One of Bollywood's most bankable stars, Emraan Hashmi, says people have constantly tried to pull him down. He also believes the new film Tum Mile will present him in a new avatar, having mostly essayed roles with shades of grey.
"In the kind of industry I am, every creative person has a judgement to make about someone else's performance. After doing a movie, I may think that I have come up with my best act, but others may think otherwise. You can't help it," shrugs Emraan, 30.
"This is something that has happened ever since I made my debut with Footpath. I went on to deliver successful films practically every year with Murder, Zeher and Aashiq Banaya Aapne followed by Aksar and Gangster. Still people have tried to pull me down," Emraan said.
He is sitting pretty on the back to back success of Raaz - The Mystery Continues and Jannat. A year earlier, he came up with one of the best ever acts of his career in Awarapan.
And now he is about to be seen in Tum Mile, his most expensive film till date that will release on November 13. It co-stars Soha Ali Khan.
"It's a welcome change to have absolutely no grey shades in my character," says Emraan.
He is positive that after the release of the film, he would be looked upon as someone who can also show a sensitive side.
"For that opportunity, I am thankful to my director Kunal Deshmukh. If not for him, I would have continued playing the kind of roles I have been successful in. In fact, when Kunal spoke to me about the role, I was sceptical because I have never played a full-on romantic guy before."
He isn't overtly bothered about certain negative statements about him. "Honestly, I don't even look aside to see who is around for competition. There is nothing wrong if people choose to reserve certain remarks for me.
"To each his own since I have to basically live up to my own judgement and fulfil the expectations of those who matter," he says.
He has his fair share of admirers and supporters though.
"Yes, there are some out there who have been quite supportive throughout my career," he agrees. "My goal is to keep delivering successful solo hero films and also do an occasional multi-hero film if I have an equal part. This is why I agreed to do Milan Luthria's Once Upon a Time in Mumbai."
While he has been doing well as an actor after spending more than half a decade in the industry, does he have any plans to turn producer?
"I don't want to be in the hot seat," shoots Emraan in a tone of mock horror. "Mukeshji [Bhatt] tells me that being a producer is the toughest job in the world. I agree with him since he has decades of filmmaking experience.
"Today I am happy being an actor. Any aspirations to be producer are best kept on hold for a later stage."