Back in 2005, when Bipasha Basu was approached for Woh Lamhe, based on Parveen Babi’s life and inspired by the HBO film, Gia (1998), the actor was not keen on being paired with Emraan Hashmi, who she felt wouldn’t make a convincing hero.
She was quoted as saying, "Emraan is great at his work. I know him from the days he was an assistant director. My only problem is his physicality — so far, he has only worked with petite heroines; I am way too tall and big for him."
In August this year, after losing out on an item number in Murder 2 over starry tantrums, Bipasha, the original Raaz girl, returned to the Bhatt camp to sign up for Raaz 3.
Ironically, her co-star in the film is Emraan. Prod him about her earlier objections and he says tongue-in-cheek, "I know it’s technically impossible to have grown taller in the last five years, but given that height is no longer an issue, maybe I have shot up a few inches. I wonder if that’s what stardom does to you."
Emraan’s been shooting for another much-anticipated sequel, Jannat 2, in which model Esha Gupta has replaced the original female lead, Sonal Chauhan. Emraan reiterates it wasn’t on his insistence, "I never get involved with the casting. If I have an interesting character, I’m ready to work even with a dog."
Interestingly, while the female leads in Vishesh Films’ big-ticket franchises —Raaz, Jannat and Murder —have been changing, Emraan’s remained a constant. "That’s because I’ve become synonymous with the brands," he reasons. "This may sound boastful, but I don’t think a Murder, Jannat or Raaz can be made without me."