On Emraan Hashmi’s 42nd birthday today, Pinkvilla spoke to his filmmaker-uncle Mukesh Bhatt who had launched the actor with Footpath in 2003.
Emraan Hashmi’s journey in the Hindi film industry has been completely different from many of his contemporaries. He started out by playing a second lead in Vikram Bhatt’s 2003 crime-thriller Footpath, however it was Anurag Basu directed Murder in 2004 that changed the game for him. Interestingly, he wasn’t even essaying a good guy in the erotic romantic-thriller, but had played a negative role, and still went on to win the audience’s hearts. Now that doesn’t happen very often. “Murder was a runaway hit and it made the brand Emraan Hashmi. After that came one after another film – Gangster, Zeher, Kalyug and Jannat – he gave back-to-back hits,” says Emraan’s proud filmmaker-uncle Mukesh Bhatt.
Bhatt and Emraan’s father Syed Anwar Hashmi are first cousins. On Emraan’s 42nd birthday today, we reached out to his uncle to know more about Emraan Hashmi – the person, and then of course the actor. Mukesh saab says that Emraan was always an endearing child. “There was something very nice about him, and I remember wherever I used to take my children with Emraan and my other nephew Mohit Suri out to a park, Emraan would very strangely draw attention from the passersby. He has that endearing quality and that remains with him even today,” the filmmaker reminisces.
He blushes very well even today. You talk to him about something that he feels a little embarrassed or shy about, he would start blushing beautifully
He adds that Emraan’s smile is both innocent and captivating. “He blushes very well even today. You talk to him about something that he feels a little embarrassed or shy about, he would start blushing beautifully. I tell him this is an asset, and he should keep it intact. With age unfortunately you lose that quality of innocence, but he has somehow retained it even today,” smiles Mukesh saab.
The producer recalls that while Emraan was an innocent looking child, he would also play a lot of pranks. “They were all done in good fun, and that’s also when you come to know that he is a good actor, as he so innocently would play a prank and never get caught,” Bhatt laughs. Emraan had first professionally joined the Bhatts in 2000.
“I used to go to visit Emmi’s grandmother a lot, as I was very attached to her. One day I asked her what Emmi was upto, and she told me that he was doing some computer course. By then I had already become a producer and had made many movies, so I told her to ask him to come and join me. Emraan and Mohit joined Vikram Bhatt as his assistant directors on Kasoor that had Aftab Shivdasani and Lisa Ray in the lead. It was then when I noticed that while Emmi was more interested in what’s happening in front of the camera, Mohit was more inclined to what was happening behind it,” Mukesh saab recollects.
So after Kasoor, when Vikram started working on the Bipasha Basu and Dino Morea starrer Raaz, Bhatt let Mohit continue as an assistant director and asked Emraan to focus on his acting aspirations. “We put him into an acting workshop. And when we were making a two hero film titled Footpath with Aftab, I gave the second hero’s part to Emraan to make a beginning. He was very unsure whether he could do it or not, but I knew he could and he did,” beams Mukesh saab.
When the camera started he froze. So we told him to take it easy, but the next day when he came back he was a completely different boy. He was in control of himself
Emraan’s first shot for Footpath was taken at Mukesh Mills in Mumbai. “He had memorised all his lines, but when the camera started he froze. So we told him to take it easy, but the next day when he came back he was a completely different boy. He was in control of himself, and wanted that one night to gather himself. After that he never looked back and his confidence grew by the day. He is my darling boy,” says Bhatt, adding that when he saw the rushes of Footpath, he knew that Emraan was ready for his next, Murder. “The music of his films have also added to the stardom of Emraan Hashmi. He is now doing a YRF film. I am very happy that this boy is again given an opportunity. See low and high phases keep coming, but Emraan is a disciplined, professional and a very balanced boy and I feel that he has miles to go. He is a marathon runner. I wish him all the best for his birthday, god bless him and give him more and more success. This comes straight from my heart,” Mukesh saab says it emotionally.
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