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Anurag Kashyap regrets ignoring Sushant Singh Rajput’s request to collaborate three weeks before his death: ‘You get pangs of guilt’

The Indian Express logo The Indian Express 28-01-2023 Entertainment Desk
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Director Anurag Kashyap said that he felt pangs of guilt about what he said publicly about his Dev.D actor Abhay Deol, and what he said privately about the late Sushant Singh Rajput. In an interview, Anurag had accused Abhay of being difficult to work with, and claimed that the actor insisted on being put up in a five-star hotel despite, separate from the rest of the cast and crew. Abhay has denied this. About Sushant, Anurag had revealed shortly after his death that he had refused to speak with him about a project because he was bitter about being ghosted by the actor in the past.

In a new interview with Showsha, the filmmaker voluntarily spoke about his differences with Abhay and Sushant. He said, "It's taken me a year-and-a-half of sickness to realise a lot of things. I was so reactive; I would say things. I would say things out of anger, out of reaction, to things I felt perturbed by. It took me time to realise that I'm shouting, I'm shouting in a room full of people shouting. Nobody's listening to each other, not just to me. That's what social media has become. And I stepped back. I said, 'Why am I reacting to this? What is bothering me?'"

Also read |Anurag Kashyap responds as Abhay Deol calls him ‘toxic’ and ‘liar,’ says ready to ‘apologise again’

He continued, "A lot has changed, but I know I have no filter. But it's also made me realise I don't need to say everything... For example, that whole spat between me and Abhay. Somebody was doing an article about why a very good actor like Abhay is no longer in the movies, and I spoke about my experiences, something that happened 13 years ago. I didn't need to say it publicly. And the day the unfortunate incident happened of SSR, I felt so bad. Three weeks prior to that somebody was trying to reach out because he wanted to talk, and I was like, 'No, he ghosted me, I don't want to talk'. You get pangs of guilt. So, I tried to reach out to Abhay and I apologised to him, because somebody had told me that he was upset about me speaking publicly about him."

Anurag said that he told Abhay it was okay if he wanted to yell at him, and then repeatedly apologised for what he said. But even as recently as last month, Abhay appeared to be angry at what Anurag had said about him. In an interview with mid-day, Abhay called the filmmaker 'a liar' and a 'toxic' person. Anurag admitted that they have both changed, and expressed regret at saying what he did. He also said that he's glad Abhay's back in the spotlight for his performance in the miniseries Trial by Fire.

About Sushant, Anurag had said in a 2020 interview with NDTV that he was upset that Sushant backed out of projects with him in favour of more high-profile jobs. He said, “YRF called him and said, ‘We’ll give you a deal. You do Shuddh Desi Romance.’ Sushant, who used to sit in my office with Mukesh and all of us used to sit together, signed up with YRF and dropped Hasee Toh Phasee, a film of an outsider because usko validation YRF ka chahiye tha (he wanted validation from YRF). It’s with every actor, so I am not holding any grudges... Years later, in 2016, before the release of MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, Mukesh went to Sushant and said, ‘Anurag has written a script looking for an actor who can play someone based out of Uttar Pradesh.’ Dhoni released, became a success and he never called me back. I was not upset, I moved on, I did Mukkabaaz."

Anurag had also shared screenshots of a WhatsApp conversation with Sushant's manager. "I am sorry that I am doing this but this chat is from three weeks before he passed away... Chat with his manager on May 22. Havent don’t it so far but feel the need now. Yes I didn’t want to work with him for my own reasons." Sushant died by suicide in June 2020.

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