Emraan Hashmi, who has been around in the industry for almost a decade now, seems to be fed up of his 'Serial Kisser' tag and is keen on doing different cinema. After trying his hand at films like 'Shanghai', 'Ghanchakkar', 'Ek Thi Daayan' and the latest one 'Raja Natwarlal', Emraan is gearing up for yet another hatke film 'Ungli', directed by Rensil D'Silva.
In a candid conversation with ClapsnSlaps, Emraan talks about collaborating with Dharma Productions for the first time, working with Sanjay Dutt and grooving with Shraddha Kapoor. Excerpts from the interview:
You are collaborating with Dharma Productions for the first time in Ungli. How was the experience?
It was good. The environment is pretty much the same, just the functioning is different. More than Dharma Productions, Rensil D'Silva functions in a different way. He is very calm and chilled out. I don't think there was any day we shot for more than 8 hours a day. Although it was spread over a longer period of time because it was an ensemble, as a company Dharma supported the film very well in terms of finances and didn't interfere in the creative space. The story has completely been Rensil's baby. As far as other things go like music, there we had Karan Johar's expertise stepping in.
Throw some light on your character in Ungliâ€¦
My character's name is Nikhil and has a mysterious past. He is someone who is a little tedha. He joins the gang after the first two acts. When Nikhil catches this gang trying to teach a lesson to the corrupt system, he walks in with his own past which is unraveled through the film. He has the same ideology as the gang and yet he has some conflict internally because he is a new guy and they are doubtful about the kind of that person he is.
You are working with Kangana Ranaut after a long time. Was there any kind of pressure to recreate your magical chemistry in Ungli?
Unfortunately the kind of film Ungli is, the pre-dominant issues are the vigilante story of these five friends and have kept it fun and entertaining. The love story will always be a sub-plot. It is not a love story. Gangster was a love story; Raaz 2 was again horror but had a tinge of a love story. So I think in the premise of the film, in what was expected out of us, Kangana and I have done best that we could do to enhance what was there on paper. We cannot do what is not there in the script. As far as that is concerned, we have achieved quite a bit.
Describe your experience of working with Sanjay Dutt, Randeep Hooda, Neil Bhoopalam & Angad Bedi
It was great. I have worked with Kangana and Randeep before. Angad and Neil, the new kids are fantastic. There is Sanjay Dutt with whom I have worked for the first time. I have always admired his work. In the past, there have been talks of getting us together in a couple of films, but things didn't work out. Finally, Ungli happened and we had great working relationship. Not just with Sanju, but with all. Unfortunately it was also kind of emotional and anxious for all of us when there was the ruling of the court. But we had fun shooting on the sets.
How was it grooving with Shraddha Kapoor to 'Dance Basanti'?
It was a fantastic experience. She is very chilled out and a great dancer. People have said that they have loved watching both of us together. We shot over three-four days with Caesar choreographing it. And 'Dance Basanti' has been searched for the longest time, almost a year. The song introduces me and the film kick-starts with it.
Since your chemistry with Shraddha Kapoor has been appreciated, would you consider doing a film with her?
I would love to. If there is a good story that justifies both of us together in one film, I would definitely love to work with her.
How much could you relate to the film and your character?
When I went through the script, I could relate to it. It doesn't mean pulling down every single rickshawala, but this does happen in most parts of the country, especially with the senior citizens. That is what is shown in the film. A rickshawala refuses my mother from plying a particular distance in the film and that is how I get provoked to send him to Delhi. (laughs)
Did you require any kind of research for this role?
It didn't really demand research because we as a country know these basic things with which we have problems with. A lot of things are questionable.
Since the court's ruling was against Sanjay Dutt, how did you adjust your dates for shooting the film?
More than us adjusting, it was Sanjay who had to do. I don't think any other actor would have done it. It was very sweet and brave of him to come two days before he went in. I don't think in that state of mind, I would have done that, leaving everything behind and going. It was very anxious for all of us to see him perform in that state. We felt really bad. It was tricky for all of us because the scene which he shot is the pre-climax scene. So if Sanju didn't do it, this film wouldn't have released. It was the most important scene and we couldn't have cheated it, no one else but Sanju could have played that.
Did the delay in the film frustrate you?
There were so many problems which took place, but eventually if the audience enjoys it, they will not consider how much time went into the making. It would be more frustrating for Rensil and me because as a director, he has written it, worked on it for two years and hence I can imagine how frustrating it was. As actors, it is easier because you start working on next film, you go out etc. But for a director, he is more attached to it.
Ungli talks about the unethical practices in our system. Do you think it will disappoint a certain section of the society?
The film will raise a lot of eyebrows and a lot of people will question. Everyone has a viewpoint to the situation. But every film has for and against views. You can't please everyone.