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About Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a Bollywood director, producer, screenwriter, and music director. One of the most successful filmmakers in Indian cinema, Bhansali is the recipient of several awards, including five National Film Awards, eleven Filmfare Awards and a BAFTA nomination.

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  • Padmaavat continues to go through a lot of strife…
  • Why didn’t you speak earlier about the Padmaavat issue?
  • Do you agree that you have achieved a cult status in Bollywood?
  • You said Ram Leela was a learning curve…
  • Is it right to say that you have been obsessed with your ideas long before your films went on floors?
  • One never hears of you taking a holiday…
  • That’s why you have been labelled eccentric…
  • It does matter right that Padmaavat will cross the 150 crore mark today?
  • You have done three films with Aishwarya (Rai Bachchan) and three with Deepika. Is it time to look for a new muse?
  • What about Ranveer Singh who seems to be your favourite?
  • Shahid was the new energy on your set?
  • Aren’t you being too harsh on yourself by completely isolating yourself from the world?
  • Doesn’t all work and no play make you dull?
  • Padmaavat has earned more than Rs 100 crore during the first weekend. It is marching towards Rs 200 crore. What are you feelings at the moment?
  • Sanjay, how did you get over this period of vicious attack? Anyone else in your place would’ve crumbled…
  • I can’t imagine how you will ever forget being assaulted in Rajasthan and then fringe hoodlums demanding your head and Deepika’s nose.
  • Did you at any point think of just giving up?
  • Not even after being assaulted?
  • Coming to the film, please clarify once and for all whether it is history or not.
  • So is the film at all connected to the opera?
  • Ranveer Singh is getting incredible reviews for his villainous act. Were you at all unsure of his box office status after Befikre, Deepika Padukone after xXx and Shahid Kapoor after Rangoon?
  • It’s being predicted that this will be the biggest hit of your career.
  • Did you ever think the film may never get released?
  • Considering what you’ve been through, would you ever go back to history?
  • How important has the success of Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-leela been to validate your position as a filmmaker?
  • You have explored violent love in Ram-leela…
  • So you have explored a dark side within you?
  • Unlike your previous films, Ram-leela is sexually uninhibited…
  • Did your successful run as a producer (Rowdy Rathore) implore you to add commercial elements in Ram-leela?
  • Does your eye for intricacy and detail make filming a particularly difficult job?
  • You are known to be extra sensitive to criticism…
  • What is your opinion on the kind of genre you select to do your movies?
  • Did you have any particular plan in mind when you entered the film industry?
  • What kind of a childhood did you have?
  • You are often criticised for being an indulgent film-maker. Does that affect you in any way?
  • You are known to be a short-tempered person…
  • You have lived in places like Bhuleshwar and Bhindi Bazaar, and faced a difficult childhood. Still your films are very artistic…
  • You had a difficult childhood, partially due to your father’s struggles in the film industry. What was your mother’s reaction when you decided to become a director?
  • What is your film-making process like?
  • Did you develop angst against this industry, because of the losses your father faced as a producer?
  • You have said that, ‘I am an uncomfortable film-maker for other directors, contemporaries, actors and others.’ Could you elaborate this?
  • Was it an uphill task for you to make your first film?
  • You are not seen at many parties and events. Why?
  • Why did you take 12 years to make your next film?
  • Do you watch other directors’ films?
  • Bhansali on enmity with anyone
  • Bhansali on loving his actors
  • One of the most integral but less spoken about aspect of your films is music. How important is it to you?
  • You said the first thought of making a film comes from a song. Tell us about a few.
  • Black had no songs. Do you think you can make another film without songs?
  • You have had great collaborations with composers such as Ismail Darbar ( Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas) and Monty Sharma ( Saawariya, Black). Why did you feel the need to take up composing?
  • You had famously given breaks to singers such as Shreya Ghoshal. Today, playback singers are under threat from autotune.
