Exclusive! Emraan Hashmi opens up on comparisons with John Abraham's Jim from Pathaan and more

    In an exclusive conversation with DesiMartini, Hashmi reflects on the correlations of his character in Tiger 3, reservations about doing multi-starrer films, learnings from superstar Salman Khan and more.

    <p>&nbsp;A still from Tiger 3</p>

    &nbsp;A still from Tiger 3

    Actor Emraan Hashmi has been receiving unanimous love for his character Aatish Rehman in the latest release, Tiger 3. The actor entered the Yash Raj Film’s spy universe as an antagonist and felt his comparison with Pathaan’s Jim aka John Abraham was quite obvious. However, the actor doesn’t really fall into that trap but focuses on the chatter around his performance. In an exclusive conversation with DesiMartini, Hashmi reflects on the correlations of his character in Tiger 3, reservations about doing multi-starrer films, learnings from superstar Salman Khan and more.

    Q: Was there any pressure playing an antagonist for YRF’s spy universe?

    At that time, the concept of the spy universe probably was just an inception, I didn't know much about it. Because Pathaan was also released the day after I signed this film, the Spy Universe was a bit of an afterthought, at least, maybe for them, they didn't tell me. The only pressure was that every film had to perform and deliver. Whenever the character is offered to me, what is important for me is that I deliver and give the fullest in playing that character, that's the only pressure. It's not about how big the film is or which production house is heading it, it's just to play it to the fullest.

    Q: Does it add a validation to the career after having worked under the YRF banner?

    Any film when it does well at the box office and when it's accepted, it’s a validation. The choice worked, the project worked, everyone's hard work eventually paid off. Your representation of the character has been accepted by the masses. And that itself is a validation that ticks all the boxes and makes the entire process work.

    Q: There has been ongoing buzz and comparison on Twitter between Tiger 3’s Aatish and Pathaan’s Jim played by John Abraham. How do you see it?

    The comparisons would be obvious because the whole spy universe is just part of people's consciousness. People have seen films like War, Pathaan and Tiger, and people will make obvious comparisons between the protagonists and antagonists. I don't really fall into that trap. It's great that people are kind of trying to find some kind of connect or merge performances and see what they liked about this. It is always good to have certain chatter around your performance and your films. And even if you know it's being compared to someone else's, I think it's all flattery at the end of the day. Problems arise when people don't talk about it or comment, then there's an issue.

    Q: You shared screen space with superstar Salman Khan for the first time. How was the overall experience?

    The ease with which he performs, and carries himself, I knew he had it. I obviously met him on multiple occasions before professionally being engaged with him on a film shoot. It was a learning to see how he conducts himself on the set. How he prepares for a scene, and how he presents it to the character of Tiger. A lot of things on my subconscious level, I've downloaded from seeing him. I can't really pinpoint one thing, the entire experience of working with him has been very fulfilling.

    Q: Why do you think a lot of stars in the industry are apprehensive about doing two or multiple actor projects?

    There is a major insecurity sometimes in regard to whether they will get to shine in the film. If their performance would register, how they would be pitted against the other stars in the film and how that dynamic will play out. A lot of actors primarily want to play protagonist characters. I have done my fair share of that also, but I still don't have a reservation when it comes to playing impactful antagonists in the film. I've missed something that's very interesting in playing something other than what you've been playing all your life on career span. That's why 20 years of my career have been interspersed with sometimes I have played these kinds of multiple protagonist roles to my career. Not because of anything else but because I found those characters interesting in the film and that's why I did it.

    Q: You also completed 20 years since your debut with Footpath in 2003. Looking back, do you think you have got your due as an actor?

    I've had my fair share of successes and failures like any other actor. The industry has been very kind to me. The reason why I say that is because, in my lowest moment, I still had offers because people, producers, and industry had faith in my talent, my hard work and my professionalism. When people say the industry is very ruthless, yes, that might be true, it is competitive. But also it's very fair in many ways. If you have a talent and they know you are working, you always get work. So I think I have gotten my due in that sense, but I'm not completely satisfied because I never wanted to feel like I've arrived. There is always a long road ahead, more to work and achieve.

    Q: Before Tiger 3, you had Selfiee which didn't do as per expectations at the box office. Does failure affect you after two decades in the industry?

    Failure can come and knock on your door even after four decades of being in the industry, it is not with the time that you've spent here. It's something that you can't modify, sometimes films work sometimes they don't work. Selfiee, if you pick it up, and if you see it, it's a good film and there is nothing wrong with the film. It's just that sometimes the timing is wrong. Sometimes, there are so many dynamics that play into it. Sometimes the interests of the audience elsewhere, or the tastes change. It became so difficult in the Covid era, that cinema and even people's choices changed. I believe if Selfiee had come out before the COVID era, it would have done way better. It seems odd but I think as an actor it's important for me to keep moving on and forward.

    Q: If given a chance to start over again, what kind of movies would you go for this time? Like, last time, you went for a serial kisser persona. Would you change anything?

    Not really. I think I would have let it play out just the way it did. And even if I'm made to retrospect what seems like a mistake, they also have got me to learn and grow as an actor or a performer. So I don't think I would want to have it play in any other way.

    Q: How do you see the evolution of the kind of movies and shows that are being made with the advent of OTT platforms?

    It's amazing that new stories are being introduced, lot of experimenting as far as concepts go. A lot of actors are getting work on OTT and doing well for themselves, budding filmmakers are getting to put their stuff out there. So it's a good time and very liberating also for the audience because you have so many choices out there. It also keeps theatrical films and filmmakers on their toes because, now you have to also cater in a way to pull people into theatres into something that much more because now the audience has the option of OTT.

    Q: You jumped on the web series bandwagon with Bard of Blood. Any plans to return to the long format again?

    I just completed the show called Showtime, which will be coming out hopefully in January or February. So, I am looking forward to that.