I don't sit all alone in a corner with the script in my hand. I am spontaneous, I love to fool around, laugh and crack jokes. But I do get involved with the characters I play." (Showtime 2/1992)

"It doesn't matter whether the role is big or small, positive or negative, it's your work that finally counts. I want my career to go like Mahesh Bhatt's - he's done love stories, thrillers, emotional dramas. Like him, I'm not afraid of experimenting, it's the only way to grow." (Filmfare 1/1993)

"Success is like a fistful of sand, you relax a bit and it slips out of your fingers." (Movie 10/1993)

"You know, my success depresses me. It always has. Every time my films do well I feel kind of low: responsibilities increase, expectations run high. I'm not sure I can live up to them, no actor can keep giving hits again and again." (Filmfare 10/1993)

"When you become a loser in life, then you can join films. Not otherwise." (Ciné-Blitz 5/1996)

"I've started implementing what I've learnt from the Ramayan in my daily life. It's one of our great epics. It teaches you how to cope with hardships... how to move towards becoming the perfect man, the perfect son and the perfect brother. (...) I don't feel any negative emotions within me anymore. Somewhere down the line, I managed to erase them. I've understood that if Ramji can go through what he did and yet harbour no bitterness towards his stepmother, who am I? I've absolutely no right to complain." (Filmfare 7/1996)

"I respond to love and kindness with all my heart. If I get a little I am willing to give everything." (quoted in: Gautam Rajadhyaksha, Faces, 1997)

"If you look at trauma, if you cry over it and if you sit and let it linger on in your life, it will kill you. But if you look upon it as a challenge, an experience and forgive and forget things, you become a better and stronger human being. You can then carry on with your life, peacefully." (g 6/1997)

"I don't feel competitive at all. I feel everybody's got their own place. I'm not in the number game at all. I've never wanted to be. I am an individual, not a number." (Movie 7/1997)

"Either you tackle a crisis as a learning experience and turn it to your advantage or you let it break you. I have always been a positive thinker. I try to see things in a positive light. It is difficult, yes, but I just can't go on brooding and crying and self-pitying. How long can I do that? See, I'm a human being. I mean I was self-pitying when I was inside the jail but that was a phase. For sometime I did go 'Why me? What have I done?' But that's a loser's attitude. Once you sit down and look at reality and say, 'Yeah, I'm inside now. There are no two ways about it. But now what?' That's the time all the self pity goes away. I have a positive attitude, a winner's attitude." (Movie 7/1997)

"I've stuck my car with protein and cabohydrate supplements. I haven't touched a drop of alcohol for three months now, I only eat boiled food. Terrible! All the guys around me tuck into biryani and kheer... and here I am like a bloody idiot living on powders and bland trash. Kya karen? One has to make the sacrifice. If you're in show business, you've gotta show a beautiful body." (Filmfare 7/1997)

"Flops do happen. It's not the end of the world. If I were to get affected by every flop of mine, I would have been on the Mars Pathfinder mission by now. Failure is part of life. It makes us appreciate our success even more. (...) Hits and flops come and go. Earlier, I was doing well, and some films of some other actors weren't doing well. Now I'm going through a low phase and some other actors are doing well. Today Sunny and Anil are doing well and I'm genuinely happy for them. Even Akshay and Suniel have had their share of ups and downs. So have Salman, Shahrukh, Aamir. It's a see-saw phase. We all have to go through with it. But fortunately there's space for all. We're going the Hollywood way where there are at least ten top actors. That's the way it should be." (Stardust 10/1997)

"Me a sex-symbol? Do you call Sylvester Stallone a sex-symbol? Just taking off your shirt doesn't mean you are a sex-symbol." (Movie 10/1997)

"One thing is for sure that either you're a star which comes and fades or you're an actor who remains forever." (Movie 10/1997)

"I wear my emotions on my sleeve. That's the way I am. I'm angry, my anger shows. I'm happy, my happiness shows. I'm transparent. I don't wear masks. (...) What shows on my face is what I'm really feeling. And I think that even the media have accepted me that way, for the way I am. At least I'm honest and I'm true and straight with them. Other people are smooth, I can't be like that." (Stardust 12/1998)

"Complete happiness has always eluded me. Just when I thought it was within reach, it was snatched away. I guess it's karma. I must be paying for something ghastly I'd done in a previous birth. At the same time, deep down, I know I am a good guy. Or else I wouldn't be born into a warm, beautiful family like mine. Nor would I've enjoyed the kind of success and recognition I have. The fact that I have so many loyal fans is an indication that somewhere I must be doing things right." (Zee Premiere 12/1998)

"When I am through with one problem, there is always another waiting around the corner. I have accepted that." (Ciné-Blitz 1/1999)

