Akshay and Sanjay Dutt's faceoff is legendary

By Taran Adarsh

The film has been making news, right from its inception. It stars some of the biggest names in the business: Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Kumar, Zayed Khan, Katrina Kaif and Lara Dutta.

Australia sensation Kylie Minogue makes her debut in a Bollywood film (she has scenes too, besides the song). It has music by A.R. Rahman, lyrics by Abbas Tyrewala and sound recording by Resul Pookutty. All brands!

Most importantly, it's produced by Shree Ashtavinayak Cinevision, a production house that has earned tremendous respect for their fair dealings and larger than life movies: BHAGAM BHAG, GOLMAAL, MAINE PYAAR KYUN KIYA, JAB WE MET, KIDNAP and GOLMAAL RETURNS. It can't get bigger than that. BLUE is indeed hot, piping hot!

Now here's something that caught everyone by surprise. It's not directed by a Ratnam or a Dhawan or a Bazmee. It's directed by a rank newcomer - Anthony D'Souza - who hasn't assisted anyone before.

"Actually, John (Abraham) put me on to Ashtavinayak. They heard the script (of BLUE) and arranged for a meeting with Dutt-saab (Sanjay Dutt). The rest is history, " Anthony tells me.

In fact, Tony, as Anthony is called, had penned the script keeping Sanju and Akshay in mind. "When Dutt-saab heard the narration, he asked me who'd play the other lead and I said, Akshay. Dutt-saab was too gracious, he said he was very keen to work with Akshay (they hadn't worked together after AMAANAT) and if need be, he'd call him up, " Tony reminisces.

The very first meeting with Akshay also proved fruitful, with the actor agreeing to act in the film instantly. "All he asked was, will you shoot the way you've penned it? I can never forget Dut-saab and Akshay's deed. Had it not been their 'Yes', BLUE would've been in cold storage, " the first-time director smiles.

But their faceoff is legendary. In fact, it's said that Akshay felt cheated during AMAANAT (he got sidelined) and swore, never to work with Sanju again.

"In fact, Akshay asked me to watch AMAANAT, to see how good their chemistry was in that film. Believe me, there was not an iota of bitterness. You know something, both would come on the sets half-an-hour early everyday, sit together and exchange notes. The bonhomie was electrifying, trust me, " Tony clarifies.

What about John? The guy who put Tony on to the producers, isn't part of the film. "It was always Zayed. In fact, Dutt- saab especially called up Zayed and spoke to him about BLUE. As for John, he's sure to star in my next film. I owe him that, " Tony smiles.