There’s something strange about Emraan Hashmi’s eyes that defies you not to be drawn in. He looks in your eyes for a second, recognises you, asks you what publication you write for and then says, “Begin”. Then you look up to him and you see that sparkle in his eyes. No wonder the opposite sex can so quickly get drawn in. His mood is apparent – do not waste time and just shoot the questions. That’s when you question – “That’s how he must be on sets too right?” To be fair, he does try to be accommodating. But it is obviously something that doesn’t come very easily to him. He lacks the smooth-talking, sound bite suaveness that defines so many of his contemporaries but believe you me, that’s his forte, that’s his panache. Hashmi is an actor down to the tiniest tick in his cheek. It consumes him, defines him even. His hollow-eyed intensity and commitment to his ‘craft’ speaks volumes about his in-depth performances. Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai was a start of a brand new association with Balaji Motion Pictures and The Dirty Picture is just going to take it one step further. UK’s Harrow Observer columnist and Bollywood Hungama‘s London correspondent meets the actor who has carved out his own niche and is about to carve out a lot in the days to come. Let the ‘dirty’ talk begin!
“Apart from the obvious boldness, it’s a very high concept poster that the team has come up with”
Ever since the first look, the fifteen second teaser and the theatrical trailer have released, I’ve been getting a lot of positive comments. Apart from the obvious boldness, it’s a very high concept poster that the team has come up with. The Dirty Picture has garnered a phenomenal fan-base and is growing by the day.
“I’ve always somewhere from the distance seen Ekta’s conviction, be it in television or in films”
Working with Balaji Motion Pictures is a great association. Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai was a step towards that. I loved what this company was doing. I loved their Shootout At Lokhandwala. I’ve always somewhere from the distance seen Ekta’s conviction, be it in television or in films. So eventually I wanted this association to be fruitful. It was very well made. I’d love to keep this relationship going.
“Vidya is one of Bollywood’s finest and that you will eventually come to know once The Dirty Picture releases”
The perception amongst my fans is that I tend to work with new actresses. But with Vidya in The Dirty Picture, she’s got the most body of work so far. She has got a fan base and she has successful movies behind her back. Vidya is one of Bollywood’s finest and that you will eventually come to know once The Dirty Picture releases.
“I think I’ve worked with filmmakers who are known as ‘niche’ filmmakers”
I don’t think I’ve worked in niche movies. I think I’ve worked with filmmakers who are known as ‘niche’ filmmakers. They step out of their comfort zone to make commercial films. I’ve just shot Shanghai with Dibakar Banerjee. Him being a niche filmmaker has stepped out of his so called ‘artistic’ zone and made an out and out commercial film this time. I generally don’t like doing a ‘niche’ movie for restricted audiences. I like doing films that appeal to the worldwide audiences. Murder 2 worked across the board.
“I wanted to sit with Naseer saab and know how he sees things as an actor”
I’ve done a couple of scenes with Naseeruddin Shah. Now the fact is that I didn’t get intimidated by working with him or any actor for that matter. But looking at his resume of films, I wanted to sit with him and know how he sees things. Naseer-saab is a fine actor and I asked him how he does his balancing act between theatre and movies. It’s unbelievable and an experience of a lifetime for me to have worked with Naseer saab.
“The Dirty Picture has a different take on sexuality”
The Dirty Picture has a different take on sexuality. You got to find out for yourself. The movie pushes the bar in a very different way. This isn’t the traditional route I’d usually take in my films. Sensuality is very palpable with a film like this. It’s more impactful and done in a certain way. People feel that the things that I do in my movies are now, in The Dirty Picture, bestowed upon Naseerji. You know what I mean? So I am not indulging in the act if you have a close look at the poster.
“Sometimes you’ve got to be a part of a good cinema and that’s what The Dirty Picture is”
I was going by a certain agenda before doing Shanghai and The Dirty Picture, that I’d star in films as a solo hero. But as soon as I did Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai, I realised that there’s much more installed than the usual ‘solo’ hero roles. I realized that a lot of good offers were coming my way. So it was either sticking by or being rigid that I will only do solo film roles or sticking to a good story. Sometimes you’ve got to be a part of a good cinema and that’s what The Dirty Picture is. I’m trying to crack a right balance here and hopefully am succeeding in it too.
“I don’t take success for granted because I’ve already fallen flat on my face before”
No one’s infallible. If you don’t take your career seriously, don’t put in the hard work and commitment then it can fail tomorrow. You can fall flat on your face. So anyone who felt that they are in a position to command and have always been there, are proven wrong. They take success for granted. I don’t want to do that because I have been through failures too. I’ve understood that it slips away as easily as you get it. It’s hard to climb up but easily to slip down in this industry.
“There is an unpredictable quality about Tusshar”
I share two to three scenes with Tusshar in the film. He has got a very unassuming kind of character in this film. I don’t want to give out too much of his character. There is an unpredictable quality about Tusshar and he gives his everything to the shot that he is doing. He is a very honest performer. That’s what sees him through.