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 is what Anil was told by the film’s writer-director Rajkumar Hirani himself. Also read: Arshad Warsi Says Munna Bhai 3 May Never Happen

Tezaab, which also featured Madhuri Dixit and Chunky Panday, saw Anil play a gangster-turned police cadet named Munna, referred to as Munna bhai by other thugs. Sanjay DuttMunnabhai’s was also a street thug in Hirani’s 2004 comedy.

In a recent conversation with Bollywood Hungama, Anil talked about trying to infuse humor into serious characters to make them memorable. During the conversation, he mentioned his roles as Prem from Who Saat Din, Arun from Mr India and Munna from Tezaab. He then elaborated on Munna and said: “Us par films ban gayi, itna kirdaar famous ho gaya ki uskanaam bhi un logon ne Munna Bhai rakha. (Movies were made about 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 became popular for Bollywood’s gundas in the 90s and was used in several movies, most notably for Aamir Khan‘s character in Rangeela. However, apart from the name and certain manners and accents, there was hardly any connection between these different 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 reasonably well at the box office since its release on June 24. It has more than deserved so far 70 crore in India and more 100 crore worldwide.

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