|His performance opposite Vidya Balan in `Dirty Picture` has made him another bankable star in Bollywood but actor Emraan Hashmi says the success of the film did not change him as a person "I am as grounded as I was five years back. Tags like stars and superstars aren`t something that I take too close to my heart. I know that as much as people would love to give such tags to someone, they are easily taken away as well. I would rather stay away from such temptations."
The 32-year-old actor, who started his career as an assistant director to uncles Mahesh Bhatt, Mukesh Bhatt and Vikram Bhatt, said he was intrigued by his role of an out of luck filmmaker and narrator in The Dirty Picture "It was always about great scripts. From the very first day of `Dirty Picture`, I knew what was the size and duration of the role. Still, despite a relatively shorter role, I found the script quite intriguing. I guess sometimes what is seen less creates more impact and that was the case with `The Dirty Picture` as well. Presence of Abraham (the character played by him) was always felt and moreover since I also did the voiceover for the film, there was a certain persona that was created. It was just spot on," he adds.
Punctuality is one trait that sets Emraan Hashmi apart from the B-Town pack. “I am an exception to the rule but being on time isn’t that difficult.” he quips. However, being on time means Emraan often finds himself waiting for his shoot to begin. “If I am told to be at a shoot at 10 am, I am ready on time. By 11.30, I lose my patience. After that, I keep threatening to leave the sets if they don’t begin soon. It works sometimes,” he laughs.
He is being labelled arrogant and accused of acting pricey. There are rumours of him walking out of Raj Kumar Gupta's Ghanchakkar and leaving filmmaker Rohan Sippy in the lurch for his next. The actor is more amused than irritated with such talk "I am very much a part of Ghanchakkar. Everything from the remuneration to the dates have been finalised and we begin shooting in August. I was never offered Rohan Sippy's film so the question of leaving it doesn't arise."
So what's behind the rumours? Jealousy? Emraan laughs, "When people become envious it means one has achieved some amount of success. If people are spreading baseless rumours about me that means I have achieved something. On a personal level, I don't care about people's perception of me. My career and work is most important and I only remain focussed on that."
Riding high on the success of his recent films actor insists that rather than being called as an 'A' list actor, he wants to be a strong mass actor. Emraan doesn't want to play it safe and says he is ready to take risks just as he has done with every project so far "I have never really wanted to sort myself and other actors by list. I have always done films that I believed in and yes it is very important for box office collections to do well. I have never really wanted to belong to so called A-lisiters. I don't want to get safer with the success of Jannat 2. I want to do riskier films and make them a success," he says with a smile.
"I hold the verdict of the people who watch films cinematically in single screens very close to my heart. I go to single screens to watch the reaction of the people. For me that is a big reward. I have always wanted to be a strong mass actor. I don’t crave to belong to any league. In fact, I don’t mind being considered an outcast," Emraan adds.
Emraan who plays a small-town street-smart guy and has tested with his looks in his soon-to-be-released political thriller 'Shanghai', says he was waiting for a makeover. Emraan is seen sporting a paunch, buck tooth and looks a bit dark in complexion “There were lots of test looks for this character. We wanted a transformation in terms of looks. There was a long trial and error process. But eventually one look emerged and for that I had to gain 9 to 10 kgs weight, had to go a few darker shades. You haven't seen this kind of teeth in my any other film. This is a complete makeover. I don't know how many actors would like to look this way on screen, but I found this opportunity appealing,” he adds.
The ‘M’ factor and the war of words between his Murder co-star Mallika Sherawat and him never ends. The actress recently said that she preferred kissing a snake over him. What does he have to say to that? “Well, she should star in a sequel with the snake, then,” he says.
Rings with stones adorn his fingers, something that was non-existent before “I think I have started believing in all of it now. A few flops and you’ll see more rings,” Well, we guess that will have to wait then, given his string of successes.
Emraan hashmi is married to Praveen Shahani.