Emraan Hashmi may be filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt’s prodigy, but the actor is now one of the most wanted stars in Bollywood. His mentor, who has seen him rise through the ranks, says, “He has become a brand today.”
Ask Mahesh if he’s had trouble getting Emraan’s dates for Raaz 3’s promotions, and he says, “Emraan is no longer the boy who was at our beck and call. He’s extremely busy and we’ve had quite a tough task getting his time. Raaz is a franchise and we need Emraan’s participation.” So did he have to request Emraan to come on board? Mahesh says, “I don’t usually interfere, but this time, since my team asked me to, I did.”
But why have the promotions started this late, at a time when movies begin their marketing months before release? Mahesh tells us, “It’s easy to start early, but it’s difficult to maintain momentum. We’re a month away from the release, and we’re doing fine.”
There were rumours that Emraan was held up with Ekta Kapoor-Vishal Bhardwaj’s co-production, Ek Thi Daayan, and hence couldn’t accommodate dates for Raaz 3. Mahesh says, “Every filmmaker has exclusive rights to his actor during the completion of his film. It demands that much time.”
Emraan had previously said that no matter what, he would do two films with the Bhatts every year. Mahesh dismissively says, “We’ve succeeded in doing two films this year. Maybe we’ll do just one next year.”
The hashmi-bhatt winning formula
* Murder: One of the biggest hits of 2004, it also starred Mallika Sherawat.
* Zeher: Also starring Shamita Shetty and Udita Goswami, the 2005 film had Emraan Hashmi playing a cop.
* Gangster: The song Ya Ali from the film was one of the top chartbusters of 2006.
* Jannat: He played a cricket bookie in the 2008 film.