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Emraan Hashmi, the most understated A-lister

April 12, 2013

Emraan Hashmi in a still from the the film "Ek Thi Daayan."

Emraan Hashmi is probably the most understated A-lister in Bollywood, content to do his work and not blow his trumpet. He gives us an inner view of his work ethic, films and the role he is avidly waiting for.

Ek Thi Daayan's release is round the corner. It's very important since it's my first release this year. It's a fascinating script, a supernatural thriller; deals with witches. It's based on folklore. My state of mind is the same as before every film, confused and scared.

How was it working on Danis (No Man's Land) Tanovic's An Episode In the life of An Iron Picker?

I thought Danis, who has won over 46 awards for his first film, would be quite controlling on the sets. On the contrary, he leaves the stage open for an actor's thoughts and interpretation. And that comes from inner confidence. We shot the film in 45 days, people over here shoot for 100 - 150 days, and sometimes still end up making trash. I like Danis' sense of humour, it's like mine, very dark and sarcastic.

And playing a suave conman in Ghanchakkar.

Ghanchakkar is a very interesting story that came to me a year back and I still tell Raj (Kumar Gupta) that's the longest narration I have ever had. I took three loo breaks; it was almost a four hour narration. It's a quirky comedy with dark humour.

Everyone wants a piece of Emraan now

I don't know, but it's scary. But I've now reached a stage in my career where I can steer the way I'm going. Right now I've started getting interesting offers.

You have done both grey and comic characters. What do you prefer?

I generally like grey roles. My interpretation of drama is different from the popular perception. Acting, for me is not about over playing, it is about concealing. I like flawed characters that people relate to. I would never do a romcom.

None of your films have touched 100 crore (billion), does it disappoint you?

What is the meaning of 100 crore (billion), if you have made the film for 70 crore and marketed it for 50 crore. There is a greater sense of victory when a film like mine, “Raaz” which is made for 15 crore, marketed for 10 crore, makes 85 crore. It might have missed the 100-crore mark, but it's made five times the profit. I wouldn't gun for 100 crore because you've got to do trashy mainstream cinema for that, which I don't like.

How cool is your wife with your intimate scenes on screen?

Not cool at all. In fact she hates it. But she doesn't want me to be in a situation where I take a decision on her insistence and then my career plummets. She won't be able to forgive herself. I get slapped around by her with every release. That's the price I have to pay so I never watch my films with her in the theatre.

Any role that you are eagerly waiting for? I am waiting for the right action film. I was rejecting comedies for the past five years before “Ghanchakkar” because I didn't find them funny. Now I'm waiting for the right action film.

Is there any message that you would like to give your fans? Just be yourself. Be honest, work towards a goal and you'll achieve it.

(Interview published in TOI)