Munna Bhai and Circuit may be the face of legendary friendships now, but the idea wasn’t as convincing for Arshad Warsi or even Sanjay Dutt. Warsi revealed that he initially believed his role in the blockbuster film Munna Bhai MBBS would mark the end of his career. Portraying the character of Munna Bhai’s lovable henchman, Circuit, Warsi unexpectedly emerged as the movie’s breakout star, propelling his career to new heights.
Warsi revealed having serious reservations about the role’s potential impact on his career before accepting it. Referring to his character as “bad,” he disclosed during a podcast with Siddharth Kannan that even actor Makarand Deshpande had turned down the role. However, Warsi ultimately decided to take on the project because of his admiration for director Rajkumar Hirani as both a person and a filmmaker.
“I knew that my life would be ruined after doing this film. I thought this would be the last film I’d do. It was the role of a goon. Forget that, Makarand Deshpande said no to the film. He didn’t want to do it because it was that bad,” he said.
He further explained, “When you agree to a role, you only see what’s on paper. It’s only after the film comes out that you realize its true essence and impact. It was the role of a goon among five other goons who were tagging along with the hero. I thought it would be the last film of my career… Even if the film became a hit, I’d get nothing; if it flopped, I’d get nothing… I don’t think even Sanju had a lot of confidence in the first film, as it went against the grain of what was working at that time.”
Despite his reservations, Warsi credited his decision to work on the film to his respect for director and his belief in the story. “I liked Raju. He was a good man and a good director, and I liked the story. I liked the film. But I knew I wouldn’t gain anything from it. Do you ever remember goons in movies like this? Only the hero and the director benefit from these movies. I asked Raju to let me enjoy it, to let me enjoy my failure.”
Munna Bhai MBBS not only revived Dutt’s career but also established Hirani as one of Bollywood’s most prominent directors.