Actress Dia Mirza who is widely known for her humanitarian and social work is returning to the silver screen with an upcoming Bollywood film Sanju. Sanju is a biographical film on Hindi film actor Sanjay Dutt and Dia will be seen as Maanyata Dutt in the film. Directed by Rajkumar Hirani, Sanju features actor Ranbir Kapoor in the lead along with actors Sonam Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Vicky Kaushal and Paresh Rawal. Produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Sanju is scheduled to release on June 29.
In an interview with Cinespeaks, Dia Mirza speaks to us.
Q: You had last worked with Rajkumar Hirani in Lage Raho Munnabhai (2006). How has he changed over the years?
Dia: He is pretty much the same today as he was when we collaborated together in 2006. He has had an amazing journey and success over the years. He is extremely grounded, polite and normal as he was. I have to admit the fact that he made me feel respected when I worked with him in Lage Raho Munnabhai. It was a liberating experience for me because I hadn’t worked with a filmmaker like him. In fact, Lage Raho Munnabhai was the first full fledged film script I read. Even today, he is very open and welcomes suggestions from his actors.
Q: Was it difficult to play the character of Maanyata Dutt in the film?
Dia: Maanyata has been the strongest pillar of strength in Sanjay’s life. She has been with him through the most difficult and tumultuous phase as a strong person. She raised his children and looked after them. I watched her previous interviews and a few videos to understand her more. Rajkumar and Abhijaat’s research is extremely strong and they answered all my questions about my character.
Q: How was the experience of working with Ranbir Kapoor?
Dia: Ranbir is an amazing actor. The most endearing quality about him is that he is so grounded, normal and simple on a film set. He would be in his prosthetics for around five to six hours and then come out in the scorching sun for the shot. It would have been physically uncomfortable for him but I never saw him being irritated for even a fraction of a second. He is also an alive actor on the set where his responses are immediate.
Q: What are your views on Sanjay Dutt as a person?
Dia: I think he has led an extraordinary life. His life has constantly been under scrutiny and in the public eye. Despite of all the flaws and upheavals, he remains a kind and a generous human being.
Q: Any plans of producing more films?
Dia: We are writing scripts and will soon venture into the web series space. We are yet to cast the actors and are working to get the right actors on board. I think it is better to move ahead in the right direction rather than being in a hurry. The joy of producing and delivering a film to an audience is indescribable.
Q: What are your thoughts on the recently imposed ban on the usage of plastic?
Dia: I am ecstatic. It has finally come into action. A lot of people have collectively worked together to make this happen. I think we all need to understand that excessive usage of plastic pollutes our environment, waterways and the food chain. So, it is really important for industries and individuals to come forward and implement it successfully.