Kolkata, May 20 (IANS) Actor Emraan Hashmi says his latest release 'Jannat', where he plays a bookie, couldn't have been timed better to coincide with the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) matches.
'It was not deliberate, but it's good that the film was released during the IPL ... And I believe there is no harm in showing the black aspect of cricket,' Emraan told IANS in an interview here.
The star was in the city to promote 'Jannat', which was released Friday.
' 'Jannat' is a love story with the background of cricket and the dark alleys of the game,' he explained.
Emraan, who plays a grey character, revealed that he 'met a few cricket bookies in Mumbai to get a better understanding of their lifestyle'.
Known for his on-screen kisses in films, Emraan clarified that most actors kiss on screen, but the media projects only him as the 'serial kisser'.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q. Let's start with your latest release 'Jannat'.
A. 'Jannat' is a love story with the background of cricket and the dark alleys of the game. The subject is contemporary where heaven is all about money, luxury and crime.
Q. Are you comfortable playing a hero with negative attributes?
A. Generally in Hindi films we take it for granted that a hero should be all white, while the villain is portrayed as a black character. In this film I play a grey character that people can relate to. After all none of us is all white or black, but grey.
The first half of the film portrays Arjun (my character in 'Jannat') as a reckless youth obsessed with moneymaking and in the process gets into cricket betting and the match-fixing racket. But in the latter half, audiences will know about the circumstances that led him to this racket and they will feel sorry for him.
Q. How did you prepare for your character?
A. I met a few cricket bookies in Mumbai to get a better understanding of their life and lifestyle. Besides, I read all about the cricket betting controversies that took place in the last 30 years.
Q. Is 'Jannat' deliberately released during the IPL?
A. It wasn't deliberate but it's good that the film was released during the IPL. Cricket betting is something that you can never put on check. And I believe there is no harm in showing the black aspect of cricket.
Q. Are you watching the IPL?
A. No. Actually, personally I am not interested in cricket. But after you see the film you can hardly question my limited cricket gyan (knowledge).
Q. Bengali singer Rupam Islam has sung in this film.
A. Rupam is a fabulous singer and his song 'Jannat jahan' has added a new flavour to the film.
Q. Why is that you always work with the Bhatts (even 'Jannat' is produced by Mukesh Bhatt)?
A. First they are my family and so I feel at home working for them. Secondly, the Bhatts make films that are socially appealing and different at the same time.
Q. You said you would never kiss on-screen. But 'Jannat' has two kissing scenes.
A. I am sorry that by mistake I said I would never kiss on-screen.
Q. So you are back to your serial kisser image?
A. Every actor kisses on and off-screen. But only Emraan Hashmi gets projected as a serial kisser by the media. Whether it is a joke or something serious, I am cool with it.
Q. You have again paired opposite a new face. This time it's Sonal Chauhan. Are you comfortable acting with newcomers?
A. Yes. My directors are always hunting for fresh faces for me - Kangana Ranaut in 'Gangster', Geeta Basra in 'The Train' and this time it's Sonal Chauhan. I am perfectly cool working with newcomers ... But Sonal has been into modelling, so she is already aware of camera positions, lights and a little bit of acting.
Q. The songs of all your films are hits. What is the secret behind it?
A. Credit goes to my music directors, singers and lyricists. But at the same time, I'm also very particular about my songs.
Q. What are the films in the pipeline?
A. Right now there is only one film - 'Raaz 2'. Its a horror film directed by Mohit Suri and Kangana Ranaut is the leading lady.
Q. Name the films that are your favourite.
A. 'Jannat' and 'Awaarapan' will always remain close to my heart.