Bollywood director Sanjay Gupta turns 53 today. The filmmaker is known for some amazing action-thrillers like Kaante, Zinda, Shootout At Lokhandwala, Shootout At Wadala and Kaabil to name a few. Up next, he is all set to give us another action drama titled Mumbai Saga which stars John Abraham and Emraan Hashmi. Koimoi spoke to Gupta about the status of film’s shooting as the lockdown was announced while they were shooting.

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We also asked him to share unknown facts about Kaante which is considered as his best so far. Kaante, released in 2002 stars Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Suniel Shetty, and Mahesh Manjrekar.

EXCLUSIVE! When Amitabh Bachchan & Suniel Shetty Were Looked At With Suspicion Because Of Their Beards During Sanjay Gupta's Kaante Shoot In LA Post 9/11
EXCLUSIVE! When Amitabh Bachchan & Suniel Shetty Were Looked At With Suspicion Because Of Their Beards During Sanjay Gupta’s Kaante Shoot In LA Post 9/11

Read the excerpts from the interview below:

How are you celebrating your birthday at home?

Today, I have completed one month of being inside the house. We came here to my home in Khandala on March 15th. One day is no different than the other.

What’s the status of the shooting of Mumbai Saga?

We were supposed to shoot till the 18th of March. The last day we shot was on March 15th. I’ve got 3 days of action scenes and 2 songs left to shoot. Once all this is over, we can resume our work. We can go to public places to shoot.

Are there any recreations?

Mumbai Saga doesn’t have a single recreation. It is an original album as the film requires a very specific kind of sound as the story is based in the 80s and 90s.

Kaante is one of your best films. Can you share with us unknown facts about the film and the shooting?

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9/11 happened while we were shooting Kaante and the whole LA had to shut down. I was leaving for work. As New York is ahead, the attack happened around 9-9:30 in the morning and in LA, it was 6:30-7. I was driving to work and it was on the radio when we heard about it. When I went to work, there was a TV on the set with an antenna. We saw the second one going live and our shoot was officially shut down for 3-4 days. We lost a lot of time and lost a lot of our locations.

What happened with us was during this time, Mr Bachchan had gone to Morroco for the Morroco Film Festival to collect his lifetime achievement award. His flight was coming back from Heathrow to LA and they stopped it midway and he was taken back to London. As LA was shut down, we didn’t know when he was going to come back and when we were going to shoot. The cops stopped their car and asked them who they are. They said we are actors and we are on our way to shoot. Suniel googled his pics and showed them to the cops to prove that he is an actor.

Also, Suneil Shetty had a beard look for the film. He would get ready in his room and come on the sets. He used to stay in a fancy hotel there. Mahesh and he would usually travel together. Mahesh would also have that messy hair and a weird look. So when the 9/11 thing happened, the whole of America was shattered. They were panicked. I remember Suniel and Mahesh had shared the lift with an American couple. The American couple had called the cops.

Even Amitji had a beard in Kaante. He was staying in a hotel in Beverly Hills. After the pack up, in the evening, he used to go to the Beverly Centre. He would go down to have a good meal as there are restaurants, to spend some time alone or watch movies. One day he said he stopped going there. We asked him what happened and he said people look at him suspiciously. He’s got a beard and he’s tall and dark, people used to look at him suspiciously.

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