Sanjay Leela Bhansali on controversies regarding lead pair Ranbir-Sonam
Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is extremely excited about his soon to be released film Saawariya. However his anticipation has been marred by a few controversies regarding Bhansali’s lead pair Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor. Ranbir is the star son of actors Neetu and Rishi Kapoor while Sonam is also the daughter of actor Anil and Sunita Kapoor. However there has been talk that Sanjay has been an extremely extracting director both on-screen and off-screen with his protégées.
Director Sanjay has been accused of even interfering in the personal lives of his protégées. Supposedly Bhansali’s interference in Ranbir’s personal life was the reason why his relationship with debutant actress Deepika Padukone went kaput. The director was not happy when Ranbir and Deepika began seeing each other as Deepika is making her debut in Farah Khan’s film Om Shanti Om opposite SRK and the film releases on the same day as Bhansali’s Saawariya. It has been claimed that Bhansali also wanted both Ranbir and Sonam to completely stay away from the media as he did not want them to be photographed before the release of his film to the extent that he had forbidden Ranbir from being photographed by the media at his own sister Riddhima’s wedding. Moreover he had also asked Ranbir to stay away from parties and other social events for a while. However though Bhansali has denied interfering in the personal lives of the new stars, about not asking them to socialize much he says “If a newcomer goes out and feels the adulation that can affect him and go to his head then it’s better for him to come on time to the sets and read his script instead. Discipline is true for any job. If I’ve asked someone to follow a code of conduct what’s wrong with that?”
However there is talk that Bhansali would often lose his cool when his new starlets could not deliver and would get abusive. There were reports that Bhansali even made his lead actress cry on the sets. Bhansali admits that Sonam has cried a few times, he says “Yes, she would cry if she was going through a certain moment, where she wasn’t getting it right. But when so much money is involved you have to be quick at times and deliver.” But he claims that the entire event has been blown out of proportion, he says “Why would Sonam run away from the sets when her mother was sitting just a few meters away?” And as for being abusive on the sets, Bhansali claims “Why would Rishi, Neetu, Sunita and Anil allow their children to be treated badly by anybody? If it was happening they wouldn’t keep silent about it.”
Bhansali also did not want his male lead newcomer Ranbir to develop huge muscles by working out at the gym; he wanted him to have a lean body. Bhansali agrees and says “I didn’t want him to look muscular. What has that got to do with acting? Once you build that kind of muscular body, it even inhibits you from foraying into diverse characters.” Both the newcomers Ranbir and Sonam earlier worked as assistants with Bhansali on his other films and then forayed into acting. Sonam too had to work hard as she was 90 kgs earlier; she has shed around 30 kgs for her role in Bhansali’s film. Sanjay claims that though Ranbir and Sonam were the son and daughter of stars, it did not matter he adds “That’s why they had to go through some scoldings and firings at times.” However Sanjay is extremely proud of both his protégées, he claims that they have both done an excellent job in their forthcoming film Saawariya.