Tobacco woes for Emraan Hashmi

Along with his recent decision to reinvent himself on screen, playing different and meaty characters, bad boy Emraan Hashmi has also opted out of projects that portray him only as a serial kisser.  Adding to that, he has also made another promise to himself. It is a known fact now that Emraan Hashmi has bid adieu to smoking especially for the sake of his son. Emraan got rid of his bad habit and refuses to smoke even on screen unless the script demands it completely. But for his role in Shanghai, where he plays an adult film maker, Emraan was not just required to smoke but chew tobacco too.  The actor was not too keen but Dibakar Banerjee, the director had other plans. He finally coaxed and cajoled Emraan to shoot the sequences.

On the first day of the shoot, the actor was asked to chew tobacco for a scene and it was one of the worst experiences of his life.  The taste of tobacco left such distaste to his mouth that Emraan refused to do it for the entire film. The lips that have kissed many divas on screen were finally left with a foul taste, post the shoot. Since Emraan has already given up on smoking he could not bear the taste of tobacco on his tongue.  The actor almost threw up and felt giddy after the scene and he decided not to do it.

However after a lot of back and forth discussions with director Dibakar Banerjee, they came to the conclusion that he had to do it for the role. Dibakar insisted that since his role required him to do it there was no other way out.  Dibakar is one clever man. He can get anything done his way: be it getting Emraan to chew packs of puff or having Bengali superstar Prosenjit mark a return to Bollywood after almost two decades and a flop debut.

Emraan plays this gross, tobacco chewing, foul-mouthed small town guy who is a reporter at a small newspaper by day, a cameraman at weddings and an unethical, ill mannered porn movie maker for the night. His teeth also had to be coloured for the role and his skin underwent tanning too. What not, for a role!  Shanghai, the film deals about the boisterous and impractical promises that a politician makes for the people and the development of the city. Loosely adapted from the Greek film ‘Z’, Shanghai is Dibakar Banerjee’s statement to the Indian politicians and ministers who tend to make false promises to its citizens: about an almost impossible dream of transforming India to Shanghai! Alongside Emraan, the film also stars the unconventional and charming Abhay Deol, the quirky and magnetic Kalki Koechlin and Tollywood’s biggest and Bengal’s most treasured superstar actor Prosenjit Chatterjee. The film is slated for a June 8 release. The film boasts of a very uncanny star cast, much different from the prototype plot lines and is expected to do well, given Dibakar’s track record and his irresistible treatment to his ideas.