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Sammir & Raima's special dosti

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By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
Monday, May 15, 2006

Sammir Dattani and Raima Sen share a special bond - one that goes back seven years, when they shot a music video together - which remains strong even today.

When Mani Shankar asked Raima to play a small role in Mukhbir, as Sammir's love interest, Raima, initially, had turned it down. It was Sammir who later convinced the actress to do it.

Responsible for Sen

Dattani does not deny his "special dosti" with Raima. "Yes, Raima and I are very good friends. I am very fond of her, as she's a very sweet and trusting girl.

When Mani sir first asked her to do Mukhbir and explained the script and role, she had refused. But I spoke to her and persuaded her to do it, as we would be working together. It also makes me responsible for her, as I shouldn't let her down. She's a dear friend whom I can really confide in."

How long has he known Raima? "It's been seven years - ever since we did the music video, Valentine's Day, in College Ke Din. We got along very well, and since then, kept in touch. Though she stays in Kolkata most of the time and I stay in Mumbai we keep in touch. Whenever she's in Mumbai, we make it a point to meet and go out."

Does Raima play his love interest in Mukhbir? "Yes, she is playing the girl opposite me, in whose house I stay as a paying guest."

Identity crisis

What is Mukhbir about? Says Sammir, "It's a film about the espionage and the Hyderabad underworld. I play a mukhbir, or informer, to intelligence agencies. It's my journey into a crime-infested world, where I have to don various disguises - from a Naxalite to Vinayak Marathi to Shehzaad Khan.

My character wears so many identities, that beneath every mask, lies another, till you don't know my real identity. I have no record of my identity. I get into this profession to avenge my babuji's death."

Any interesting scenes? "When we first started shooting in Hyderabad, it was Moharram, and there was a procession in the old city that I had to join.

People were bleeding and beating each other up, but it was part of my training, as I convert to Islam for my mission in the film. In another scene, there is a suggestion that I have undergone circumcision.

My boss, Rehman (Sunil Shetty) says there is a gang that only allows Muslims members, and will put me through a lot of tests."

Sammir has been linked with co-stars like Pooja Kanwal, in Rajashri's Uff Kya Jadoo Mohabbat Hai, and Soha Ali Khan in Pyar Mein Twist. "It's quite normal to be linked to your co-stars, but I have not dated either of them," he smiles.

"Pooja, Rajat Barjatya and I became one big gang and socialised a lot. Soha and I got linked because we gelled very well; we went out together for parties and a few films, and that's how the rumours started."

What other films is he doing? "Besides Mukhbir, there's Madhur Bhandarkar's Coprorate, Nisha Chainani's Marathon, and Rituparno Ghosh's next, with Soha. Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi are also in the film."

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