Dubai In real life, Bollywood actor Emraan Hashmi doesn’t own a gun, but he couldn’t help but feel like an all-conquering hero when he sauntered into a press conference here on Wednesday, brandishing an AK-47 rifle.
“Be careful about your questions, I have a gun in my hand,” joked Hashmi prior to the world premiere of his latest film Jannat 2. Directed by Kunal Deshmukh, the crime thriller delves into the shady world of illegal arms trading in Delhi.
“Yes, you feel a certain surge of testosterone when carrying guns. I think all boys do. We are not advocating the use of guns blindly in my film. But you should also know that cinema is about entertainment and we have done that well in this film,” said Hashmi, adding that being an arms dealer was not one of his childhood dreams.
Billed as Bollywood’s serial-kisser (a tag he earned after unfailingly kissing all his on-screen heroines), Hashmi is one of the few heroes who proudly exhibits the imperfections in his grey roles.
“Films with good people and no conflict will never do well. My films show real characters and have real problems. Maybe my face has bad written all over it,” said Hashmi.
Producer Mahesh Bhatt was quick to pitch in. “Like they say, virtue is not photogenic,” said Bhatt, whose production house Vishesh Films and Fox Star Studios backed the venture.
The legendary producer was also quick to talk up his actress discovery, Esha Gupta, who makes her debut with Jannat 2.
“She is India’s Angelina Jolie and mark my words, this lovely lady from Delhi with her chaste Hindi will reach dizzying heights in Indian cinema,” said Bhatt. However, the former model is not too thrilled about the label.
“It’s flattering to be called India’s Jolie but I want to carve my own identity in this industry. They say there are seven people in the world who look like each other, so it does make sense. But I want people to appreciate me for my work and like my individuality,” said Gupta.
Meanwhile, director Kunal Deshmukh trained his guns on Karan Johar, a producer/director who is described as the king of romance in Bollywood.
“Jannat 2 is not divorced from reality. It’s not a Karan Johar film which takes place in a foreign country. This film is set in Delhi and deals with real people and real problems. Did you know one out of 8 guns in Delhi is unlicensed?”