Avoiding the beaten path

Avoiding the beaten path

Avoiding the beaten path

Bollywood actor Emraan Hashmi was in the City recently to promote his latest movie, Raja Natwarlal, and took some time off to talk to Metrolife.

“For the longest time we were looking for an actress for the role of Ziah (played by Humaima Malik), and we didn’t find anyone for four to five months after many screen tests. So Kunal (Deshmukh) actually told me that he didn’t think this film was going to be made because Ziah’s character was integral to the story. I think once we saw her screen test, we thought she was the one who would set the screen ablaze. She has a certain presence,” said Emraan, talking about Humaima Malik and her audition.

He added, “She has made this character very vulnerable, sweet and someone you would fall in love with.”

Talking about the movie itself, he said, “It is a very special film. It's an out-and-out ‘masala’ commercial film, with the kind of character I like to play. There is the basic essence of conning and romance, and there are great songs.”

This is the fourth time Emraan is teaming up with director Kunal Deshmukh. “I keep joking with Kunal that we have been working for so long together that people are going to think we are having an affair. We have a certain rapport and there is the friendship we share,” he said.

“Kunal knows how to push the buttons of the audience and make a film which is entertaining. Once upon a time, he changed the perception of how you see gangster films. This film will change how people see a scam or a con film. And it is by far one of the best con films in this country,” he added.

Emraan, who has actively distanced himself from the Bollywood industry, said, “I don’t think my films can really be compared to the traditional mainstream Bollywood films, which I can’t do. My films are more parallel mainstream commercial films, which are unlike most Bollywood films, and I’m proud of the fact that the stamp is only for my films. The content, heroes, the stories, the kind of flawed hero, the redemption story, the relatable bad guy and the lovable bad guys that women like – these are the things I like in my films.”

He said he hasn’t seen most Bollywood movies to judge them. “I’m an outsider to the industry; I don’t know what the hell is going on. I’ve got my films that I do and my life away from that to keep my sanity.  I don’t have any friends from the industry, for my sanity.”

Then why does he stay in Bollywood? “For money, for my bread and butter, because it’s going good and I have an audience that watches my films and I do it to keep my house running. It would be a waste to branch out now. I have everything going for me at the moment. As they say, ‘a person who has two goals has none’” he added.