Emraan Hashmi has been around in the industry for almost 15 years now but still has been very choosy about his films. After experimenting with films like ‘Shanghai’, ‘Ghanchakkar’ and ‘Raja Natwarlal’, Hitman Hashmi, as he is popularly known, is all set to entertain us with ‘Mr. X’ a sci-fi film which deals with invisibility. In a quick chat, Emraan talks to us about the movie, his first family entertainer, his upcoming movie ‘Humari Adhuri Kahani’ and more. Excerpts from the interview:
Emraan how will you justify the title Mr.X?
I don’t think a lot of things can be justified in a movie where a guy is invisible. But at the same time he is a normal guy named Raghu, who is a part of Anti-Terrorist Squad. He goes through an incident after which he suffers a physical transformation where in his cells stop reflecting light properly and he becomes invisible in most of the situations. He can be seen only in sun light or neon light. For the world he is dead and the story is of his resurrection, where he renames himself as Mr. X. It is a cool name. Raghu Ram Rathore isn’t a cool name. No offence to people with these names, but I feel Mr. X is a cooler name.
After listening to the concept of invisibility, ‘Mr. India’ and ‘Hollowman’ are the two films that one remembers. Will audience be able to differentiate between the films?
The similarity between the three films is that of invisibility. It starts and ends with it. The concept is different. My character of Raghu, the love story between Amyra and me makes it different from the other two films. Also in ‘Mr. India’, there is a concept of a watch while in ‘Mr. X’ it isn’t like that. I can’t become normal by choice. I go through an ailment in the movie. There are few comic elements in the movie but eventually it is very dramatic and intense.
How did you feel doing all the things you normally do as an invisible man?
It becomes much easier because when I am invisible, I don’t have to be there. The VFX team takes over. In some of the scenes it becomes more cumbersome because of 3D and its technicalities. You have to shoot 20 times more for a 3D film. 80% scenes have been done by me and then I was erased.
For the past two years, there has been no film that has worked wonders for you. Can we say ‘Mr. X’ will turn the tide?
Well, I am always hoping with every film that audience comes and endorses it. For me, it is a reinvention phase. The films that I had done for years had reached a saturation point. I felt that there was a need to do something different and experiment. So when I experiment, there are many things which will not do well. So the efforts are being put in that direction.
‘Raja Natwarlal’ didn’t perform as expected at the box office. So is there any kind of pressure on you that ‘Mr.X’ should perform well?
No there is no pressure. My job as an actor is to give in my 100%, which I have always done. Eventually things don’t come together. Sometimes they work sometimes they don’t work. Like I have always told you all, I can guarantee you a flop but I cannot assure you a hit because that is how actors work. I have given almost a year and half to ‘Mr. X’ and hence it is important for our film to work.
You are an ardent fan of Hollywood films. So how will you rate this movie in comparison to others?
As far as Hollywood films go, they have a huge budget. Obviously the technicality of the film with the budget that we are given, I can say that we have achieved a lot more in that sense. VFX team has done a tremendous job and they have worked for almost 10 months on it. For our Indian audience, what connects more than a Hollywood film is that it’s deeply rooted in our beliefs. What we lack in the budget, we make up with the connect. That is where this film scores higher in totality.
Generally such sci-fi films are meant for kids. But just because this is an Emraan Hashmi film, do you think that will work against the movie?
I understand it completely. Every time people ask me a question and I say that this is a family film, they pause and give me a look. And I don’t blame them because the films that I have done in the past are A rated. Rightfully so, they will be skeptical before watching it. But word of mouth may work for us because a majority of family audience comes in on Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately, in our Country, we have a generalized certification – either it is U/A or A. There should be a certification like PG 13, which is there in other countries, in India too. I need it mostly as compared to the other actors.
Your son was excited to watch your movie. Has he seen it?
He has seen the movie three days back with his friends. They were all keen to watch the movie because they had loved the songs and promos. He saw it in 3D and the funny thing was that the 3D glasses were too big for his face and they kept falling down. So almost for half of the movie I was holding his glasses. He was scared only in one of the transformation scene, which is scary for a five year old. But for the rest of the movie he was dancing. He has loved the movie and wants to watch it again.
Hypothetically, if you had the power of invisibility, then what would you do?
It is politically incorrect to say this but I would want to rob a bank. In terms of positive things, I would want to stop the country’s corruption.
Is that going to be a subject of the sequel?
Not actually. In fact we were discussing the other day whether this man suits in the super hero mold or no. At present he doesn’t. However, he does have the super powers. Super heroes do things selflessly for the larger cause of the humanity. Mr. X is not doing that. It is his personal vendetta. May be because he can’t come back to his normal form, then he might become a superhero in the second or third part. But the Friday will decide whether there will be a second or third part.
The trailer of ‘Humari Adhuri Kahani’ is going to release with ‘Mr.X’… (interrupts)
No, we are not releasing the trailer with Mr. X. Now it will be releasing in May.
How is your preparation for Mohd. Azharuddin’s biopic going on?
I have been practicing cricket for it. I have to reduce some more weight. I have already lost 7 kgs.
Amyra Dastur, your co-star from ‘Mr. X’ said in an interview that you have the bitchiest sense of humour. How do you react to such a statement?
I agree to it and take it as a compliment. I have a bitchy sense of humour.
Lastly, Emraan, you are working with Vidya Balan for the third time in ‘Humari Adhuri Kahani’. How has been the experience?
The experience has been very good. ‘Dirty Picture’ didn’t have us interact too much. We didn’t have many scenes and we met only during the promotions. In ‘Ghanchakkar’ again we were hurling abuses to each other on-screen, but now this is a whole new experience of working with her. It is a very intense romantic scene. We had a blast shooting for it. It is an emotionally charged, dramatic movie. Anyone who has been in love will enjoy watching our movie, especially women who connect with those emotions. I have seen the movie and it has shaped up pretty well.
Many actors are turning to direction and production. Any plans to venture into it?
No production at the moment and Direction never I guess. I don’t think I will ever become a director. Production is one thing that I would want to do if I get a script like that. I haven’t yet got a script at the moment. Whenever I get into it, it will be an out of the box movie. Currently, I am dedicating my full time to acting. I am not ready to take up any added responsibility that comes in when you become a producer.