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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?

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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