Posted: 23 March 2007 at 6:37pm
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INTERVIEWS &n bsp; &n bsp; &n bsp; &n bsp; &n bsp;
On the path to fame
KEITH FERNANDEZ talks to young actor Emraan Hashmi about his debut in Footpath
One more reason to believe its all about who you know: Emraan Hashmi. Twenty-four year old Hashmi, star of the Vikram Bhatt-directed Footpath (released August 15) concurs that hes lucky to have Mahesh Bhatt for an uncle making a debut in the movies, he says, was simply that much easier. Not that hes always wanted to set the box-office ablaze, this former child star lets on.
Birthday and sun sign?
24 March 1979, Aries.
"To be a pilot. I wanted to be a pilot for the longest time. Then, in college I thought about special effects and animation. I didnt want to be an actor at all!"
But dont we know him already?
We do. As a child star in such saccharine-sweet campaigns as Rasna, Glycodin cough syrup and GoodKnight mosquito repellent. "By the age of 10, though, Id stopped doing commercials."
Even child stars gotta grow up, huh? So why the movies?
"I didnt decide to be an actor. It just happened. I was assisting Vikram Bhatt on Kasoor two years ago when (Mahesh) Bhattsaab asked me if I wanted to act. Footpath was written a year ago."
Whats it like working in the family business?
"Great. I knew everyone on the sets, it was cool. And yes, it was much easier making a break into the movies for me than it would have for a complete newcomer. Because I was family, I got my first chance."
First day, first job what was it like?
"I managed to do the first shot okay, which was a walk into the frame, but the second was a disaster it took me 30 to 35 takes to get it right! Everyone was frustrated, from the director on down and I was considering an alternative career! But I pulled through."
Whats the job like, then?
"Contrary to popular belief, its tough facing the camera. Acting is very tough and then, the role is a challenging one, its very layered and complex."
Whats the character about?
"I play a drug dealer called Raghu Srivastav, whos impulsive and hot-headed by nature, the kind who picks a fight wherever he can for no rhyme or reason until he meets this girl whom he wants to change for, and he turns over a new leaf through the film. Its a grey character, one of three friends from the lower strata of society. The film tracks their struggles, their lives, their friendship."
Whats his own take on life, then?
"Lifes nothing like a Hindi movie, its a struggle. Its a tough world out there and everyone needs a share of the cake and everyones going to fight for it."
"Its important, its companionship."
"A necessity and I want to have lots of it."
Which means good box-office.
First day, first show what reactions at the theatres?
"Great. Its a high, like a booze high. I managed to get into (cinema hall) Gaiety and was mobbed after the interval and actually thrown out of the theatre because the manager said if I stayed the audience would not watch the film! At Metro, I was crossing the street and a crowd gathered around me there, too."
He could get used to being mobbed, huh? What about losing his anonymity?
"Totally. Im enjoying fame, I think Im handling it pretty well. I dont see it as painful at all."