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Emraan Hashmi Speaks To Subhash K Jha On The Joys Of Discovering A Fresh Beginning To His Life As An Actor And A Parent.

Subhash K . Jha

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Emraan,  your performance  in Tiger and now Why Cheat India  is  of a very  authentic texture.

Thank you  I am glad  you liked it. This is an attempt to  do something  different with my  skills—whatever they may be—as  an actor, At  this  juncture I don’t need  to be known by the number of  times I kiss  my heroine.

You are  also a producer  on  Why Cheat India . What made  you take this step?

I wanted to explore  new characters  and  new stories.  I had been planning to turn producer for  two years now.  I felt this(Why Cheat  India) to be the  right opportunity to  plunge into production.  It is relevant as it addresses  the  rot in our educational  system. I feel as an actor and a producer  I  need  to address issues that  go beyond entertainment.

 Life hasn’t  been easy for these past few years?

Yes my wife and I were  struggling with our son’s illness. Now he’s finally fully cured. I think this is  my greatest success .No amount of boxoffice hits or  other worldly  joys can equal the happiness of seeing  your child healthy again.

I don’t know how you  continued  to work?

It was  really tough.  During the  first month after our son fell ill my wife and  I  took him to Canada for treatment where we had family. I was  thinking of  nothing else  except his  health.  It was my wife who encouraged me to return to work  while she  stayed with  our son.

But I  can’t imagine how you could  concentrate on your work at  a time like that?

It was  actually a relief to escape into another character’s life and  problems as long as the camera  was on. Once the camera  was  off the  reality of  my ill child  hit me  all over again.Thankfully  he is out of it now.

Are  you now looking at a change of image?

Most  definitely. For the  first twelve years of my career  I  was cast in a certain mould.And that was fine. But now  I  need to reinvent  myself…

The  lip-chewing serial kisser?

Ya, I had enough of that. But the problem is, whenI  continued doing it people said , he is doing  the same  thing again and gain. When I tried something  different,they missed the old image. So  it’s  a bit  of  a pull in  contradictory  directions. The  best  thing is to go with your gut instincts.Why  Cheat India is a  refreshing change for me  as an actor.And I hope the audience s\rees it that way.

What other new  challenges are  you  exploring?

I am  doing a  Netflix web series. Which  is an entirely  new experience for  me.It is  based on Bilal Siddiqi’s The Bard Of Blood and the series will stream in  August. I  am very excited since this is a new  platform for  me.

The  digital platform seems  like  a  looming threat  to the large screen?

Not really .Every platform has its place. Nothing can  replace  the  pleasure  of  viewing  a film on the cinema. However  if  the viewer wishes to binge watch on  an OTG  platform then that’s format which we must take seriously.Right now it is a consumers’ market and so many  actors are getting a  chance  to express themselves.Earlier  it  was  just film and television. Now  there are so many platforms for  actors.

During the past year the  old guard  crumbled and a new  generations of actors  took over. Where do you fit into the  new scheme of things?

I am glad there is so much new talent  coming  in. It is important  for  our industry to  get new talent. For someone like  who’s been around for  18 years  it ‘s nice watching  new generations  of actors coming in .

It’s hard  to believe  you’ve been  around  for so  long?

Yes(laughs) even I find  it hard  to believe. When someone pointed  it out to me during an  interview I was quite surprised. Time has  just flown by. It seems  like just yesterday when I  was  starting out. This is a good time for  all of us to reinvent  ourselves. I am switching  gears and swimming with the tides. The world  and  the entertainment  industry have changed. I don’t even think  of  the  competition.  It’s just me  in competition with myself.I am solely concerned with my own work.

Do you  still see  yourself  as an outsider?


I’ve always  tried to  raise  the bar  for myself.  When I did something like Murder no one  else was doing it. Now I am working in a  film called The Body directed Jeethu Joseph.Again  it’s something  out of  the  box. My discomfort zone. At this point if time I ‘ll only do a script that  enthuses me.

 Finally, what are  you views on  the MeToo movement?

I applaud the Movement  . It gives women a  voice to finally come out with the wrongs  done to them. Naming the  perpetrators is good. Anti-harassment  rules in film contacts is  also very good. But there must some kind of  legal procedure. At the moment names are  called out on Twitter and  then the media picks it up. I think the  due process of law needs to be followed.Unfortunately such things are very difficult to prove in a court of law. But  I hope the Movement  gets  more channeled  to a legal system so perpetrators are  held accountable.

You never  promoted  yourself the way stars do  these days?

 I don’t see the need to shout from rooftops about my achievement. I let my work speak  for itself. There are so many actors who were successful  without  the social media. But then, to each his own.

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