Bhansali Reveals Why He ‘Exploded’ During the ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ Shoot

'Gangubai Kathiawadi' starring Alia Bhatt has had steady earnings at the box office.

2 min read
Hindi Female

Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali opened up about a time when he 'exploded' on the sets of Gangubai Kathiawadi to inspire Alia Bhatt's performance.

Talking about the 'strange incident', Bhansali said, "There’s a very strange incident to that, when she was preparing for it. I wanted a certain atmosphere. So, suddenly, I saw some staff laughing or giggling and presumed that they were laughing at me.”


He told Film Companion, "And then I exploded. All the actors on the set became quiet. It was my way of giving those vibes to her, of feeling the nerves of calling the mother, of getting the anger filled, and at what note it should explode. I never told her."

"Till date she doesn’t know that this is what I did to get her into that space. But as a director, I don’t like to give direct instructions to people, because it limits the actor’s imagination," Bhansali added.

The director added that he waited for 17 years to work with Alia Bhatt on Gangubai Kathiawadi. He also said that he knew she would become a star ever since the first time they met when she was nine.


Gangubai Kathiawadi stars Alia in the lead and also features Ajay Devgn, Vijay Raaz, Shantanu Maheshwari, Seema Pahwa, and Indira Tiwari. The film tells the story of Gangubai, who was trafficked into sex work at a young age and rose in the ranks to become the matriarch of Kamathipura. She also became a huge advocate for the rights of sex workers.

The film released theatrically on 25 February and is a box office success, having earned a total of Rs 57.32 crore by day 5.

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