Chances are, if you are making your Bollywood debut alongside a huge star, your spotlight will get dimmed a little. And, if it’s opposite the notorious “serial kisser” Emraan Hashmi, then it’s the lip-locks that will eventually get more recognition than your acting capability. And, that's probably what happened to the newbie-on-the-block, Kingfisher bikini calendar model Esha Gupta.
However, the lady is pretty unperturbed about the focus being more on her kisses, but insisting that it's time we didn't make such a huge deal about one kiss, or seven!
“I think we must look beyond the whole facade of kissing, because in the West it’s treated normally. It’s the requirement of the film. Kissing is not such a big deal. It’s very normal.”
So, if it’s the “7 kisses” with Emraan that won her instant glory, so be it.
In fact, it has, in a way, fast-tracked her Bollywood entry, with the lady walking away with two more plum projects, one with the Bhatt-brothers, Mahesh and Mukesh, for “Raaz 3” and the other with Prakash Jha for “Chakravyuh”.
While she was “quite nervous” about her first on-screen kiss, she admits that her seasoned co-star ensured she wasn’t intimidated. “I was nervous throughout and it wasn’t restricted to just the bold scenes.”
Her task, however, was to focus on the sensuous side and not make it sexual. “We had to make it real, and if I hadn’t performed well then it could’ve ruined the story.”
In fact, there’s nothing remotely romantic about doing such scenes, she elaborates, explaining how “at the end of the day, it’s very technical, with an entire team working behind the scene and constantly telling you which side to tilt your head, so that the shot looks natural”.
Esha also waxes eloquence about Emraan, stating; “For me, he’s not a serial kisser but a great actor. And that’s what matters. And, for every scene, whether it was intimate or not, he ensured I was at ease.”
Even her parents weren't wary about her pairing with Emraan. “In fact, my mom is his biggest fan. Even when everyone else in the family was a bit unsure, she was always talking about how he’s going to be a big star one day and believes people will recognise his talent.”
And, there's even reference to the ever-gorgeous Angelina Jolie, which her mentor (and filmmaker) Mahesh Bhatt doesn't let die down by constantly hamming about her “striking resemblance” to the Hollywood star at every press meet.
“It’s a good feeling but people will not see beyond the looks. Honestly, I don’t see any resemblance myself,” she claims, adding, “But I’d take it as a bigger compliment if people started saying that my acting capability is as good as hers.”