So did you have any pre-conceived mindset about your debut film?
I did not want to be launched in a small budget film with a newcomer actress, because no big actress would be willing to work opposite me. I wanted my first film to be seen by all and not by some niche audience. I was always clear about my first film that it had to be with a good production house, there should be stars in the film, a good director, and primarily my role should be well defined and Awarapan was just what I had wished for. It has a Bhatt camp which is a boon to people like me. They gave me the opportunity to perform in a role big enough to be a hero in the film. I loved Mohit Suri's work in Kalyug and Woh Lamhe. What I like about Mohit was that he never treated me like a rookie in comparison with Emraan Hashmi and other actors. I did not want to work in a film where there is someone like Salman Khan who is put up in a 7 star hotel and I am being put up in a 2 star accommodation. Then there is Emraan Hashmi who is saleable, he has his loyal audience. Secondly this is a big budget film of 18-20 crores, like 'Salaam E Ishq' was made for 23 crore where it had so many stars. I am also glad I did this film because this team had a number of intelligent people associated with it. There was Shaad Randhawa, Ashutosh Rana who is playing my father in the film, Emraan and then there was Mukesh Bhatt who used to always be on the sets. Every one was treated with equal respect.
Didn't you have any apprehensions on signing a negative role for your debut?
This film is divided in two or three tracks. There is a love story between Emraan and Shreya .Then there is love story between Emraan and Mrinali. There is also a track where my father Ashutosh Rana thinks that I am his good for nothing son and therefore he ends up giving all the importance to Emraan who is working for my father, so there is a constant tussle between me and Emraan. I have a negative role in the film and I had no qualms about accepting a negative role, because primarily I wanted a meaty role being negative or positive was the least of a concern for me. I am sure when the audience walks out of the theatre after watching my film they will be mouthing my dialogues like Gabbars Singh's dialogues. You can say that I am the "new age villain"
Onscreen you and Emraan share cold vibes. How was your equation with him off-screen?
Emraan is a very good actor and I gelled very well with him. It is Emraan's film but all the other characters are also justified. He is very chilled out and a thorough professional. He has this ability to remember every body's dialogues along with his own lines. I respect him because he is proven himself.
Any memorable incidents that you can recall?
My most memorable is the first scene of mine in the film which was shot in Hong Kong in a bar with Emraan. I had long dialogues in this scene. The torture scene is the best scene in the film. After eight hours of shooting this scene Anil dada my make up man, the spot boys on the set everyone congratulated me for my performance. You know an actor constantly needs to be reminded that he is doing a good job because at times even while filming you tend to get disheartened. At times you feel may be your role gets edited. It feels good to be appreciated.
What was your first reaction when you bagged this film?
You know when I got this film my first reaction was that I told my friend that "Thank God, at least my kids will be able to see a DVD of my one film." You can imagine how the feeling must be for a boy who avoids Hindi films and Hindi music like plague but comes to Mumbai five years ago, lives in Churchgate with just a cell number, and suddenly after five years gets a big twenty crore Bollywood film which will release with 400 prints. Obviously I feel on the top of the world. I think after the first show I will be able to explain the feeling in a better way.
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