When Murder created mayhem at the box office a couple of years ago, Ashmit Patel remained the only actor not to gain any great mileage out of it. Mallika Sherawat and Emraan Hashmi hogged the spotlight.
With Dil Diya Hai (releasing today), Patel is optimistic of getting his due. Ask him why he’s not to be seen or heard (except for Punkej Parashar’s Benaras), Patel explains: “I’ve been busy with my films. I prefer to be seen and not heard when my films are up for release instead of featuring in queries like ‘Your favourite dish?’ etc.’”
This brings us to Dil Diya Hai, co-starring Hashmi and Geeta Basra. “Since my debut in Intehaan, I’ve played unconventional characters and Dil Diya Hai sees me in yet another. This time as Kunal Mallik who owns a nightspot, but behind the curtains, he runs illegal businesses. I never wanted to play regular and predictable characters,” he says.
Considering Hashmi and director Aditya Datt have already worked together in Aashique Banaya Aapne, is he apprehensive? “No. I know Aditya from before. When he had offered me Aashique Banaya Aapne I couldn’t do it as I had commitments. So when he narrated this story to me and said that I’m doing this film, I couldn’t refuse,” he chuckles.
“I know Emraan since Footpath. I was assisting Vikram Bhatt when he gave his first shot.” Patel also has Kudiyon Ka Hai Zamana, Friends Forever, and Omar Sharif ’s Tum Mere Ho.” Moving to his personal life, his family’s relationship with sister Ameesha was strained after she sued their parents over financial issues. Since it’s been a few years now, is reconciliation on the anvil? “No comments,” he says. One asks him about Riya Sen’s statement that she’ll never work with him again after he allegedly leaked a ‘private’ MMS, “I wouldn’t like to talk about that either,” he says. But ask him if he’s seeing someone and he replies, “No. But I’m hopeful the right person will come along at the right time.”