Blood, sweat and tears

How Bajirao Mastani’s director and actors made the ‘impossible’ a reality

Ians November 23, 2015
Priyanka broke down on the third day of shooting and called her co-actors ‘mad’ for working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali. PHOTO: FILE

MUMBAI: Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali says people thought he’ll never be able to make his ambitious project Bajirao Mastani - a film that he was planning to to make for the past 12 years.

“I kept holding it for 12 years and kept thinking about it for. People thought this will never happen that it was impossible for the film to be made. ‘Every year he begins it and every year he scraps it’,” said Bhansali at a press event in Mumbai.

He initially wanted to cast his Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam actors Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for the title roles. “Several people came in and several went out. But it is written in the destiny of our Bajirao, Mastani and Kashibai (actors). Bajirao, Mastani and Kashibai’s souls had a will that these people (actors Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra) do this film and nothing could go against it.”

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About the experience of completing the film Bhansali said, “It’s a wonderful state to be in, that’s why we make films, to experience this one moment of seeing it on the screen. Economics might matter or they may not, films are obviously made with money but more than money, they are made with passion and with people.”

After seeing the final project, the entire cast and crew of the film gets a sense of relief.

“There are several talented people who’ve worked on this film. They’re relieved. There is that sadness, emptiness and the feeling that it’s done, now I’m jobless,” he added.

And that passion seeped into Priyanka Chopra’s drive to do the film as she even broke into tears on the sets of the film. “Let me tell you, Priyanka broke down on the third day of shooting and called us ‘mad’ for working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali for the second time,” Ranveer said at the trailer launch of the film.

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“But she quickly adapted to the demanding work on the set and rocked it.” Bajirao Mastani narrates the story of the 18th century Maratha warrior Peshwa Bajirao I and his second wife Mastani. The film will release on December 18.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th,  2015.

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