Time to focus on potential talents: Mahesh Bhatt
It was Bhatt who gave Emraan his first break in 2003 with `Footpath` where he played a supporting role alongside Bipasha Basu and Aftab Shivdasani. But it was `Murder` a year later that brought him in limelight. He continued to work with Bhatt camp in `Zeher` (2005) `Gangster` (2006), `Awarapan` (2007), `Jannat` (2008), `Raaz – The mystery continues` (2009), `Tum Mile` (2009) and `Murder 2` (2011). Most of his movies did well at the box office and earned him the tag of serial kisser.
"Emraan post `Murder 2` may now look like a safe proposition because till then it was not like that. Post `Jannat` he was emerging but still not finding takers.. people were accepting but media was not after him. After `Once Upon a Time in Mumbai` and `Murder 2` he has had phenomenal success. Today he is a major star. Having created monster we will not let this monster devour us. Otherwise what is the point of saying that we will not work with stars," Bhatt told PTI.
The Bhatts are known to introduce newcomers like Emraan John Abraham (`Jism`), Kunal Khemu (`Kalyug`), Sonal Chauhan (`Jannat`), Neha Sharma (`Crook`), Sunny Leone (`Jism 2`) and others. They have never much worked with stars. "He (Emraan) has other people to work with which will make him richer. He is our flesh but he does not have work with us always. That is why Kunal Khemu is one of the major actors in whom we will invest. Even Randeep Hooda is a great actor..his potential has not been exploited properly and plus many more. We will not lean on Emraan Hashmi only, otherwise we will be like anybody else. We will move away from the safety of being with Emraan," Bhatt said.
Following the success of OUATM, Emraan was flooded with offers from established filmmakers. He did Madhur Bhandarkar`s `Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji` and Milan Luthria`s `The Dirty Picture`, and both did well at the BO.
There have been constant reports of differences between Bhatt and Emraan over reasons best known to them to which the producer-director says, "The world is not a static place. People change, change is the fact of life, even I am not the same anyway and neither is he (Emraan)."
"I never felt that he should limit his sight to my understanding… I was wrong in advising him not to play Dawood for OUATIM. My protective thing was it would be bad for him to play the most demonised terrorist of all times. He went ahead and did the film and I respect that Emraan was right.. I was wrong," Bhatt said.
Now that Emraan has become a star, the filmmaker would rather shift his focus on other budding actors. "I am happy that we have a actor, on whom people laughed, called all names and today is star and whose who of industry wants to work with him. He is not my destination; it is not like there is some kind of feud. I feel Kunal Khemu needs my support more than Emraan. If you ask me who I would support from the two of them I would go for Kunal.. Emraan is a star and he has support of the industry," Bhatt concluded.