The year 2016 in Bollywood will be remembered for the year of biopic on Indian cricketers. Emraan Hashmi who is playing Mohammad Azharuddin in AZHAR will be the first one to hit the screen making the biopic on Dhoni and Tendulkar waiting. Geared up with confidence Emraan Hashmi sits and speaks on the experience of playing AZHAR, his grilling training sessions with Azharuddin and what makes AZHAR a story to be told.
How much are you in cricket in real life?
I have never been a diehard crazy fanatic of the game but followed cricket. During the one and half year process of making AZHAR, I learned a lot about the man, the sport, Mohammad Azharuddin helped in giving me some tips on the perspective and yeah, it was a great experience stepping in the shoes of Azhar.
What was the reaction of Azhar in real?
He has seen the rough cut and has really liked the way his character is presented on the screen. He has not seen the final cut. Am anxious to know his reactions when he sees the final print.
How much knowledge of the controversy you had before beginning to shoot for AZHAR?
Yeah I had fair bit of knowledge. I followed the controversy for 12 years. I remember it happened during my learning days in 2000 when I just started as an assistant. This role gave me the opportunity to get all the information; files got pulled out, read articles and all research gave a better and in depth idea.
'I followed the controversy for 12 years'
What preparations you did to get into the mold of Mohammad Azharuddin
I reduced my weight. The look is a combination of efforts by the entire team. The stylist, make-up artiste and the director. Azhar bhai was there to train me as a cricketer. He was my coach for three months to teach me the nuances of the game. Was fun to learn cricket from Azhar.
Apart from his batting skills, Azhar in real was also known for his brilliant fielding and use to bowl off cutters when required.. what was the prime focus in your training with Azhar?
We primarily focused more on the batting.. that was the toughest. Fielding a bit. The three months where grilling..
Azhar had a typical accent in his vocabulary, especially when he use to speak in English.. did you work on that also?
We have taken cinematic liberty in this area. For dialogues punches I have worked on something in between my way of speaking on screen and Azhar?
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