Erotic thrillers predominantly are my domain: Emraan Hashmi

Emraan Hashmi is an actor who is known more for – well, nothing new there – his kissing and intimate scenes on screen than his acting. In several films by now, Emraan – the Kisser has ended up overshadowing Emraan – the Actor. But Hashmi believes that with women, it’s always better to maintain a diplomatic stand. The actor will soon be seen in Vishesh Films’ next – ‘Raaz 3’ – and admits being very hopeful of its prospects. Ananya Bhattacharya of spoke to Emraan Hashmi about the film, and a lot more. Excerpts from the interview:

Your liaison with Bollywood began at the age of 18 – as an assistant director on the sets of ‘Raaz’. You’ve been there in the second part, and you’re here now in ‘Raaz 3’. How does it feel to be so closely associated with the franchise?

I’ve seen the franchise take birth. That was kind of my birth as an actor also. I love the genre, I love horror. So being part of it in the second one was a dream come true. And then after that, Vikram Bhatt came back with the franchise. I guess he’s put in all the elements to make it a commercial potboiler and not just a horror film. There’s the element of thrill in it, there’s romance, great music, everything that makes it exciting. Also the fact that the film is in 3D, which could be a huge draw. People, I’m sure, have never seen this kind of 3D in Bollywood before. Vikram has really done a fantastic job with ‘Raaz 3’.

You shot to fame with an erotic thriller – ‘Murder’. Do you feel comfortable with the genre?

I’ve always felt comfortable. I’ve never really had any inhibition playing any character in an erotic thriller. Erotic thrillers predominantly are my domain – I’ve started off with that and pursued it, and it’s great that I’ve also somewhere benefited a lot from it. But I’ll always try to work with other genres also, try my hand at that and try to make that successful. But I feel I’ll eventually always have to come back to this since the audience associates me with that. So I’d say it’s a bit of everything.

Was it easy or difficult coming back to the brand called ‘Raaz’?

There were expectations, I’m sure huge ones. It’s a fantastic film to be associated with, but there was no pressure as such. At the back of your mind, you know that there’s certain connectivity with the audience. Perceivably, probably it’s a niche, but this is more of a mainstream film. So as far as the script is concerned and the way the film was being shot, the screenplay and all – it’s very commercial.

Roping you in a film sort of guarantees it’s musical success. Since the time you’ve been around, almost all your films have been musical blockbusters. Do you too contribute anything to the music of your films?

No, no. I don’t have anything to do with the music. I don’t choose the music directors or the tracks. All of it has just happened. And eventually, thankfully, all of that has worked so far.

You are one of the most popular actors in the industry today. And with ‘Shanghai’, you’ve succeeded in breaking away from the mould people generally associate you with. The character of Joginder Parmar was poles apart from what people have seen you doing. How challenging was it?

It was very challenging. It wasn’t anything even remotely close to what I’ve usually been doing over the years. I didn’t understand that character; it’s not a part of the world I’ve grown up in. Playing a character like the one in ‘Raaz 3’ is probably closer because it’s an urban character. But ‘Shanghai’ was very tough and I had to actually deconstruct a lot of things.

In ‘Raaz 3’, you have intimate scenes with both the leading ladies (Bipasha Basu and Esha Gupta). Who, according to you, was better?

Both, actually. (winks and laughs) with women, it’s always better to maintain a diplomatic stand.

What sort of expectations do you have from this film?

Lot of expectations. I hope this film is a huge, huge success. It will be one. It has already received a great response with the opening show. Theatres have been pre-booked across cities and towns, tickets are sold out for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Audiences have more faith in the film, and that’s great.