Emraan Hashmi Says Success Of Tentpoles Makes Film Industry Bullish
MUMBAI, (IANS) – Actor Emraan Hashmi has completed two decades in cinema and has given some exceptional performances in a span of 20 years. The actor, who was once tagged by the media as a “serial kisser”, shattered the stereotype as he doled out terrific performances in ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai’, ‘Awarapan’, ‘Gangster’, ‘The Dirty Picture’, ‘Shanghai’ and many others.
As he receives more love from the audience for his latest release ‘Tiger 3’, which also stars Bollywood superstar Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, the actor spoke, about the importance of tentpoles for the economy of the industry, the paradigm shifts that have happened in cinema and entertainment, his preparation for his part of Aatish Rehman, an ex-ISI agent, and the tendency of the makers to play safe in huge film markets.
The actor said the success of tentpoles is very important for the industry and called it “a domino effect.”
He said: “When you have a series of successful films, the industry becomes more bullish, there’s more confidence in the filmmakers and they move out of their comfort zones and don’t play safe. It’s not just important from the point of view of economy for the industry but also positively affects the choice of stories.”
He went on: “When the revenue flow in the industry is steady, it allows the storytellers to make brave choices, tell unconventional stories thereby enhancing the quality of our storytelling. Big studios are also able to put a part of their capital in smaller films that more than often emerge as surprise hits.”
A lot has changed in the 20 years of Emraan’s tenure in the industry, satellite television peaked, then came the CD, DVDs, and now the OTT. The actor feels that with the OTT, there’s now more active give and take between the audience and the filmmakers in the form of feedback.
He told IANS: “Any paradigm shifts about content, be it the introduction of color television or now the OTT, first we try to make sense of the medium but as we move forward, we learn to make the most out of it. Any new substantial development affects cinema as well.”
He continued: “In this age of the Internet, the active give and take between the makers, artists, and the audience has attained a greater degree because of social media. Now, you can upload specific scenes from a film on YouTube and gauge the audience’s reaction to it in the comments, what worked, and where things felt a bit loose, it all helps the directors and writers to be mindful of what to do and what not to do.”
But, in the age of the Internet and algorithms, does rawness take a back seat given that everyone is trying to play safe by looking at market research and reports?
The actor said that while a large section of makers may stick to it, there are others who are always trying to challenge the system and that’s where the new stories emerge from and have the potential to change the tides in the industry.
He shared: “There are some filmmakers who really want to push the boundaries and bring something new to the table. Of course, there are certain things that have stood the test of time like the archetypal character or the way a story is woven, those things will always be there but apart from that one must strive for ground-breaking stories.”
Talking about his character in ‘Tiger 3’, the actor said that it allowed him to explore a darker side to the portrayal on screen.
“I found his origin story very interesting, there’s a humane side to his past. What makes him such a dreaded character formed the bedrock of my performance with regards to this character,” he said.
The part demanded a certain physical transformation for him as an actor.
“I was very thin when I signed the film. Although it didn’t involve any money shots of abs and T-shirts coming off, as there are in action films, I wanted to have a certain frame to do justice to the character that was written on paper. Another thing is the look of this character, the grey beard and the hair is also something that took us a long time to arrive at, and his language and diction, he speaks a very polished Urdu so all the ‘Nuqtas’ had to be in the right place,” he concluded.