First Cut

Face-to-face with Emraan Hashmi

Emraan HashmiOnce tagged as the serial-kisser, Emraan Hashmi is now experimenting with all kinds of roles. He talks to us about this exploratory stage in his career and his experience of working with the Vidya Balan.

Excerpts from the interview:

After films like ‘Shanghai’ and ‘Ek Thi Daayan’, how was the experience of working in a film like ‘Ghanchakkar’?

It’s been great, I have always wanted to do comedy, I don’t like the typical theatrical over-the-top comedy, Bollywood is known for. I knew that when I get a comedy, I would want a film with a great story, with a great character and a film that has different elements in the film, which is a rarity. When the script came to me I just felt that it has got elements of thrill, suspense, comedy, it’s got a mix bag of things and that made it very exciting for me.

What kind of roles does Emraan Hashmi get these days? Do you think filmmakers have a certain slot for you?

There has been an element of surprise in my films and I don’t want to be slotted as an action, a romantic actor, or a comic actor. As an actor should do, immerse himself in different roles, in different subjects and different genres and perform equally well in all of them or at least try to perform equally well in all of them. That’s what I am doing right now; I am doing a mixed bag of films, anything and everything I can get my hands on.

Is this like an exploratory phase in your career?

For sure, there are these films which are the traditional Emraan Hashmi films with commercial, box office trappings, which I will always do, at the same time, I will try to delve into films that kind of change the rules, that are not seen as stereotypical films. Like ‘Ghanchakkar’ changes the rules as far as you see a comedy or a thriller. I want to do these kinds of films and also do star-driven films, like a ‘Raaz’, ‘Jannat’, ‘Murder’, and ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbai’.

Coming from a filmi family has its benefits but do you think there are drawbacks too?

The entry point is one thing but then what happens is that when you get it easy, probably sometimes you feel it’s easy and what comes after that is something completely unexpected. It’s eventually the audience that will accept you or boo you out of the cinema halls; it’s not your family that will keep you there. They can try and make good films with you but if you are rejected, you are rejected. It’s entirely up to the consumers that make or break you.

Bollywood always has strong male protagonists but Vidya’s recent films have been very different. How is it to work in a film where the heroine is as big a star as any other hero?

I have done ‘The Dirty Picture’, for me its great to have people of a certain caliber; it enhances your performance as well when you are working with someone who is a talented actor. Vidya is getting great, author-backed roles for herself, which is great and it is just better when you have well etched-out roles for everyone in the film. For Vidya and every other actor there is a phenomenal role written out in this film. Its great when you have a director and writer who have put in a great amount of thought and time to etch out each character.

‘Ek Thi Daayan’ was an unusual movie, where you surprised with the response it got?

It was an experimental horror film, something different, something new, unique. For me it was a win-win situation, it might not have spun the money that other films did but to the new audience that you are catering to, the niche audience, it was made on a limited budget and it made a profit on that. It was perceived as a film that was classy, got in a new element of horror, gave the viewer a new experience and that’s why I did it.

I know that there are components in my stereotypical commercial films, add them and the film will be a success. Fine, I have had them but there’s no growth there, I wanted to do something new and risky and ‘Ek Thi Daayan’ was that.

Now that your performances are getting such positive feedback, are you under pressure or are you enjoying this stage?

You feel the pressure at times, at the same time, you can’t take it around like a baggage, it will weigh you down. You just have to do good work, be as honest to your film and let it go into public space and they will either put it on a pedestal or rip it off and discard it. You can’t do anything about it either ways. So on Friday, Saturday, Sundays I disconnect myself from the failure or success of a film because it is very important, it’s integral for my peace of mind, state of mind to move onto the next film. Success or failure will always bog you down, a success will make you feel invincible and that will hamper your next film, a failure will make you bogged down and cautious.