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I’m already in the big league: Emraan Hashmi

Emraan Hashmi discusses the secret of his success and that other raaz with Roshmila Bhattacharya.
By Roshmila Bhattacharya | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUN 11, 2008 12:04 PM IST

He’s always had an appetite for risk. But a hindi film hero playing a match fixer and releasing his film during IPL season?But today, thanks to his audacity.. some would call it arrogance.. he’s in heaven, literally.

Emraan Hashmi discusses the secret of his success.. and that other raaz .. with Roshmila Bhattacharya.

So do you feel like a great gambler who’s just hit the jackpot?
(Laughs) Yeah, but I was confident of Jannat. Every movie is a gamble but in this case the risk was minimised by hit music, a topical issue and a modern-day love story woven in. We took a risk with the timing. After being repeatedly told not to release during the IPL, we did, midway through the tournament.

Since it had elements of cricket, we wanted to cash in on the hysteria. And Jannat took a phenomenal opening. Even after four weeks, it’s still clocking in collections.

Have any bookies called you yet?
(Grins) They did, during the promotions, wanting my advice on whom to bet on. I’d laid a few myself a couple of weeks before shooting started, to understand how the game worked. And lost quite a lot of money. So I was the last person to give advice.

Which team did you put your money on?

I didn’t. I was rooting for the Mumbai Indians but they went out in the first round.



Met any crooked cricketers?

I haven’t met any cricketers, period. I wanted to but once they heard we were making a film on match fixing they shied away.They probably thought we were maligning the sport and its spirit but that’s not the message that’s meant to come through.



Navjot Singh Sindhu said you should be banned for kissing a girl in every film.

And I laughed when I heard that. I think the decision of banning an actor is best left to the Censor Board.



Mohit Suri says that there will be no kiss in

Raaz 2

because he’s answerable to his bhabhi. Has Parveen issued a no-kiss diktat?

She’d never do that. She has no problems. She loved

Jannat.

Do you and Mohit talk about Udita Goswami?

We talk.. but let’s not talk about this.



What does your sixth sense tell you about

Raaz 2

?

Like

Jannat

, it has the buzz of a successful film. After a long time, the audience will get to see a good horror film and it’ll spook them. Expectations are sky high and so is the responsibility to live up to the hype of the orginal. Fortunately, I never go through a pressure situation, ever.



You’d almost been finalised for a Warner Bros. film. But post-

Jannat

you reportedly quoted a price of Rs 5 crore and dropped out.

Before

Jannat

, I was a risky proposition since my last four films hadn’t worked. So producers were waiting to see how

Jannat

fared before making me an offer. In terms of net cost versus profit, it is the biggest hit of the year.. the only film that worked during the IPL. Everyone made money. So I can justifiably ask for a little more.



Yeah, you’ve locked a three-film deal with Percept Picture Company for Rs 15 crore.

Iwouldn’t like to comment on this or my price. Let the announcement come first.



But aren’t you pricing yourself out of the market?

I come from a film family and have a running production company. I wouldn’t quote a figure that’s unreasonable and burden the project.



But the reason you’re not doing the film inspired by the Neeraj Grover murder is apparently because the Bhatts couldn’t afford to pay you even your discounted price.

Yes, Bhatt

sahab

wants to make a film on those lines but I’ve already done a film like that before.

Murder

was in essence a love triangle too with a murder thrown in. So I would only be repeating myself. He understands.



Will you be doing Kunal Deshmukh’s next?

We’re locking the script. It will be a bigger film than

Jannat

but as relevant.



And what about Ehsaan Hyder’s Hindi-English bi-lingual with Anushka Shankar?

I’d rather not talk about that right now.



What about the

Metro

sequel?

I’d love to be in it. I’ve told Anurag (Basu) that if he thinks he has a role for me, he should come over. I’ll sign on without even hearing the script. (Smiles) I’ll even work for free.



There was a three-film deal with Subhash Ghai too. We did

Good Boy Bad Boy

together. If there’s a good script, we’ll work together again.



When will we see you in a Yashraj production or a Karan Johar film?

For a lot of actors, working with a big banner is the benchmark for getting into the big league. I have talent, I’m learning with every film, my last film was a big hit, I’m already in the big league. And I believe that it’s the concept that makes a film big, not the banner. But I’m open to working with everyone.



You seem happy with Vishesh Films?

I’ve worked with outside banners too and delivered hits. But with Vishesh Films, it’s not just a professional relationship and I’m not just an actor. But, I repeat, I’m open to working with everyone.



The buzz is that you and Sonal Chauhan will not be working together again?

No, she was easy to get along with. We had great on-screen chemistry. It was a difficult character to play but Sonal did a good job.



After Rishi Kapoor, you’re probably the one actor to have worked with the highest number of newcomers.

That’s a good thing because most of them are doing well. And they had a certain raw energy in their first film that can never be recreated.



Music remains the biggest USP of your films.

Music is an important element but with a bad story and bad performances, only the CDs will sell.

Jannat

had a buzz that brought people to the theatres. It was premiered in Pakistan.



How were you received across the border?

There were 2,000 people waiting with flowers outside Lahore airport.. the roadswere jammed.. strangers were hugging me.. It was overwhelming.



Jannat

may have worked but aren’t you getting slotted?

Well, even in

Jannat

, I wasn’t the regular film hero. People like to see me as this edgy guy with grey shades, who strays down the wrong path but eventually redeems himself.



Would you risk an

Awaarapan

again?

Again and again. If it had the marketing support of

Jannat

, it would have been as big a hit. We lost out to two films that were released on the same day and marketed better.



You seem to be a lot like Arjun yourself?

There’s a part of me in every character. But yes, Arjun of

Jannat

— young, wacky, confident—was a lot like me.



Did you break a show window when dating Parveen?

No, but I did stand outside her building and sing songs. I haven’t done anything crazy since we got married.. It’s high time I did.



Was the BMW you bought after

Jannat

a gift to her or yourself?

I bought it before

Jannat

released.



Arrogant.. aloof.. loads of attitude. That’s the impression people have of Emraan Hashmi..


I’m warm with people I’m comfortable with. But when not in the mood, I shut off. That can be misconstrued as arrogance but I’m not going to change for anyone.



What’s the biggest gamble you’ve ever taken?

To become an actor. I never saw myself as one.. it was an overnight decision. Had the gamble not paid off, it would have really put me off.

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