Emraan Hashmi has been a part of Bollywood for over a decade now. But despite his consistent success at the box-office, he hasn’t achieved the stardom that most actors aspire for.
In a candid chat, Emraan shares his thoughts on being pigeonholed, his son’s illness, and why biopics will soon be out of vogue.
Do you feel that it took some time before people acknowledged your talent?
When I entered the industry, sex scenes weren’t common in films. So, whenever I used to have such scenes, they used to be talked about more than anything else. So, in my films, the sex scenes were talked about first and then my talent. I feel the roles you do, and the directors you work with lead to perceptions. Initially, I was doing erotic thrillers and hence, I was typecast. But Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai (2010) was a step towards change and Shanghai (2012) added to it.
Do you feel that you haven’t achieved the kind of stardom you should have?
If you have to be successful, then you have to act in films with clichés. I will never be part of formula films. Maybe, I see script over stardom.
The last few months must have been tough, since your son was diagnosed with cancer…
It’s been a tough 10 months. My son going through chemotherapy was a big deal for me. After such an emotional journey like this, I can’t do frivolous films. I will do meaningful cinema. But unfortunately, 80 per cent of our Hindi films lack depth.
When will your debut international project with Bosnian director Danis Tanovic release in India?
We are looking at releasing it around March next year. This project is more than a film for me, because it gives out such a strong message. It talks about the death of children being caused by the use of contaminated water in baby milk products. People might feel it’s a niche film, but it hasn’t been treated like a documentary. It has thriller value, and is based on a true story.
What if the makers face legal trouble from the company your film has mentioned?
If we weren’t ready for it (the consequences), we wouldn’t have made the film. It took Danis almost six years to write the script and four years to make the film because the producers kept leaving. No one wanted to tackle a legal hassle. But the company we have mentioned in the film is based on documented fact.
You are also doing a biopic on Mohammed Azharuddin. Don’t you feel there’s been a bit of a biopic overdose in Bollywood?
I know… people are making biopics just for the heck of it. Biopics should be made on people who have faced conflicts in life, people who have gone through ups and downs and had a complete life. In that sense, there is no one more interesting than Azhar to make a film on.