  • What is your process like as a composer? How well do you know the technical aspects?
  • You started out as a choreographer for Vidhu Vinod Chopra. You have a way of imaginatively shooting songs.
  • How spontaneously do you shoot a song?
  • How do you react to the Time selection?
  • How did you feel after the success of Devdas?
  • Many in the West say our mainstream cinema isn’t the true representation of our culture. What do you think?
  • What do you say about parallel cinema in India?
  • Are you still hurt with the scathing reviews Devdas got?
  • Does the Time list increase Devdas’ chances at the Oscars?
  • What are your plans for Oscars?
  • What next for you?
  • Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has presented your Devdas again at Cannes 15 years after it release. Your thoughts?
  • How did this honour fall in your lap?
  • I believe Devdas was the first mainstream Hindi film to be selected for Cannes?
  • Like your earlier work Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas also stressed exotic Indian culture. Do you think the earlier film prepared the way internationally for Devdas?
  • We had Satyajit Ray’s cinema, then Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay and Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan. Do you think these paved the way for your Devdas in the West?
  • What aspect of our films do you think international audiences enjoy the most?
  • Some quarters in Bollywood have been going on about “Black” being derived from Arthur Penn’s “Miracle Worker”?
  • Corliss had also singled out “Devdas”…
  • Where do you think “Black” goes from here?
  • Corliss has called “Black” the ultimate Bollywood love story?
  • Was your return to a vibrant and colorful world in “Ram-Leela” — after three “dark” films beginning with “Black” — influenced by the desire to reconnect with the audience as a filmmaker?
  • What was your mood before making “Guzaarish?”
  • Was its failure the reason you produced a film like “Rowdy Rathore?”
  • Are you happy that you made “Ram-Leela” now instead of then?
  • You have worked with superstars like Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Madhuri Dixit and rank newcomers like Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor. How do you cast your actors?
  • Deepika Padukone came in as a replacement for another heroine.
  • The film’s treatment is classic Hindi cinema.
  • What about choreography, with which you actually started in “1942 – A Love Story?”
  • What made you take up making music?
  • Where did all the music in you come from?
  • Isn’t it true that you wanted Laxmikant-Pyarelal for “Khamoshi – The Musical?”
  • But why did you not compose yourself for your debut film?
  • Why have you given only two songs to Shreya Ghoshal, whom you introduced in “Devdas?”
  • Thoughts on Deepika’s Saawariya audition?
  • Thoughts on approaching Deepika for Ram-Leela when Kareena Kapoor walked out
  • Thoughts on Deeepika being your muse after Aishwarya Rai?
  • Has the film, Padmaavat turned out precisely how you wanted it to?
  • Do you think the industry could have been a more vocal in their resistance against the fringe groups. On instances, celebrities simply responded to your circumstances stating that it was your film, not theirs.
  • After this incident, do you feel artistes are being stripped of the freedom of expression?
  • The depiction of Jauhar has received flak from a few, with Swara Bhaskar even recently penning an open letter criticising it..
  • I would assume they are questioning the decision to tell this story in this day-and-age, and the repercussions it may have..
  • Have you fictonalised the poem Padmavat? According to the literature, it was Kumbhalne ruler Raja Devpal who kills Raja Rawal Ratan Singh [Shahid Kapoor]. But in the film, Ratan Singh becomes a victim of Malik Kafur [Jim Sarbh]…
  • People argue that Alauddin Khilji wasn’t the barbaric ruler that he has been shown to be. What are your views?
  • Were you apprehensive about showcasing a mainstream hero as one that is bisexual?
  • The film, Black gives Mr Bachchan a completely new persona and impetus.
  • Black is ready for release. How does it feel?
  • Black departs from Devdas almost diametrically.
  • Your Devdas was selected as one of the best musicals by Sight & Sound magazine…
  • Do you think Devdas got the recognition it deserved?
  • Do you think Black has the potential to create the same impact as Devdas?

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