How did you think of penning a film centred around black magic in Raaz 3?
During my days of struggle, everything I did, failed. People would tell me that someone has done black magic, and we found that it was true. I came to know that people in Bollywood, Hollywood and in every industry use black magic to get their work done. So I thought of mixing these two worlds. And since I have been a victim of voodoo myself, I wanted to portray it onscreen.
So, you believe in black magic?
Yes, definitely. I have known black magic incidents that have changed people’s lives forever. Black magic works and very effectively. There is a good and a bad side to everything. I believe in God and I also believe there is an evil power.
The film’s protagonist is a fading film actress. Has any part of Bipasha’s life been used in the film?
There is nothing from her life per se. Bipasha is not a flop actress. She is still a sex icon and a sexy woman. Most newcomers can’t hold a candle to her screen presence. We wanted to cast someone who understands that emotion of not quite being ‘there’ because of the new girls. Bipasha is not at loggerheads or competing with anyone, but she understands the emotion.
Esha Gupta plays her onscreen competitor.
People didn’t like Esha in Jannat, because she hardly had anything to do, but she is a new sex symbol with her looks, her bikini and bareback ads. We wanted to bring these two ladies together — one sex symbol that has been there for some time now and the new kid on the block.
So who will steal the show in real life?
Bipasha has an author-backed character and I took great pains in writing it. She carries the film on her shoulders. It is a complete Bipasha film. But Esha is a surprise package. It’s a big leap from Raaz 3. She plays the character of a victim of black magic, like I was at one point of time. People will say Bipasha is fabulous and so is Emraan, but Esha is good too, and we didn’t expect this.
Since it is a Bhatt production, was Emraan a necessity?
He is a big brand and you can’t cast just anyone opposite Bipasha. We wanted a star for the film and Emraan is now the in-house star. He heard the first few lines and said yes. It is a hit franchise…who wouldn’t want to be part of it?
Like Raaz 3, Heroine also has the film world as its backdrop. Do you think the plot lines will overlap?
Not really. Heroine is Madhur Bhandarkar’s film and he is known to show the dark side of industries. Our film belongs to the same industry, but it pertains to an individual’s life and not to the industry. The narrative is very different.
You are also turning your attention to direction.
I feel most directors don’t do justice to my scripts. Also, as a writer, you don’t really get credit. If my directorial venture turns out to be a hit, I will remain a director. But if Mahesh saab calls me, then I will write for him.