Richard Burton to play Bob Woolmer in 'Jannat'

Mar 27, 2008

Mumbai, March 27 (IANS) A British actor called Richard Burton is playing murdered cricket coach Bob Woolmer in Mahesh Bhatt's movie on cricket and match-fixing called "Jannat".

Burton, a cricket coach-cum-actor, was also a friend of Woolmer's in real life.

Burton is not related to the legendary Richard Burton, says Mahesh Bhatt. "An actor named Richard Burton is playing Woolmer's character. He was a friend of Bob's and coaches cricket at Essex."

Having an actor who knew Woolmer play his character could be a masterstroke of realism.

But Bhatt, who has borrowed liberally from real life in all his movies right from "Arth" to "Woh Lamhe", warns against real life interpretation of "Jannat".

"'Jannat' is essentially a love story set against the world of match-fixing and the death of a coach is an important turning point in the plot. However, it's the story of a bookie (played by Emran Hashmi), not a coach," he said.

This is not the first time Emran is in a reality film. Says Bhatt: "'Jannat' has been taken from real life incidents of the World Cup. It is about irregularities in our sporting spirit."

It is relevant at a time when sports, glamour and big bucks are so closely linked.

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