"I've got only one thing from my Dad and Mom and that is to be a good human being. I've learnt not to be manipulative or crooked, but to be straight with people. I think that's the biggest thing they gave me. As an actor I don't find any similarities between my parents and me." (Stardust 7/1999)

"There are no regrets. Except for the jail term which in any case taught me helluva lot. I've mellowed though I'm still restless. I take my work seriously. I've stopped going berserk. I've learnt not to cry about the past because I don't want to ruin my present." (Filmfare 1/2001)

"I thought I wasn't a sex symbol anymore. Hrithik is the new symbol. But if girls still find me sexy, so be it." (Filmfare 1/2001)

"My stint in jail has made me wordly wise. It has made me toughen up as a person. It has taught me to take life seriously and not be playful as I used to be." (Rashtriya Sahara 2/2003)

"There's a lot of respect for me in the eyes of the audience now. I think it's gone way beyond the love factor. I've worked very hard to reach this position. Nothing's come to me on a platter. I've been through a lot, the struggle has been tough. I'm still growing as an actor because I've never had that know-it-all attitude. I'm still learning." (Filmfare 3/2003)

"I don't believe in keeping money in my pocket if another person needs it desperately. Sometimes the other person's need is more than yours. So if you have it, give it. We cannot change situations but we can at least be more understanding. Besides, every religion teaches you to do charity. Most of mine is on a one-to-one basis because I just can't resist a sob story. That's the way I am and I don't want to change this God-given quality of mine. Kids are my major weakness; I cannot see children suffering. I know most of the kids who hang around the signals near my house in Bandra and I just don't hand them money, I also advise them. Mainly, I persuade them to study. Very often a kind word is more important than a wad of notes." (Filmfare 12/2004)

"I've never really done things by the book. You cannot study acting, you just hone your skills with experience. I've never read books on acting, never tried to copy anyone. I have done things straight from the heart. I'm not a method actor; I don't need rehearsals, I don't want time to get into a character. If I am left alone to learn my lines or get into the skin of a character, I'll go crazy. I am completely spontaneous and I am completely a director's actor. I don't go in for heavy-duty discussions; I just do what I'm told to. I've never argued with my directors, never sulked or walked out of a project. My biggest plus point is that I can memorise pages of dialogue within minutes; very often a glance is enough." (Filmfare 10/2005)

"Age gracefully is my motto. I don't want to squirm when I watch myself on screen." (Filmfare 10/2005)

"I am an actor not a body builder. Six pack abs don’t guarantee success or make you a good actor. Your talent, dedication and a good body adds up to it all." (Times of India, December 10, 2007)

"I'm proud to be Munnabhai." (Inside Bollywood, April 2008)

"I’m not No. 1, but I’m a rock star, and rock stars are forever, hai na?" (Times of India, November 9, 2008)

"Sanjay Dutt, the 'neta' is more of Sanjay Dutt, the social worker. Politics is a platform which helps you to reach out to people, and help the people in a cause just like my father has done. He is one of the greatest politicians. He worked for his constituency a lot. (...) I am not a politician. I am happy as an actor. But, after I saw what happened in the recent Mumbai attacks, I felt I should get into politics. I know I cannot change the entire system. My father always tried to set an example. He succeeded to some extent. I entered thinking that at least like-minded people like me can bring about a change to an extent. The SP and Congress are in alliance. The SP supported the Congress for the Nuke deal. Both are secular parties. They stand for the common cause. Amar Singhji is like my older brother. He has stood by me for the last 10 to 12 years. I have high respects for him. Even my father was close to him. He used to call my father 'brother'. He stands by me even if he is in power and not in power. He told me that I should take up this cause and I agreed. I have been helping for the past 17 years children who are on drugs, cancer patients, and many in the industry. (...) I am because of my films. I might get choosy about my films now onwards. I might cut down on my work. I have to justify my work. It is not that I stop working." (TV interview, quoted in: New Kerala, January 22, 2009)

"Although the Supreme Court did not think it wise for me to contest, it did give me a character certificate when it said that I come from a good family and that I’m a good human being. I’ve waited for sixteen years for the courts to give me that certificate... I’ve now become the Sanjay Dutt I was 18 years ago. I was suppressed by the (Congress) government for all these years. I was gagged. I couldn’t mention ‘TADA’ for fear of disrespecting the courts. Now that I’ve been exonerated by the court I feel a weight off my conscience. Such laws I feel shouldn’t exist... I can speak of these issues now without fear of repercussions." (Mumbai Mirror, April 13, 2009)

