Throwback Thursday: Ever wondered how Emraan Hashmi went from the kissing hero to sporting a paunch and yellow teeth in Shanghai? Director Dibakar Banerjee REVEALS all [EXCLUSIVE]

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Emraan Hashmi burst onto the screen and amassed his fan-following as Bollywood’s quintessential “kissing hero” (yes, that’s literally his moniker) besides being the actor with probably the best songs to his name since the 90s (other than the Khans). However, the actor gradually experimented, too, believing in his talent, convinced that it shouldn’t be put in a box, and steadily came to be known as a versatile performer capable of balancing any role with his gravitas as also that roguish, lascivious charm that he initially became famous for. And that journey of experimentation began in complete earnest with Shanghai back in 2013. But how did a Director like Dibakar Banerjee envisage Emraan Hashmi as a pot-bellied man, unhygienic man, with stained teeth and filthy manners, and more importantly, how did the star himself agree to take such a risk at the peak of his stardom? The former discloses everything in this exclusive interview with BollywoodLife.
Divulging what convinced him to give Emraan Hashmi that look, Dibakar Banerjee said, “His paunch, his teeth and everything else (the physical aspects) were thought for the character. Over here (in Bollywood), heroes are expected to be very good looking and very fit as they aren’t natural, they’re ideal whom the audience aspires to be like. So, Emraan Hashmi is like that, he’s a very good-looking person. I had seen Footpath (his debut movie), where his voice was dubbed by Vikram Bhatt saab, and I felt that there was some de-sync, so I first saw it normally, then I saw it without sound and felt a thrill that whichever movie he was in, he was always very natural. Sometimes the dialogues and situations are so unnatural, that the actor can’t help be a bit unnatural, too. Despite this, I used to see Emraan always try and be natural and effortless in all his films.”
Opening up on his his star reacted, the filmmaker added, “So, I met him and told him, There’s such a role, alongside Abhay (Abhay Deol), it’s a political thriller, not very commercial, yes, if you come on board, I’ll get an audience, but that’s not the only reason I’m talking to you, there are other for that. I’m talking to you because watching your movies, I feel you want to do something natural.’ My first and only choice was Emraan Hashmi as the right choice to be case opposite Abhay Deol. When I spoke to Emraan Hashmi, he heard the story and said, ‘Abhi batao kab (tell me now when’s the date)?’ I could understand that Emraan Hashmi is the kind of person who gets you to the heart of the matter, like karana hai to karna hai (if you have to do it, then do it), ‘chalo, ab date batao’ he came to the date for the narration, he wasn’t like ‘look kaise hogi, yeh kaise hoga, bharosa nahi hai.’ He just said, ‘Date bolo.'”
Well, kudos to Dibakar for bringing out the actor we always knew lurked with Emraan.