Did you know Sanjay Dutt’s drug addiction led to Jackie Shroff’s Bollywood debut?

Bollywood’s bindaas bhidu and veteran actor Jackie Shroff recently celebrated his 60th birthday. The actor has been working in the film industry for more than four decades now, and still makes his fans go all gaga whenever he chooses to make an appearance on the screen. However, his journey to stardom did not come easy, and in fact had many interesting aspects associated to it. For instance, did you know that before entering the film industry, Jackie had been modelling and even featured in commercials? But, as it is said, destiny had other plans for Jackie. He was later launched by filmmaker Subhash Ghai in ‘Hero’ (1983), and Jackie became an overnight star who was much sought-after. However, we found out another interesting tidbit about his debut.

Apparently, there was one man who indirectly contributed to Jackie’s debut in ‘Hero’, and it was none other than actor Sanjay Dutt.

According to sources, post the success of Sanjay’s debut film ‘Rocky’ (1981), filmmaker Subhash Ghai had signed the actor for his next two projects; first one being the multi-starrer ‘Vidhaata’ and the second being ‘Hero’. However, Sanjay’s addiction to drugs, which had started from ‘Rocky’ itself, was becoming worse, and it was clearly visible at the time when ‘Vidhaata’ went on floors. The addiction which had started at the time of his debut turned worse after the death of his mother, i.e. veteran actress Nargis. Though Sanjay was trying hard to get rid of it, his affliction to drugs only increased after that.

Sanjay would often come late on the sets, which led to the cancellation of shoots owing to his unavailability. Somehow, Subhash Ghai managed to complete the shoot and the film turned out to be a success at the box office. But seems like, that was enough for Ghai. (Also Read: Uh Oh! Sanjay Dutt’s neighbours lodge a police complaint against him)

Post the success of ‘Vidhaata’ in the year 1981, Subhash Ghai started planning ‘Hero’, which was to be his first film as an independent producer too. Also, after seeing Sanjay’s condition on the sets of ‘Vidhaata’ and the problems he faced because of the actor, Ghai was in no mood to take the risk of working with the actor again. Hence, he decided to replace Sanjay Dutt.

Thus, Sanjay Dutt was out of the project, auditions were held, and that’s how Jackie Shroff came to play the legendary role which shot him to stardom.

Though Jackie had played a small role in late actor-filmmaker Dev Anand’s ‘Swami Dada’ (1982), it was this Subhash Ghai directorial which shot him to fame and proved a vital launch pad for him in the tinsel town of Bollywood.

Well, we can say that it happened for good, for we cannot imagine anyone but Jackie in that rustic, rugged, and beloved role. Also, after coming to know all this, it can be said that Sanjay Dutt in a way was an accelerating factor in Jackie Shroff’s superstar debut.