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Emraan Hashmi opens up on his Indo-American production Harami heading to Busan Film Festival

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INTERVIEW: EMRAAN HASHMI, ACTOR

Reveals Emraan Hashmi, whose Indo-American production is the only Indian film in the main competition of the upcoming Busan Film Festival



How did you manage to keep your Indo-American production, Harami, a secret while it was filmed in Mumbai?


We didn’t want a lot of noise around the shoot because we were shooting guerrillas in places like CST and Churchgate stations, the slums of Dharavi and the streets of Mumbai

Did you shoot at CST and Churchgate stations?


I couldn’t, but I turned in the crowded area of ​​Mohammed Ali Road. And since we didn’t want to attract attention, I was told I had to cycle the last 300-400 meters. Despite the security, I was worried, but delighted not to be recognized in the streets of Mumbais in my appearance of a 50-year-old man with salt and pepper hair, a beard and a mustache, glasses and a cane since he walks with a limp. After that I walked over to the place, with my staff 20 paces behind. It was a thrill because when we filmed in Dongri for Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai, the whole area was cordoned off, with a car parked outside the door of the house where we were shooting to take me. This time I was able to move around freely because Sagar Bhai looked nothing like Emraan. I have never played such an old character.

Is your character a gangster?


He is a former English teacher who turns around to become the leader of a gang of young pickpockets who frequent the people of Mumbai. So, while everyone around him speaks Bambaiya Hindi, Sagar Bhai chooses to speak in English because he also teaches the language to these slum children, so that they can trick unsuspecting foreign tourists and leaf through their wallet. It’s encouraging that our film is unveiled at the Busan Film Festival in a difficult year. We had wanted to go to Cannes, but Covid-19 complicated things. Busan is also very prestigious.

Having already encountered censorship problems with Why Cheat India, will a title like Harami have passed?


This title is not against the country and the English translation of harami, which is bastard, is filed in the Oxford dictionary. I just hope that isn’t misinterpreted as a bad word. We didn’t title the film Harami for effect; its an appropriate title given the topic.

Oscar-winning director Danis Tanovic’s 2014 drama Tigers didn’t perform as well as expected


It was a controversial topic with a Pakistani protagonist. By the time the film was ready for release, after some delays, tensions between India and Pakistan had intensified and the film was blasphemous. No distributor would touch it. Fortunately, today Tigers is in the top 5 OTT movies. Each film has its own journey.

As an actor, how difficult it is to find a balance between a Harami and a Bombay Saga?


I have always been a fan of good content and cinema is a story of stories. So while I love making another geek movie, I also want to do a Jannat 3. None of us know what will be accepted; we can only be true to the idea, work hard and honestly. It is important for an actor not to get stuck, as business success can lead to complacency.

Mumbai Saga is in the Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai space, unabashedly commercial and entertaining, playing gallery and looking for ceeties and taalis. This kind of cinema will always be my first love.

And Chehre?


It’s a very different movie. I play a traveler whose car breaks down and he takes refuge for the night in an outhouse where two men, one posing as a prosecutor and the other a defense lawyer, put him on the platform in their mock hearing because behind every successful man is a crime. I’ve always dreamed of working with Mr (Amitabh) Bachchan, therefore the narration of the scenario was only a formality. It was the same with The Body. I was intrigued by the original Spanish film, but there was also the pleasure of working with Rishiji (Kapoor).

Buzz is that you are playing Alia bhatthusband of Gangubai Kathiawadi who sells her in a brothel?


I met Sanjay sir (Sanjay Leela Bhansali) but I haven’t signed the film yet. (Laughs) And it would be weird to play my cousin’s husband on screen.

You also do a comedy

Yes, Sab First Class Hai, which will be directed by Mubarakan and writer Saand Ki Aankh Balwinder Singh Janjua. The scenario is a riot.

Do you plan to resume filming soon?


I cannot stay home forever because this virus is not going away anytime soon. People get re-infected, so even if a vaccine does occur, it has to be recharged over and over again. We are the most exposed due to our proximity to our co-stars and the fact that we cannot wear masks and PPE suits. Still, I plan to finish Mumbai Saga, Chehre, and the horror movie Ezra before the end of the year before starting new projects next year. It will be shoot, quarantine, shoot



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