Mumbai: Actor Sanjay Dutt, who gave knock out performances in several high-octane movies including hits like 'Khalnayak, 'Vaastav' and 'Dus', was startled when action films took a backseat in the mid-90s and comedy took centre stage.
"There was a time when Ajay, Akshay, Jackie, Sunny and me all were called action heroes and we lived in that era for a long time. And suddenly for us there was a period of no action.Only comedy films were working. I was taken aback. It was surprising that time," said Sanjay, who explored action with 'Vijeta' 'Taaqatwar', 'Kabzaa', and 'Hathyar', among others.
Also, there was a period (late 80s-early 90s) when actors like Akshay Kumar, Sunny Deol, Ajay Devgn, Jackie Shroff took the audience by surprise.Akshay was termed the 'Khiladi of Bollywood' with films like 'Mohra', 'Sangharsh', 'Aankhen' and the 'Khiladi' series. While Sunny could do nothing but action on screen, giving powerful performances in movies such as 'Arjun', 'Betaab', 'Ghayal', 'Ziddi' and 'Damini' among others.
Ajay's stunts in action films like 'Jung', 'Vijaypath' and 'Sangram' were also appreciated by one and all. Jackie was probably the only charming action hero that Bollywood ever had. He had the looks and he could carry off action and romance with the same perfection in films like 'Parinda', 'Khalnayak' and 'Trimurti'.
But then, there was a lull and comedy ruled the marquee. However, the 52-year-old actor is now happy that action is making a comeback in Hindi films.
"That time I used to talk to Jackie, Sunny or Ajay and we all used to wonder where action has gone. I am happy that it has come back and that is what we are. The best part is that South cinema never forgot that (action). That is the reason South films are larger than life...People have fans," Dutt said.
Now, these actors have made a huge comeback in action with Ajay hitting gold with 'Singham'; Akshay looking forward to 'Rowdy Rathore' and Sunny Deol preparing for 'Ghayal Returns'.
Even Dutt has few action movies lined up for release – Ram Gopal Varma's 'Department', Anand Kumar's 'Zilla Ghaziabad' and Abbas-Mustan's action-thriller ‘Race 2’.
But equally he has tickled the funny bone with films like 'Haseena Maan Jayegi', 'Jodi No 1' and the 'Munnabhai' and 'Dhamaal' series.
"I must say comedy is difficult... It is not that easy. It is all about timing and how you deliver your dialogues. There are some comedy films that are great.. Like 'Munnbhai' ...It is such a great film..There is comedy, emotion etc," Dutt said.
The third installment of the 'Munnbhai' series would soon go on floors and will see Dutt and Arshad Warsi pairing up again as Munna and Circuit respectively. The film goes on floors by the end of this year, he said.