‘Shootout at Lokhandwala’ was Vivek’s first collaboration with Sanjay Dutt. Taking a walk down memory lane, Vivek shares, “The very first day I ever shot with the legendary Sanjay Dutt was a clash between our characters – the encounter cop and the gangster Maya bhai. I was, of course, super nervous. I mean ‘baba bhai’ as we fondly refer to him, was a childhood icon for me! He was larger than life.”
Narrating an incident that happened during his school days, Vivek adds, “It took me down memory lane, to the days when I was studying in a boarding school at the prestigious Mayo College in Ajmer. My father was shooting close by in Jaipur and decided to surprise me by visiting me in school. It was an amazing surprise to see dad but what left me shell-shocked was seeing the long-haired Sanjay Dutt pop out of the car. He was shooting with dad and decided to come along to say ‘hi’. Even back then, he was the most charming dude ever. I remember my mauka pe chauka moment, I requested baba bhai if he would come with me for ten minutes to see the Mayo girl’s school right across the road. It was epic!”
What happened next? “When he walked in with me, the gates opened. The chowkidars were just standing there agape. The girls went ballistic and I felt like a king! For months after that day, I was still basking in his borrowed glory. The real star had gone but I became a mini star in school. Even when I got into serious trouble for sneaking out of school to see a Sanjay Dutt movie, first-day first-show, I was smiling on the inside. He was my icon,” gushes Vivek.
While shooting for the gangster film, the actor reminded Sanjay about the school incident. He reveals that Sanju was in splits after listening to the story. “Cut to, that first day of shooting with him. My buddy Sanjay Gupta could sense my nerves and said, ‘Come let’s go meet him. He’s on the set’. I walked in dressed as a gangster and he was there in his cop uniform. I nervously put out my hand for a handshake and he just grabbed me into a hug. The nerves melted, the scene was kickass, and a bond of brotherhood for life emerged. When I reminded him of his trip to my school, he burst into laughter and asked me only one question, ‘So how many girlfriends did you make because of me?’” laughs the actor.
‘Shootout At Lokhandwala’ went on to become a massive success. Apart from Vivek and Sanjay, the movie also starred Amitabh Bachchan, Suniel Shetty, Tusshar Kapoor, Arbaaz Khan, Rohit Roy, Neha Dhupia, Shabbir Ahluwalia, Aditya Lakhia, Dia Mirza, Abhishek Bachchan and others.