Ever since the beginning of his career, Emraan Hashmi has maintained that he prefers working in solo starrers. If at all he has to work in a multi starrer then the script and his role has to be really enticing enough for him to say yes to a project.
No wonder, his repertoire of films since the time he began his career in 2003 reads only two multi starrers (FOOTPATH, CHOCOLATE), while he has worked in multiple solo/two lead protagonists films like RAAZ - THE MYSTERY CONTINUES, AWARAPAN, JANNAT, THE TRAIN, GOOD BOY BAD BOY, DIL DIYA HAI, THE KILLER, GANGSTER, AKSAR, JAWANI DIWANI - A YOUTHFUL RIDE, KALYUG, AASHIQ BANAYA AAPNE, ZEHER, TUMSA NAHIN DEKHA and MURDER.
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This is the reason why it comes as a surprise when he goes ahead and signs ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAI that has Ajay Devgan towering the film's cast. So what really made him sign a film like this when he has shown clear aversion to multi starrers over the years?
'As I have stated earlier, when I have to work in a two hero project or a multi starrer, it's not just the setup or the script but also my own role in a standalone mode that has to be important enough. This is something that I saw in ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAI that boasts of everything as a package that I ever wanted', comes Emraan's reply.
But hadn't he sworn off multi starrers after his not-so-good-experience in CHOCOLATE that had a horde of actors like Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Suneil Shetty and Arshad Warsi. Reportedly, he was quite unhappy with the entire experience as his role didn't quite come in the fore front and he felt that his character was completely marginalized.
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'Well, I learnt from the experience of CHOCOLATE', he chuckles, 'I got to know what not to do and read between the lines when a script is narrated to you. I guess I have become much wiser after the CHOCOLATE experience and am much more careful when it comes to choosing work for myself. The way Milan Luthria, the director of ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAI, narrated the script and my part to me, I could see that we were making the right progress. I am confident about consenting to do the film being a right move on my part.'
Also starring Kangna Ranaut and Prachi Desai as the leading ladies, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAI, which is set in the underworld of the 70s, has just kick started its shooting. Produced by Ekta Kapoor and Shobha Kapoor, the film would be released only in 2010.