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Bard of Blood Image Credit: James Minchin/Netflix

Bollywood actor Emraan Hashmi who made his Bollywood breakthrough in 2005 with the psychological thriller ‘Murder’, a tale of an extramarital affair gone awry, had made a vow not to be typecast as a morally-bankrupt player in murky marriages.

But he couldn’t resist director Jeethu Joseph’s ‘The Body’, also starring Shobita Dhulipala and Rishi Kapoor, out in the UAE on December 12.

“I had taken a sabbatical from this genre for almost seven years because I found those scripts unappealing. It filled me with a ‘been-there, done-that’ feel. It felt cliched,” said Hashmi in an interview over the phone from Mumbai.

‘The Body’ is an official remake of the 2012 Spanish film by the same name.

South Indian director Joseph who directed the seminal Malayalam thriller ‘Drishyam’ starring Mohanlal makes his Hindi film debut with ‘The Body’.

“I was drawn to the subject when I saw the Spanish film around two years back … Somehow my role in ‘The Body’ felt like a breath of fresh air … It’s filled with a climax that you won’t see coming,” promises Hashmi.

He plays Dev Verma in this murder mystery. He’s in a troubled marriage and his wife dies under mysterious circumstances. Her corpse goes missing, triggering a murder investigation spearheaded by Kapoor and he’s the prime suspect.

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'The Body' also stars Rishi Kapoor.

Here’s Hashmi’s take on …

Playing a husband who gets embroiled in a possible wife-killer case:

“There’s a particular part of him that make you wonder whether he’s a killer or not. You will have to figure a lot of things out as you see the film. It will make you wonder if he has truly murdered his wife and if so, why he has done so. Is there any plausible reason? These days, you don’t even have to meet in person to break up with your partner. It’s scary and disturbing – some relationships start on social media and end on social media too. I am pretty old school. Gone are the days when you meet a person a few times, before deciding that it isn’t working out. This film will take you into a world where relationships aren’t clearly defined.”

Murderers or serial killers being more alluring when intelligent and erudite:

“Some serial killers are extremely enigmatic and charismatic. For instance, Ted Bundy, Charles Manson had such a big fan following. He was almost a God to many as they are so fascinating. There’s a part of you that’s curious to know why they did what they did.”

Working with Rishi Kapoor and director Jeethu Jospeh:

“He’s a fine actor and is someone whom I have looked up to for the longest time. He is fun to work with. He’s naturalistic and volatile. His outbursts were due to the indiscipline he saw, but he’s a fine actor … Jeethu Joseph understands his subject deeply and he has done such a wonderful job with Drishyam and he was our natural choice when we found the right subject.”

Whether actors have the moral responsibility to play the right kind of roles:

“No, they don’t. I take on roles for purely entertainment purposes. If my character is doing anything morally questionable, he’s usually put in the docks and is paying the price for it. There’s some accountability. In a film like ‘Cheat India’, my character gets away with his crime, but it didn’t go too well with the audiences. We learn as actors with each and every film. All you have to worry about is whether we made a film which has its heart in the right place. As an actor, it’s not about conforming. It’s only about backing a great story.”

His struggle to be non-conformist:

“There are actors who only do love stories and there’s nothing more clichéd than that. Boy-meets-girl or girl-meets-boy and then some problem crops up and that’s about it. But it’s in the way you treat it. In my experience, there are only seven archetypes of stories and everything is a rehash of that. So much for originality, I say. That’s the truth and we have to face it.”


Don’t Miss It!

The Body is out in the UAE on December 12. Watch the trailer below: 


‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Seven’ are Emraan Hashmi’s two favourite thrillers.