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Finding the perfect fit

Updated on: 29 February,2024 05:23 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Priyanka Sharma |

Creator Roy discusses collaborating with Emraan and KJo for Showtime

Finding the perfect fit

A still from the series

Collaborations often are fodder for innovation and excellence. For creator Sumit Roy, the making of the Disney+ Hotstar series, Showtime, proved to be a testimony to this fact. The series sheds light on the behind the scene functioning of the film industry, the power tussle between insiders and outsiders and volatile nature of fame. Featuring in Showtime—produced by Karan Johar—are Emraan Hashmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Rajeev Khandelwal, and Mouni Roy, among others.

Roy shares that multiple discussions with his fellow writers about their own experiences in the industry gave birth to the primary characters, including producer Raghu Khanna, played by Hashmi. “Raghu is an arrogant producer. He is a prick and a bas#$@*. He is successful and a force of nature. And has a street vibe about it.

 Sumit Roy

[Luckily], Emraan also loved the script and was onboard,” explains Roy, adding that the character’s fearlessness matched that of Hashmi’s. “This role requires a certain fearlessness because there’s a lot of grey and darkness in him. We wanted someone who has a certain swag and star credibility but is not afraid of delving into the darkness of the character and retrieving something that makes other people uncomfortable. Emraan just went for it without fear.” Roy claims that it was while watching Hashmi in Shanghai (2013) that he first felt the impact of the actor’s versatility. Although he detests the word, he says that Hashmi is “an underrated actor”. “At the current stage of his career, Emraan is fearless. He will go the extra length if he is excited by the character. And that’s what he did on Showtime.”

It marks his third collaboration with Johar, following his work on the latter’s directorial Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani and Gehraiyaan (2022). Crediting Johar for his support and giving him free rein, Roy says, “He is a man who can take a joke on himself. He wants to know how things are changing and wants to surround himself with people who push him. Which is why he manages to reinvent himself and stays relevant.” Roy was surprised when Johar took an interest in him and conversed for over an hour at their first encounter a few years ago. “I wondered why he would be interested in my work because I had only known his public persona. But when I went to meet him, which resulted in writing Takht for him, he spent one hour just talking about me,” he recalls.

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