By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
Friday, October 19, 2007
John Abraham believes in living his character. While shooting for Kumar Mangat and Vishal Bhardwaj"s No Smoking, the actor smoked up to almost 90 cigarettes a day as the role demanded it. After the shooting of the film was complete, the actor went for chest X-Ray and found his
lungs had turned black.
'Think I"ll stop now"
Director Anurag Kashyap adds, “John smokes cigarettes in only the first 20 minutes of No Smoking. He"d smoke almost five packs a day (fifty cigarettes a day) and as he"s not used to smoking, it really gave him a tough time. After the last smoking scene, John swore to us he wouldn"t touch a cigarette after that."
Adds Kashyap, “Since he"s very health conscious and had to play a footballer in his next film Goal he had to clean himself up and start preparing for the role. He didn"t have time left to build his stamina so he started exercising and working out two hours a day for three months till his lungs cleared up completely."
Anurag is all praise for Abraham. He says, “John has often been criticised as an actor but after watching this film you won"t remember anything from the film but John! It"s a fantastic performance for him as he carries the entire film on his shoulders." Kashyap adds, “He"s put himself through so much for No Smoking – got a sinus, a smoker"s bad throat and even shot next to a dirty nullah in Dharavi. The scene required him to get down on his knees on the ground in a filthy place and he"s done that willingly as the role demanded it. In the process, he"s scraped his knees badly but not once did John complain. We shot in a small room next to the Dharavi nullah and he would sit there day in and out eating his food without any AC or fan."
The director is all praise for the accommodating actor, “John never asked for any special treatment, traveled economy with the rest of the unit and stayed wherever the crew stayed. Once I asked him to come in a rickshaw to avoid the crowds and keep his vanity van away and he did that. In Uzbekistan a limousine was sent to John but the executive director ended up using it as John felt uncomfortable using it. John Abraham is the most down to earth actor I have ever worked with."
Anurag says, “No Smoking is many things from comedy, horror drama to thriller — all rolled into one. It"s a statement about society and the ills of smoking and how it can kill your family. John is a man trying to decipher the situation he"s in. The film pays a tribute to all kinds of films, even Balaji serials. It"s not a niche film."