by Subhash K Jha
After director Sam Mandes’ spectacular spousal success directing his wife Kate Winslet in the richly resonant Revolutionary Road in ‘1-800-Love’ John will be romancing his director Abbas Tyrewala’s wife.
And he is cool about it. “I know Abbas and Pakhi well. They make a beautiful couple. There’s absolutely no awkwardness about doing a love story with the director’s wife.
Pakhi has co-written the script and knows her character and mine, in and out. She’s an unknown face and extremely pretty. These are her biggest advantages. A beautiful woman whom the audience hasn’t seen.”
John is dead serious about this project. “I’m going to sit on script readings with Abbas, do workshops and rehearsals with Pakhi, just like Abbas did with the cast in Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na. ‘m hungry for acting challenges.
But most of the time my physicality comes on much too strongly on screen. People haven’t really seen the performances I’m really proud of, like No Smoking, Kabul Express, Zinda and Aashayein.
My physicality always takes precedence. But you know what? I’ll change that. I’ve been in this industry only five years. People have started looking differently at me after Dostana. The body was talked about. But when they praise my performance it really feels good.”
Where next? “Nagesh Kukunoor’s Aashayein. I’m very proud of it.Yes, it has been delayed. There’s a problem between Reliance and Percept that needs to be sorted. We’re working on a solution.
Aashayein is a beautiful film and we have to release it. Another film I’m really excited about is Kabir Khan’s New York. I know I’ve got it right this time.
Kabir says so. It’s an awesome film. And I’m thankful to Aditya Chopra for showing faith in me at a time when I didn’t have Dostana.”
John describes himself as an off-roader. “I travel my own road. Like I’m doing Abbas Tyrewala’s 1:800 Love. When he offered me that film he was directing Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na. The film’s producer Madhu Mantena had Ghajini in the making and I was doing Dostana.
By God’s grace we all have a success on hand. So we’re a proud team and very comfortable with.
It’s my intense love story and it’s such a wonderful space to be in. Before Dostana I was only doing films that kept me within my comfort zone. Now I’m going to test myself as an actor as much as possible.”
When questioned whether he would feel any awkwardness directing love scenes between his wife and John, Abbas Tyrewala said, “I hope not! If I can’t remember they’re acting then I lose the moral ground to ever a direct a girl in a love scene. Luckily I’ve never written explicit love scenes in my film.
The only explicit love-making scene I’ve conceived was for Vishal Bhardwaj’s Maqbool. That apart I like my writing to be benign. It doesn’t matter whether my wife is acting or not. I can’t forget my parents will be watching my film.”
Kiddie times again for Aamir