In his 6 years long career so far, Emraan Hashmi is yet to be seen in a conventional Bollywood cinema where the leading man is all correct and proper with a clean heart and no grey shades. Revelling in the kind of roles that he has picked for himself, Emraan has broken quite a few stereotypes and created his own place under the sun. He may still be awaiting his 50 crore hit, something which is pretty much a benchmark for any leading man to break into the top bracket today. However, Emraan is content that he is at least trying not to follow any conventional or tried and tested trends and is giving something new to the audience in each of his films. Emraan gets into a conversation with us and explains what makes his films different.
A Bollywood disaster movie - another first for you Emraan?
It's a misconception that Tum Mile belongs to disaster movie genre. No, it is not. The Mumbai floods disaster is an integral part of the film's plot, yes. But that doesn't necessarily make the entire movie revolve around this single thread. There is so much more to Tum Mile. In fact the way I look at the film, it is mainly a love story with a disaster just acting as a catalyst to bring the two characters together. However, never once during the entire sequence of events would you miss the love between these two characters.
From the promos though it appears that it is quite a turbulent relationship between the characters played by you and Soha. Moreover, one can sense that it's not a sweet, simple and soft romantic hero that we would see in Tum Mile.
Well, if you are looking at a Raj and Rahul cinema here then Tum Mile is obviously not the one. The character I play is also much more real than a Raj or a Rahul that we have been exposed to. Instead of living in palatial mansions, this guy could be someone who lives next door. Tum Mile shows the times and tribulations in his life.
Can you elaborate further?
This guy is someone who is very real, very today. He is someone who has been quite ambitious in his life but has lost his way. He is still trying to find himself and still groping with the break in relationship with his girl (Soha Ali Khan) with whom he was so much in love at one point of time. Having said that, my chemistry with Soha shows in the film. The character that I play is my most romantic ever.
Seems like it must have been a cakewalk for you?
On the contrary it was quite a tiring experience, both physically and mentally. This was mainly because of the flood situation that had to be recreated. It was a difficult film to be made and hats off to Kunal (Deshmukh) for making it happen. During shooting, everyone from cast and crew used to stand in waist deep water for hours at stretch to give that perfect shot. When I saw the film, I was like 'Wow man, how did we actually accomplish it all?!' Credit must also go to the special effects guys who have done a brilliant job for the entire recreation
Kunal says that the unfolding of proceedings is kept quite real...
That's right. Every romance comes with a share of problems and the one here isn't any different. One has to live up to the challenges. It's situations like these that make this guy real and also makes the viewer out there feel that something like this could happen to him as well.
Pairing of Soha along with you has also raised quite a few eyebrows. It's quite unconventional after all?
Well, if people feel so then it means that we have succeeded in our endeavour (smiles). Yes, we are shown as complete opposites on screen and for that to happen, we wanted to have the right actors. Everyone felt that Soha fitted in the bill while knowing pretty well throughout that I and her coming together would be quite unconventional. Also, the way it has turned out on screen, I am sure it is this very unpredictability around the pairing that would work in the film's favour.
But can one take grey shades away from Emraan?
It's a welcome change to have absolutely no grey shades in my character this time around (laughs). In the past, I have played quite a lot of grey roles that have been liked by the audience. However, this one is completely white. Kunal told me that Tum Mile would take me to a next level. He had quite a few pointers to validate his claim. If not for him, I would have continued playing the kind of roles I have been successful in. Today when I look at the film in retrospect, I see where he was coming from. Working in Tum Mile has broadened my approach.