"I’m not in the numbers game. I’m happy being who and what I am. I’m doing some good work. The only cloud in my life is the court case. I’ve been friends with Amar Singhji from the time my legal troubles started. They’re still not over. I just want it to end. I want to be free. I want to travel the world as a free man. I don’t want to be treated like a convict at airports. I don’t want to be denied visas to countries. However, it’s a huge relief that the legal pressure has lessened. In the last two months, when I campaigned with Amar Singhji, I saw tremendous love and respect all over India. That renewed my faith. I will be given justice." (Times of India, June 15, 2009)

"Work is proving to be my therapy. Work makes me happy. I guess that’s what keeps me going too. There’re interesting films happening and shooting for them is what I look forward to each day. It feels good to be back in the mode where you’d wait for a break from the shoot (laughs). I had missed it for far too long. The roles coming my way are all different and I am enjoying each one of them. I still can’t pick one genre over another, but I am enjoying doing a mixed bag of films from action adventures to comedy to fantasy films." (Times of India, July 6, 2009)

"My life has been a long and tiring journey, but I have no complaints. I have lost and found many amazing people along the way. Each brought their own joys and pain. But each experience has taught me a valuable lesson in life. Not in my wildest dreams had I ever imagined life would turn out to be the way it has. But then that’s what life is all about — unpredictable and enough twists on it’s own. (...) There are times when I don’t feel my age at all, but there are also times when I feel like I have lived and seen more than just these 50 years. But at heart, I’ll always be my mum’s Baba." (Times of India, July 29, 2009)

“I have made several decisions from my heart. Many of these emotional decisions, I will regret till my last breath, some I will cherish forever. I am a better judge of people today than I ever was. I am also more at peace than I was a few years back. Today, I have a family, a career, the love and blessings of so many well-wishers. I have more reasons to thank God, than to ask him for anything more.” (Times of India, May 18, 2010)

"I don’t fight with anyone nor does anyone fight with me. I don’t care about the number game. I don’t want to be number one or number two. I just want to be Sanjay Dutt.” (Spicezee, June 18, 2010)

"Even if I have just one scene in the film, I definitely make my mark." (ETC, June 19, 2010)

"True strength is being able to hold it all together when everyone else is expecting you to fall apart." (Twitter, July 5, 2010)

"My life is Agneepath." (Making Of Agneepath, 2011)

"To forgive is the biggest gift." (Bigg Boss 5, December 31, 2011)

"Politics is totally over for me. I have realised that politics meri jagah nahi hai. I cannot lecture or spin lies... My entire family has been with the Congress right from the time of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Congress is in our blood and as a loyalist, I am always there for Congress. Samajwadi was a mistake and I regret it... I think the best thing about my short-lived political career was that I saw the interiors of Bihar and UP. That is the real India and being an Indian, it was really sad to see our own people living in such dismal conditions. It was a real eye-opener." (Mumbai Mirror, January 17, 2012)

"We often say that there’s a part of us in every character we play. But I didn’t see anything of myself in Kancha (Agneepath). In fact, I had to repeatedly reassure myself, 'This isn’t you!' while I was dubbing. Even at preview shows, I was told that he was the exact opposite of me. That was a relief but at the same time the best compliment I have received as an actor." (Hindustan Times, January 29, 2012)

"I miss Munnabhai and would love to play a 'tapori' (vagabond) with a conscience all my life. From khalnayak (villain), I became Munnabhai. A role like that comes once in a lifetime. It was not just an inspiration for others; it was a lesson for me as well. I understood what it means for a patient to be hugged by a doctor. A mere hug expresses so much warmth and happiness to the other person. Now, I make it a point to hug people I really like. It (Munnabhai) changed my life." (Hindustan Times, April 2, 2012)

"I used to accompany dad on shoots as a kid and the production people used to call me Sanju baba. The name has stuck. I guess there’s a lot of love and affection attached to it. I like sitting with the workers, spot guys and light wallas, sharing their chai and having meals with them, so I guess that is why the production guys have a certain fondness for me!" (Hindustan Times, April 22, 2012)

"I think with my heart when it comes to my family. I use my brain for the world, but heart for my closed ones." (Dailybhaskar, April 25, 2012)

"An actor doesn't make a mark in the showbiz because of the parents. Dutt saheb had launched me (with Rocky in 1981), but later what you have within you, you have to prove that. Stardom is something where a person needs to be open about all his moves and that is the price that you have to pay for that. No matter how big a star you are, but if you keep yourself rooted then it is good for you. Main thing is to be a good human being. The public made me a star, so how I approach my fans that matters a lot." (IANS, April 26, 2012)

Ciné-Blitz Poster No. 8


Statements by Sanjay Dutt concerning his awards please find here.
Interviews with Sanjay Dutt please find here.


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