Emraan Hashmi: I have taken shortcuts in life
Bollywood's serial kisser Emraan Hashmi gets to woo not one but two girls -- Bipasha Basu and Esha Gupta -- in his next film, Raaz 3.
The genial actor got quite candid about his movies, and the Raaz franchise in this chat with Patcy N.
Tell us about Razz 3.
It is the third part of the Raaz franchise and it's an ambitious film. There is no continuation from the last Raaz to this.
I was part of the first Raaz as an assistant director. In part two, Mohit Suri directed me. I played the lead, and there was horror, drama and a love story in part two.
In this film, too, there is horror as Vikram Bhatt is the best in this genre. He has also dabbled in 3D. He has made some mistakes with 3D in the past, but he has done some excellent work in 3D too. With Raaz 3 he has peaked in a way.
The film is about the glamour world of Bollywood. It is the story of a superstar (played by Bipasha Basu), a rising star (Esha Gupta) and a film director (Emraan Hashmi). The film is about desires that people have and to want extent they go to achieve their desires.
There is a woman who was a superstar and who is losing her grip on stardom. Her career is fading. She embraces the dark side of life, that is, black magic, to get her stardom back. She uses the film director as a pawn to get to the rising star.
Image: Emraan Hashmi in Raaz 3
'I will work hard but I will never do black magic'
To what extent will you go to achieve stardom?
I will work hard but I will never do black magic.
I have taken shortcuts in life but definitely not this shortcut. I have heard stories that people do black magic but there is no proof that it works.
You play the director in this film and in Dirty Picture too you played one. How different are the two characters?
In Dirty Picture, I played an artistic film director who had complete contempt for commercial films. The film was set in the '80s in south India.
In Raaz 3, I play a film director in 2012. He makes commercial films, is more contemporary and more new age, and thus easier to relate to. Since he makes commercial films, he just wants box office success.
As an actor, what is more important to you, commercial success or an artistic film like Shanghai?
Both, because once you achieve commercial success, you also want to do good films.
I knew that a film like Shanghai would not be a commercial success like Jannat or Murder. But it brings about change in cinema and that was important for me.
There was also a surprise element as my fans had not seen me in a character like that before.
Image: Emraan Hashmi and Bipasha Basu in Raaz 3
'I never thought I would be an actor'
Your films are huge successes...
I am happy. I always wanted to be a popular actor. That was the dream I had.
I wanted the mass and class audiences to come to the theatre to watch my films. But at the same time, I wanted to do films for my own satisfaction.
How do you see your journey from the assistant on Raaz to playing the lead in Raaz 2 and Raaz 3?
When I was assistant director on the first Raaz, I never thought I would be an actor. I would see Dino and Bipasha (the lead pair of the first Raaz) act and I thought I will never be in front of the camera.
It was a very surprising journey. In my first film, Footpath, Bipasha played my sister. Slowly I started learning about my career.
How do you see your growth from Footpath to today?
Since I had never thought of becoming an actor, there was no mental preparation from my childhood days.
Suddenly I decided I wanted to act. I got into it and I made mistakes. I learnt from my mistakes and in my fifth year I started enjoying it. Awarapan and then Jannat both changed my career.
I started taking my career very seriously. I have made mistakes but I have success too.
Image: Emraan Hashmi and Esha Gupta in Raaz 3
'I don't think I can fit into the romantic genre'
Which was the most challenging film for you?
Footpath, because it was my first film. Then Awaarapan, Jannat, Shanghai, Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai.
Why so many sequels (Murder 2, Jannat 2, Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai 2, The Mystery Continues and Raaz 3)?
I don't think I will be doing any sequels after this. I did sequels because there is a trend of sequels and these were all hit films, so I did them.
What about doing romance?
I will never do a romantic film. I don't understand them. I don't think I can fit into the romantic genre.
I do have a softer side, away from the hard, gritty roles that I play. I may do a different kind of romantic film but not candy floss romance.
I never understood that genre. I find it extremely fake. I don't watch such films though they work and do good business at the box office.
I will only do films in which I get satisfaction.
Image: A scene from Raaz 3
'I can't do comedies that are over-the-top-it doesn't make me laugh'
Then what is your definition of romance? If not candy floss, how should it be?
Romance is not like they show in our films. There are conflicts in romance too. In candy floss romance there are no conflicts between the couple. They never fight; it is a goody-goody world that doesn't exist.
Maybe it does in college romances but later in life you know that there is a huge responsibility that comes along with relationships.
In The Dirty Picture, there was conflict between the two characters (Vidya Balan and Emraan Hashmi) but you can make out that they are madly in love with each other. You can be hurling abuses at each other but if there is chemistry, it makes it more believable.
I would rather do mature romance than traditional Bollywood romance. I will never do a Hugh Grant kind of romantic film.
What about doing comedies?
I am doing Ghanchakkar now, which is a different kind of comedy.
I can't do comedies that are over-the-top-it doesn't make me laugh. I am doing a comedy that makes me laugh.
It is directed by Rajkumar Gupta. Vidya Balan is my co-star. It is about a middle class family. The film has suspense and dark humour. It's about how things can be very funny between a married couple. It is understated and very funny.
What else are you working on?
Rush and Ek Thi Dayan.
Image: A scene from Raaz 3