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Monday, June 14, 2021
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Why I did Mumbai Saga with John: Emraan Hashmi tells Bharathi S Pradhan

What made Emraan Hashmi work in Mumbai Saga where John Abraham was the hero and not him? Is it true that Emi who’s a gym regular, counts his calories and nags others at the table?

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What made Emraan Hashmi work in Mumbai Saga where John Abraham was the hero and not him? Is it true that Emi who’s a gym regular, counts his calories and nags others at the table?

The actor answers all questions in a short chat with me.

I was very pleasantly surprised to see you in Mumbai Saga because it’s nice you’re doing roles where you don’t necessarily have to be the main hero. It was a John Abraham film but you were fine with it. Is that something you’ve consciously started doing?


Not started doing. I was a supporting actor in my first film.


You didn’t have a choice back then.


But after two back-to-back hits, I played Abraham’s character in The Dirty Picture. It was Silk Smitha’s film. Shanghai again was not a hero’s role. It was after four successes at the box-office. People say, this is not what a leading man does. But I do what I want to do because I have my own roadmap in my head. My mind works very differently. I would probably do an indie film if I liked the story. I did a film called Harami which is right now at the festivals. That again, the protagonist is a new kid, he’s not even an actor, and I’m playing a character in that film. I found the character fascinating, so I did it.
I think it’s about characters right now. Gone are the days when you only look at a part of the protagonist.

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What was it like working with John?

Great, he’s a great guy and I would love to work with him again. He’s a dream to work with. Very secure, very hardworking, very honest to what he’s doing. I admire him as a thorough professional.


It was also nice watching John and you as brawn vs brawn. Because you’re also a very fit actor.

Although there are no torso shots in the film, it upped my game a bit because I was really thin, I’d lost some weight before I signed Mumbai Saga. My first question to Sanjay (Gupta, director) was, John was huge then, he’d put on a lot of muscle, I didn’t have much time to train but I had to slog it for two and a half months and put on whatever I could.


You are very health conscious?

Yes, I work out. I work out and I’m very conscious of the things I eat. I’m generally into fitness.


I’m told you’re quite a pain at the dining table?

Yeah, I am. I don’t indulge much, I’m not much of an eater per se. Sometimes I go out and eat, I like all of that. But generally, I count my calories and if someone’s going overboard at the table I can be quite a pain. I’m like the nagging granddad at the table.
I work out five to six times a week.


During the pandemic and lockdown?

I was working out twice a day, there was nothing else to do sitting at home. Yeah, I have a gym at home.

That’s Emraan in a nutshell. Enjoy watching him on the screen. But if you don’t watch your calories, don’t sit at the same table as him.

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