Sanjay Leela Bhansali on why he exploded in front of Alia Bhatt during Gangubai Kathiawadi shoot: ‘I never told her’

Sanjay Leela Bhansali has said that he doesn’t like giving very direct and detailed instructions to his actors so that they can explore their own imagination. He has talked about a 30-second scene from the film in which Alia’s character talks to her mother on the phone and explodes on the operator. He has shared that instead of giving her direct instructions, he himself exploded in a situation with Alia sitting in front of him. Reacting to the scene, he said that it was the moment that made him sure of his choice of Alia as Gangubai. Also read: Gangubai Kathiawadi box office collection day 5: Alia Bhatt’s film remains strong, crosses 57 cr in five days

Talking about the scene, Sanjay said, “That was the whole idea that a 16-year-old girl gets trapped into this business, discovers this sordid world and gets up and says, ‘no I have a voice, I have my rights.’ I wanted that passion in the eyes. This girl (Alia) has very powerful eyes. This girl has certain amount of a vocal power that she has that when she explodes….”

Sharing the incident that took place during Alia’s preparation for the scene, Sanjay told Film Companion during an interview, “She was sitting on a chair and I wanted a certain atmosphere. So, suddenly, I saw some staff laughing or giggling and I presumed that they were laughing at me. And then I exploded. All the actors on the set became quiet. It was my way of reaching those vibes to her, of feeling the nerves of calling the mother, of getting the anger filled, and at what note it should explode.”

“I never told her. Till date she doesn’t know that this is what I did to get her into that space. But as a director, I don’t like to give direct instructions to people, because it limits the actor’s imagination,” he added. 

Gangubai Kathiawadi released in theatres last Friday and has collected around 57 crore at the domestic box office so far. Alia plays the titular role of a vulnerable girl turned brothel owner and matriarch in the film.


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