Everyone has been under the weather for quite some time now, and blame it on the imbalanced climatic conditions that Emraan Hashmi also couldn’t escape the deadly viral. Despite, his ill-health, the actor dressed in a casual tee and jeans, paired with golden sunglasses, enters the mid-day office with all humility. Apart from the viral that has got everyone trapped, clicking selfies is another thing that has imprisoned everyone. While, the ‘Baadshaho’ star was travelling upstairs by the elevator, a fan requested him for a selfie, and Emraan politely obliged. After 14 years of Bollywood’s experience and the ups and downs, the once typecast actor, has managed to pop out of the cocoon and emerge as a changed person with a tremendous will-power. Here, in a candid tete-a-tete with mid-day, Emraan Hashmi speaks about his ‘Baadshaho’ success, being an introvert, his upcoming film ‘Captain Nawab’ and spills the beans about many unknown facets about himself and the film industry.
Here are some of the interesting aspects from the exclusive chat:
Q: Baadshaho has made decent collections at the Box Office and has also raked in good reviews. Which is that one reaction you received that touched your heart?
A: I had gone to Gaiety theatre to watch ‘Baadshaho’ along with the public. I was sitting on the last row and gauging the responses the audience was giving. What I observed was the audience really loved my character ‘Daliya’ and hooted each time I mouthed a dialogue. So, this is one reaction that will remain very close to my heart. After all, audience is the king.
Q: You’ve already started work on your maiden production venture ‘Captain Nawab,’ how is it going on and what is the film about?
Yes, I’m already working on it. ‘Captain Nawab’ is about a double spy, who works for both India and Pakistan and lands in trouble, when both sides realise Captain Nawab’s betrayal. The character lives at the edge in Pakistan. It is a war drama.
Q: As an actor, what suddenly happened that you transited from a serial kisser- romantic hero to a character actor?
I think an actor will be as good as the script. The product also depends on the great directors and team you work with. I started receiving challenging scripts after ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbai,’ this film was in a way like a gamble for me. I was typecast as a serial kisser, people had this question-whether I could do anything else. They started thinking that how will we make a big banner film with him. Till you don’t do it, people don’t imagine you like that. The audience is very unpredictable. We aren’t sure what they want. So, I think this gamble taken by Ekta Kapoor and Milan Luthria with ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbai’ proved beneficial for me, and I got a sense of validation that I can do such roles too. Once you get a validation from the audience, you are motivated to try. Later, when people realised that I can do such roles, ‘Shanghai’ was offered to me. Every film of mine had another flavour, but ‘Awarapan’ didn’t work at the Box Office. But even now the recall value of ‘Awarapan’ is superb. I’m not that actor which I was 10 years ago. I’ve realised that you keep evolving as a person.
Q: If given an opportunity to revive the kind of romantic films you did earlier, would you take it up at this point of your career?
Yes, I would, but I would do it with a director, who perceives this world and this genre very well. For me, it has been romantic thrillers in the long run, and there was a Vishesh Films stamp in all those films. I will never do a film like that with Vishesh Films. I think we have lived our team together successfully, but for the audience it has become stale and much predictable. If I do it, I’ll do it with someone else, who has a different eye for thriller, which I’ve tried of all the versions of getting into in the next year with ‘Captain Nawab.’It’s a fabulous script that I’ve got. It’s very difficult to face the audience in lower weekend because they have become very much predictable, that’s because they’ve seen so much. In 14 years I’ve realised that a shocker and goner film would probably for me be such a stereotype. So, we have to break that and get the audience involved in the climax scene.
Q: So, how do you break that?
You need a class director, a class writer and a subject, which maybe I just haven’t tumbled upon.
Q: Any particular director or directors you have on your wish list for such a genre?
Anyone, who’s had a great taste in films. I’ve not seen SrIram Raghavan’s films (Badlapur/Raman Raghav/Agent Vinod/Johnny Gaddar) but I’ve seen the promos and heard fantastic things about the director. I like dark kind of cinema, and many of them have told me that ‘Badlapur’ is your kind of film, it’s like my taste, I like dark films, edgy characters and thriller. So, I think he’s one of them.
Q: Has it become difficult to choose scripts, since we have Hollywood films and alternate mediums like web series and Netflix for entertainment consumption?
Yes, it has become extremely difficult, because you see the Hollywood television content; it is more powerful than films, which has taken the world over by storm. So, according to that taste we have to make a film for the multiplex audience. There need not be a direct comparison, but the audience’s world view has increased tremendously. It’s not the same as ten years ago. The audience is very vocal about their tastes, with Twitter and social media, everything has become very transparent. They’ll write on Twitter that it’s a pathetic film, don’t waste your money, and then you can see a drastic dip in collections. So, you have to be very cautious. Unless, you’re not completely sure with something, don’t get into it. But then again, sometimes we are right, sometimes we are wrong.
Q: Years of hard work goes behind making a film, so what kind of a zone do you get into when the film fails to strike the right chord with the audience and tanks at the Box Office?
I can’t allow myself to get into a zone for very long. It only lasts for a couple of days. I don’t let it sink into me and jeopardise my forthcoming films. So, I think it’s more testing over here to deal with failures. Even success drives you crazy, but failure also gives you its better. If you don’t see a help and let it define you, then you’ll destroy your career. I detach from it. It’s the same with success, I don’t let it get into my head and roam around with a bloated feeling of being successful. So, failure doesn’t really affects me. I know people who shut themselves in the rooms and don’t get out of their houses, after their film flops. But you feel bad that you give so many days of your life, you wish you could receive some more appreciation.
Q: What do you do to cope up with failure, because you don’t socialise and you aren’t a party animal too?
If you go out it and party, it brings in more negativity, because you drink alcohol and that does nothing to make you feel better. I don’t drink alcohol. I have a fantastic will power. I can deal with calamities in my life and hardships in an extremely solid way. The worst calamity that you can get is your son diagnosed with cancer. I don’t go to parties, I don’t get insecure, don’t rush here and there for work, people have my house address, if they think I can contribute something to them as an actor, they’ll come and meet me.
Q: Every Emraan Hashmi film has beautiful soundtracks, so will we get to see glimpses of it in ‘Captain Nawab’ too?
We’re still hunting for music. It’s very tough to get good music. Even for ‘Baadshaho,’ we took one and a half year to get the tracks.
Q: Is having heart-touching music in your film, an added pressure on you?
It does builds pressure. Music doesn’t guarantee you the success of the film but it’s an added periphery that you have in films. Even ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ had soothing melodious tracks but that didn’t guarantee the film’s success. It’s also the audience, I can’t let them down. They have certain expectations from the film.