Emraan wanted to look ugly: Dibakar Banerjee

By Hindustan Times

Tired of his kissing boy image, Emraan Hashmi hurled himself wholeheartedly into offbeat director Dibakar Banerjee’s school of filmmaking. The duo talk about how they made this oddball combination work in Shanghai, which will premiere at IIFA 2012.

What do you like about each
other's brand of cinema?
Emraan: When I saw Khosla Ka Ghosla, I was impressed. Later, I came to know this strong and conceptually brilliant film was made on a miniscule budget. When Dibakar first messaged me, saying he wanted to meet to discuss a possible film, I had already decided to say yes. I had to work with him. He makes unique films that others would shy away from, and yet manage to strike a chord with the audience. Shanghai, though different from his usual films, does have his stamp on it. It’s a thriller, a whodunit and entertaining as well. The film is profound but it’s not preachy.

Dibakar: I have liked Emraan since his debut film Footpath (2003). He had little to do in that film, but he stood out from the rest. Despite the glam-heavy films he has done, you can see how his eyes speak a lot. I love how they can emote so much. Emraan always clicks with the audience instantly. He is so relatable in the films he has done that your heart goes out for the character.

So far, both of you have explored diverse sides of filmmaking. How has working together benefited both of you? Also, tell us more about each other's contributions to the film.
Emraan: There is a certain way in which Dibakar envisions characters in his films, a quality that is is very unique to him. I haven’t seen things like that before in the films I have done so far. There is a certain subtext to every performance and role. He goes into the complexities of what each character is thinking — where it’s coming from, where it’s going and what it’s going through. That means even more hard work for the actor. He does a lot of prep work.

Dibakar: It is a winning formula for both of us. We were diametrically opposite, but what is more important is the coming together of Abhay Deol and Emraan Hashmi on screen. That is the odd, unique combination; people don’t know what to expect. A lot of people told me I had gone mad casting these tw