Despite being a software engineer, Imran Hasnee knew he wanted to act. He started with television and moved to films. After Paan Singh Tomar, Hasnee has finally found his foothold in the industry
I dabbled in amateur theatre while in school. I never dreamt I would end up in the film industry. I went to Mauritius to work and in my free time, I worked in some French films! Then I was planning to go to the US to work. But I decided to follow my passion. I gave up everything and boarded a flight to Mumbai. That’s how my acting career kicked off.
Tigmanshu Dhulia was making a period film on the Pindaris, titled Ghulami. He offered me a very interesting role, which was my first break. Unfortunately, the film was shelved mid-way. Then he offered me a very important role in his tele-series. I also did a Hollywood film, A Mighty Heart, starring Angelina Jolie and Dan Futterman. I had a scene in Milan Luthria’s Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai too but it was deleted from the final cut, so he later offered me a role in The Dirty Picture and then came Paan Singh Tomar.
It’s been an adventurous struggle, not hard-hitting, not humiliating.
It’s not easy to make a mark in this industry. It is difficult till you prove yourself. And for that, you need a role, and for a role, you have to prove yourself. It’s a vicious cycle. There are very few filmmakers who take a risk and have an eye for talent.
My life changed immediately after the release of Paan Singh Tomar yet I have a long way to go.
Television made me a household name. I have done numerous shows like Kasshish, where I played the lead negative actor. Then I did a show called Sapno Se Bhare Naina and many others. So if I never make a mark in films, at least I have in the television industry.
The audience today want something that challenges their intellect. Just running around trees will not do any more. The industry is maturing in terms of storytelling because it has no choice. The whole system is changing and the characters are also becoming more dominating. The new crop of talented actors has benefitted from this, and even movies that are not based on stars are doing good business.
The disadvantage is that the industry is ever ready to experiment with new faces and new talent, which means an actor’s life lasts as long the next new face is discovered.
I’m NOT Emraan Hashmi
I still receive calls from Emraan Hashmi’s fans. On his last birthday, I was flooded with calls and messages. Some of his female fans still refuse to believe I am not that Emraan. I have also received calls from directors and producers who want to cast him!
I am shooting for Nikhil Advani’s D-Day.