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We will not lean on Emraan Hashmi only: Mahesh Bhatt

Updated: Apr 21, 2012, 20:20 PM IST

Mumbai: Actor Emraan Hashmi is Mahesh Bhatt`s discovery and the filmmaker now feels that he need not lean on the `serial kisser` anymore, as he has become a "safe" Bollywood star, and its time they move away from him and focus on potential talents like Kunal Khemu.

It was Bhatt who gave Emraan his first break in 2003 with `Footpath` where he played a supporting role alongside Bipasha Basu and Aftab Shivdasani. But it was `Murder` a year later that brought him in limelight. He continued to work with Bhatt camp in `Zeher` (2005) `Gangster` (2006), `Awarapan` (2007), `Jannat` (2008), `Raaz ? The mystery continues` (2009), `Tum Mile` (2009) and `Murder 2` (2011). Most of his movies did well at the box office and earned him the tag of serial kisser.

"Emraan post `Murder 2` may now look like a safe proposition because till then it was not like that. Post `Jannat` he was emerging but still not finding takers.. people were accepting but media was not after him. After `Once Upon a Time in Mumbai` and `Murder 2` he has had phenomenal success. Today he is a major star. Having created monster we will not let this monster devour us. Otherwise what is the point of saying that we will not work with stars," Bhatt told PTI.

The Bhatts are known to introduce newcomers like Emraan John Abraham (`Jism`), Kunal Khemu (`Kalyug`), Sonal Chauhan (`Jannat`), Neha Sharma (`Crook`), Sunny Leone (`Jism 2`) and others. They have never much worked with stars.

"He (Emraan) has other people to work with which will make him richer. He is our flesh but he does not have work with us always. That is why Kunal Khemu is one of the major actors in whom we will invest. Even Randeep Hooda is a great actor..his potential has not been exploited properly and plus many more. We will not lean on Emraan Hashmi only, otherwise we will be like anybody else. We will move away from the safety of being with Emraan," Bhatt said.