Poor Emraan Hashmi! There seems to be no getting away from the "serial kisser" tag despite his many protestations and he's back to locking lips in his forthcoming film "The Dirty Picture".
If people wish to remember him for his on-screen kisses, so be it, says the somewhat exasperated actor who has for long been looking for an image change.
The 32-year-old actor came to be known as Hindi cinema's serial kisser after numerous lip locks in films like "Murder", "Zeher", "Aashiq Banaya Apne", "Gangster" and "Jannat".
"The tag would never go. I tried to get rid of it, but it follows me everywhere. I have done so many films with it (kissing) and so many people went and watched those films. So probably they want to remember me for that. And if kissing is a great way to remember me, I have no complaints! My audience base is there and I can't change overnight," Emraan told IANS in an interview.
"I am trying out different things in my forthcoming films. Hopefully it would be another dimension, which would change people's perception about me," he added.
"The Dirty Picture" is said to have Emraan in yet another kissing scene, this time with actress Vidya Balan. He however stresses that the film, based on the life of the late southern sex icon Vijayalakshmi aka Silk Smitha, takes sexuality to a different level.
"It's a different take on sexuality. Sexuality in my films was shown differently before this. 'The Dirty Picture' takes it to a different level," said Emraan.
The first trailer of the movie has already created a buzz, with Vidya in a bold new avatar. Emraan plays one of the three men in her life, while the other two male characters have been essayed by Tusshar Kapoor and Naseeruddin Shah.
"I play a movie director who believes in artistic cinema. He is one who doesn't really give a damn about commercial viability of a film. He would rather make a film, which critics will appreciate; he sticks to his guns creatively, never budges from his creative instincts of a film and the content the film. It's a very different character that I haven't played before," said the actor.
"The Dirty Picture", produced by Ekta Kapoor, and directed by Milan Luthria, will release Dec 2, which happens to be Silk Smitha's birth anniversary.
Even though the movie is being promoted as Silk Smitha's biopic, Emraan says it has been spiked with fiction for commercial value.
"It's basically a fictional film. It might have been taken from different sources and it's about the southern film industry, about the actress, her rise, her stardom and her relationship with these three men...Eventually, lots of comparisons can be made but lots of things have been added for commercial effect. So I wouldn't say it's truly a biopic," he said.
This is the first time that Emraan has teamed up with the critically acclaimed Vidya. "Vidya is a great actress. Our combination is new. It's a great experience working with her. Every character in the film is very intriguing and interesting; so we share a very different kind of chemistry on screen."
He is also in awe of veteran actor Naseeruddin.
"Naseeruddin is god of acting. I did a couple of scenes with him, which was a great learning experience," said Emraan.