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Emraan, the marquee name

The star talks about consolidating his position as an actor, not just a kisser.

india Updated: Apr 19, 2006 03:30 IST

Is he next big thing? The jury is still out on that one, but Emraan Hashmi certainly appears to be a force to contend with, now that he has leapt into the eight-million league. The films, too, are pouring steadily into his kitty — Aksar was a noticeable success, next out is Anuraag Basu’s Gangster, to be followed by The Killer (shot on location in Dubai). HT Style caught up with the rising star.

You are on a roll. Rs 81 lakh for a film... that sounds great.

My films are doing well and my fan base is growing and I know how much I should charge. I am never going to ask for something that I think I don’t deserve. I know what producers can say behind your back if you charge sky-high fees.

I was known as the Bhatt camp boy, I don’t mind that, but it was also important for me to prove that I can deliver hits working outside. And more than that.... working with people close to you means that you are in a complacency zone. I want to take it slowly. I haven’t achieved overnight success.

There was this huge hype that Gangster is Shiney Ahuja’s film. Was that upsetting?

Never. I never look at a film that way. I have always believed that actors don’t necessarily benefit by playing title roles. It was there in my debut film Footpath, where Aftab Shivdasani was the protagonist. Then came Murder, which was Mallika Sherawat’s film. To me, what is important is my character. The one in Gangster is very different from what I am.

Yours is a positive character…

Yes, it is. In most of my films, my roles have had grey shades. But Akash in Gangster is a mature guy, a romantic person who comes to the rescue of Simran (newcomer Kangana Ranaut), who is going through a phase of loneliness since his lover Daya (played by Shiney) is away from her.

Were you kind of typecast playing the bad guy?

I was not frustrated with it. In fact, it was not a conscious decision, but then I wanted to do something that was really challenging. As I said, the role (in Gangster) is quite unlike what I am in real life. I am usually very fast in terms of behaviour; but to essay this role, I had to slow down. So, there were changes in body language.

Is there any truth in the talk that Gangster is Abu Salem’s story?

That has been settled. We have shown the film to Salem’s lawyers and everything is okay now. The film was not promoted as Salem’s life story. And there was no publicity stunt out here. It is just that Shiney’s character is that of a don. And the timings — the shoot of the film and Salem’s arrest — coincided.

You share a special rapport with Anuraag, is it not?

After Murder, he went through a bad patch (he was hospitalised). The idea of Gangster came around that time. I think creativity comes out of adversity. The film is so rich emotionally. It’s a reflection of the trauma that Anuraag himself had to go through. I think this is his comeback film.

People now expect all your films to have great music...

(Laughs). It is purely a matter of chance that all my films, right from the beginning, have had good music. Gangster does, too, and my favourite track is Ya Ali.

No smooching for Emraan after this film?

I never said I’m not doing any more smooching scenes. However, I thought I was getting a bit repetitive. The media created this image of me as the kissing star. But not all my forthcoming films have smooching scenes.

What’s coming up after Gangster?

There’s The Killer, Mukta Arts’ Good Boy Bad Boy and Aaditya Datta’s Dil Diya Hai.

First Published: Apr 19, 2006 03:30 IST