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Emraan Hashmi: I am not apologetic about that position

Updated on: 02 March,2024 05:28 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Upala KBR |

With Showtime exploring nepotism, Emraan says he views his insider status and easier entry into movies as the hand dealt to him; admits it’s tough for outsiders to ‘even speak to assistant directors’

Emraan Hashmi: I am not apologetic about that position

Emraan Hashmi

Stories about the movies have an undeniable appeal to them. It was one of the many reasons why Showtime was an easy yes for Emraan Hashmi. “It’s a new perspective; not too many shows about the film industry have been done,” begins the actor, who plays a heavyweight producer. Through his character of Raghu Khanna, creator-writer Sumit Roy’s series delves into Bollywood’s business, glamour, power dynamics, and of course, nepotism. The Karan Johar production explores the outsider-versus-insider debate through its two lead characters.

So, where does the leading man stand on the subject? In his signature forthright manner, Hashmi says, “When the nepotism debate started, these questions were thrown to people from the outside and the inside. My entry point in the industry was relatively easier because I am part of a film family. People can’t expect someone in that position to be apologetic, I am not. This is the hand that was dealt to me. But I didn’t have a grand launch. I started out as a supporting actor in my first film [Footpath, 2003] and worked my way up. But granted, the entry point was easier.”

The series also stars Mahima Makwana
The series also stars Mahima Makwana

He, however, understands that the easy access makes a world of difference. “When I was working for two years as an assistant director [before debuting as an actor], I had seen how difficult it is for an outsider to get an entry into a producer’s office. Forget about being cast in a film, even speaking to an assistant director or a director is a long shot.”

Besides its powerful theme, there were many factors that drew Hashmi to the Disney+ Hotstar offering that also stars Naseeruddin Shah and Mahima Makwana. His cut-throat character was one of them. “Raghu Khanna is your quintessential mass Bollywood producer. He prefers the front-row audience in cinema halls, and their seetis and claps over critics’ reviews. He is in-your-face, volatile and a brat. He prioritises his films, and people come second.” 

Admittedly, the character is far removed from his real-life persona. How does he embrace a role that has little in common with him? Hashmi says it’s all about finding a common ground between the director’s and his vision. “When playing a character, I like to see how similar he is to me first, and then, the differences. Raghu is the opposite of me, but for the past 25 years, I’ve been playing characters who are very different from me. The beautiful fulcrum of this show is the dysfunctional nature of [my character’s] relationship with his father.”

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