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Emraan was forced to kiss in Jannat

Emraan Hashmi
If Emraan had his way Jannat would remain smooch-free. "But then my director Kunal Singh got greedy," he says with a twinkle in his eyes. "He first persuaded me to do one kiss, then another." Emraan who turned 29 on March 24 was quite sick and tired of kissing…and cutting cakes.

"I had already cut four cakes post-midnight, the first one of course with my wife", he rattles off dutifully. "Then my friends had dropped in and we had a private get-together. The next morning I was on the sets and doing it all over again. I can't say I don't enjoy all the attention on my birthday. But if I really had one wish granted on my birthday it would have to be…no shooting! Sadly, that's what I'm doing today," Emraan cribbed from the sets of his new film Jannat. "The film is over. Just needed some patchwork. I enjoy working. But not at a time when I'm wanted by family and friends."

Jannat is the film about match-fixing where Emraan plays a bookie. "Though the film is inspired by real -life incidents in the cricketing world, we've covered our bases well. We don't want real-life figures from cricket to identify themselves in the film and create trouble in Jannat. So, ironically in a film based on true-life incidents we've consciously steered away from getting too close to reality for comfort."

Though real-life cricketers play the field in Jannat, they aren't modelled on any real cricketers. Does Emraan get on the field at all? "Actually I don't like cricket at all. Don't play it and hardly ever watch it. Fortunately, I play a bookie. So I don't have to play in Jannat, he mumbles sheepishly like a brat boy who hasn't done his homework.

Emraan is all praise for his costar Sonal Chauhan. "She's totally new. The 14th girl to be launched with me. I don't know how many ladies Mr. Rishi Kapoor launched in his heydays. But I'm getting there."

Emraan shivers when he remembers the uncanny resemblance between Bob Woolmer and the actor who plays him in Jannat. "When I saw the actor Richard Burton I froze. He looks so much like Bob. And on top of that they turned out to be close friends. Not me, I"d say Richard is the perfectly cast actor in Jannat."

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