What made you go for a sequel of MURDER? MURDER was one of my bona fide successful films. It was a bold film with very clear components-sensuality, eroticism, murder mystery-which was quite shocking for the audience as well as critics at that time. But still it was one of the biggest hits of 2004. We thought of taking the theme-driven franchise forward. However, MURDER 2 is not a sequel to MURDER, but it belongs to a series of films. It's a new story with new characters. It's based on the relationship of friends of benefits. These two characters-Arjun and Priya (Emraan and Jacqueline) are in a non-committed relationship, who are unapologetic about the intimacy between them.
Which one do you find better-MURDER or MURDER 2? I find MURDER 2 much, much superior to MURDER in many ways...it's more thrilling, more unpredictable, more sensuous, more bold. We worked harder on the script because today we have really smart audience who just after a few scenes know in which direction the film is heading and what the climax is going to be. So we made sure that this film keeps you on your toes and keep you guessing at interval and pre-climax points. There is fancier in my character that I have played so far.
How was it working with Jacqueline? You can't work on chemistry. As actors you work hard on your role, but not on chemistry with your co-actor. But going by the feedback from the audience after they saw the song promos, it seems they like Jacqueline and my chemistry very much. She has done a very, very good job in the film.
Why will MURDER 2 be a memorable film for you? The film will be a really memorable one for me. One of the reasons is Mohit (Suri, director) generally makes us work 12 hours a day. But for this film, he made us work 17-18 hours a day in Goa. (Smiles)
You have always gone for grey characters... I have never played a chocolate hero, but a dark hero. In MURDER 2 also there are grey shades in my character. Now-a-days the dividing line between hero and villain has been erased in our Hindi films. Today, a villain's viewpoint is no longer one-dimensional; people understand him.
Do you feel bad with the serial kisser tag? I don't feel bad. It's just I am fed up being called a serial kisser. I hope the media finds something fine and more innovative, or doesn't call me anything at all. I will be happy with that.
Ever tried to break out of it? After MURDER, my image (as serial kisser) was set. If I would have something else, my career would have taken another path. But MURDER being my first bona fide hit, it affected my career too much that time. The film was bold and sensuous, so people didn't notice other things. That somewhere rubs of and you get similar kind of films and that becomes a forte of you as an actor. But time and again, consciously I tried to break out of that image and do different kind of roles, at the same time keeping this (image) as a strong point in my career.