Actor Emraan Hashmi has been in the Hindi film industry for almost 14 years, but the one film which he considers a career-changer was Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai (2010).

The multi-starrer featuring actors Ajay Devgn, Kangana Ranaut, Randeep Hooda and Prachi Desai was a hit with both the audiences and critics.



“The experience of working with Ajay was great. I had worked with Kangana before this film, and Prachi and Randeep were amazing too. People had never imagined me in this kind of cinema, considering the serial-kisser tag I had”, says Emraan.

He is appreciative of the fact that the makers had confidence in the subject. He says, “The director Milan Luthria and the producers dared to take the risk, and had belief in the potential of the film. Facing the camera in the character was a huge change for me.”

Emraan played the role of the rebellious Shoaib based on a real-life underworld don. His character locks horns with the smuggling overlord of Mumbai, Sultan Mirza, played by Ajay Devgn. Emraan reveals what appealed to him about the film.

“Before this, there had been landmark gangster films like Vaastav (1999), Company (2002) and Satya (1998), and I myself had rejected a lot of films based on the underworld”, he says.

“When Milan started narrating the script, I realised he had done something fresh and new with the concept. It was a ten minute narration, and the story focused on the vulnerabilities of the two characters Sultan and Shoaib. He didn’t even have a full script, but I was sold on the narration. And of course, there was the visual aspect- the cars of that era, the clothes, complete with the bellbottoms!” Emraan adds.