Your film Jannat has picked up a controversial theme related to the Match fixing scandals seen in cricket. Do you fear the Censor Board now?
I don't think that Censors would have any objections to Jannat. We are not picking up people at all. We are talking about things which have actually happened, have been talked about and are generic in nature. Everyone knows to a good extent what really had transpired.
With the film having cricket as a backdrop, what part does a leading lady have to play?
See, the leading lady will surely have a place in the film because when one depicts the character graph of the male lead, then it is very essential to focus on the relationships he shared in his life too. So here arises the need for the leading lady. This is seen in all films, whatever genre of films you take! In this film too, new comer Sonal Chauhan, who plays the female lead has an important role to play in the protagonist's journey in the quest for Jannat.
You have worked with two newcomers in the female lead, Sonal Chauhan and the director, Kunal Deshmukh. How was it to play the veteran there?
I am proud to see the way Kunal has worked on the film. He has got a love story imbibed well into the script even as the film has a basic wallpaper of cricket. Even though he is a debutant director, you hardly get a feel that he is handling a project for the first time. As actors, we got only positive vibes from him and the result is for all to see now.
Isn't it ironic that last year, your best performance ever in Awarapan wasn't quite complimented by the eventual box office returns?
Awarapan was a larger than life character. After a film comes and goes, people can say different things about why it worked and why it didn't. I guess what was apparent in Awarapan was the gap between what you want to do and what your audience wants to see you do. Maybe people didn't want me to display the emotions of a man who was going through a trauma. They perhaps still want to see the Emraan Hashmi they can relate to; the young man with a naughty streak to him a la Aashiq Banaya Aapne or Aksar.