For close to 15 years, Emraan Hashmi has lived with the tag of a serial kisser in Bollywood. Bit by bit, his selection of films and roles changed.
When Emraan Hashmi asked about, if he felt smothered in that image, which eventually led to a change in his approach to his work.
To this, Emraan admitted, "I don't know what exactly a serial kisser is. Years ago, when I was shooting in Mauritius, I bought a T-shirt which had 'Serial Kisser' written on it. Around that time, I had played bold roles in four films in a row. While it was normal for me, it wasn't for a lot of others. People were noticing that I was kissing so many women on screen. And then, when I made a joke out of that tee, it got stretched too far. I've never associated myself with the serial-kisser image. In fact, I've never attempted to impose any image. It was blown out of proportion."
But no one can deny the fact that it became difficult for people to accept him in films like 'Azhar', where the sex and kissing scenes were not as amplified as, let's say, they were in the Bhatt camp's movies.
Emraan says, "We have a prefixed notion of what the audience wants. After one of those many erotica thrillers that got me the serial-kisser label, I reached a saturation point and decided to do something different, which drove me to do movies like 'Awaarapan', 'Jannat', 'Shanghai', 'OUATIM' and 'Ghanchakkar'. However, all throughout, people either underlined the fact that the raunchy scenes were there, or they highlighted their absence. I found the latter amusing. After a point, it was stifling and boring to play up to that perceived image. Today, I don't even think about the tag because I moved on from it 10 years ago. It's lost its punch. So, I don't think that was the reason people thumbed 'Azhar' down. It was made well, but there was a perception that people had of the story and what they saw didn't meet that. Ours wasn't the Azhar they knew."