‘The audience’s reaction in theatres is award enough for me’ – Emraan Hashmi


    It’s been hard for Emraan Hashmi to shake off the tag of being Bollywood’s Serial Kisser. The actor now plans to don a new avatar, that of a awara (vagabond) for his first film to release in the overseas market, Awarapan, this June. This film will open up a whole new market and audience segment for Hashmi.

    In an interview with Businessofcinema.com, Hashmi discusses the significance of music to  a film, how he doesn’t miss big banner productions and has no regret for not being honoured with an award so far.

    How is life treating you post marriage?

    Life is great. Work is better. I am focusing on doing good roles and good movies. The future seems bright. I have more time to focus on my career because I don’t have to spend time meeting my girlfriend, my wife’s waiting for me at home. 

    In your forthcoming film Train, you play a father’s role for the first time in the four years you have spent in the industry. Were you apprehensive to play this character?

    Yes, it took a lot of convincing to make me do this. I was scared because children are basically very good actors.  Kids are very spontaneous and to keep up with that, is a very tough task. I was actually nervous when I shot with the kids on the first day. 

    You have had a certain Casanova image. Do you think that playing a father’s role will project you as a matured character and in turn, hamper the way you are seen?  

    Even though I was scared of playing this role because it would break the mould, this is also something that takes the story ahead. What’s new about this film is how this father loses out on his daughter who he loves so much. It is one of the main contents of the script and if you remove that aspect, it defeats the purpose of the script. It was definitely tough to play a father, because I am not a father yet! 

    Your films generally have hit songs picturised on you. So is music ever a criterion before signing a film?

    Music is a very important aspect of filmmaking. In Hindi cinema, a large number of audiences watch your song and so your film’s pre release popularity is based on songs. So it is very important for your songs to be good.

    In Train, I knew Mithoon is doing the music and that he is very talented.  I liked his songs in Anwar and Bas Ek Pal and had complete faith in him. My fan mail is pouring in saying I am a part of yet another hit track.

    In his heyday, Rajesh Khanna used to sit with the film’s director and music director for music sessions. Do you also go out of the way and do that?

    I like to hear the tracks of a film before I sign a film. At the end of the day, it is a creative decision between the director and music director so I do not like to interfere.  

    So many films and yet no awards….

    My award is when I see my audience’s reaction in the theatre. The last film I saw in a theatre was Kalyug and when I came on the screen, the entire theatre was whistling. That’s my true award and a direct feedback from the audience.

    Of course, I’d love to get an award, but I am not complaining either.

    Do you miss working for big banners that make magnum opuses?
    As long as my films are working and people are appreciating my work, big banners are just incidental. Even if a big banner comes to me, I would like to hear the script out and be convinced about what they are making.

    After working in so many films and understanding the medium, what are the basic criteria you look for before signing a film?

    When I sign a film, I keep in mind that the film should pitch to really wide audiences because if you want people to appreciate your work, you have to have people come and sit for your films. So definitely the commercial sense has to be kept in mind. Also the character I play has to be memorable and so should the script.

    With Aawarapan it’s my first venture into the overseas market and that is going to be my breakthrough into a whole new territory for which Vishesh Films and I are planning are a promotional campaign.

    How do you trace your journey as an actor?

    In any career, as time goes by, one gets more experienced and there is always a thirst for learning more. Now I am easier in front of the camera.  In acting, you often get thrown in situations where you feel you may not be able to live up to it so that is something I still feel before every film of mine. It may be performance anxiety where I feel I may not live up to what the director is trying to portray. But that is what keeps you going and is exciting about the job.