Anil Kapoor has revealed that Sanjay Dutt’s iconic character in Munnabhai MBBS was inspired by one of his early, popular roles. In an interview, he said that his character Munna from the 1988 film Tezaab was the inspiration behind Sanjay’s Munnabhai. This was told to Anil by the film’s writer-director Rajkumar Hirani himself. Also read: Arshad Warsi says Munna Bhai 3 might never happen
Tezaab, which also starred Madhuri Dixit and Chunky Panday, saw Anil play a police cadet-turned-gangster who goes by the name of Munna and is referred to as Munna bhai by other thugs. Sanjay Dutt‘s Munnabhai was also a street thug in Hirani’s 2004 comedy.
Speaking with Bollywood Hungama recently, Anil spoke about trying to infuse humor into serious characters to make them memorable. During the conversation, he mentioned his roles like Prem from Who Saat Din, Arun from Mr India and Munna from Tezaab. He then elaborated about Munna and said, “Us par films ban gayi, itna kirdaar famous ho gaya ki uska naam bhi un logon ne Munna Bhai rakha. (Films were made on him because the character became so famous that they made a Munna Bhai). Rajkumar Hirani said that inspired by that name, I started writing that film.”
The name Munna Bhai did become a popular one for Bollywood’s gundas through the 90s with it being used in several films, most notably for Aamir Khan‘s character in Rangeela. However, beyond the name and certain mannerisms and accent, there was hardly any connection between these diverse characters.
Anil was most recently seen in the multi-starrer JugJugg Jeeyo, which also featured Varun Dhawan, Neetu Kapoor, and Kiara Advani. The comedy, directed by Raj Mehta, has performed fairly at the box office since its 24 June release. It has, so far, earned over 70 crore in India and over 100 crore worldwide.
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