By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Thursday, October 05, 2006
First Deepa Mehta's Water, now Ravi Chopra's Babul.... In both John Abraham plays a progressive man who wants to marry a widow. And there's another film on widow rehabilitation Dor which people are talking about.
"Deepa's Water is going to be distributed by Ravi Chopra who's directing me in Baabul .And I'm going to be working with the Dor director Nagesh Kukunoor. Look at the thread of continuity... Isn't that something?" says John surfacing after a while to express his immense delight at Water being nominated as Canada's official entry to the Oscars.
"When I was in Toronto to promote Kabul Express I spent a lot of time with Deepa Mehta . We really hit it off. I guess the rules for Indian cinema abroad have changed. Today it's really cool to be Indian...And then you come back and see the potholes on the road from the highway.... I can criticize my own country. But I won't allow anyone outside my country to do so. Thanks to films like Water, it's really cool to be an Indian abroad."
John is delighted by how far Water has gone. "I remember at the Toronto film festival last year there was Steven Sodenberg, Tim Burton, Steven Spielberg and Sir Anthony Hopkins at the Festival. That's when I realized Water is special. I've no clue which way the film will go in India. But we can always hope for the best. Water deals with a sensitive issue of widow re-marriage."
He's surprised by the impact of Water worldwide. "Water is solely responsible for giving me an identity as an actor abroad. When I went back to the Toronto film festival this time, the North American press and movie-goers who waited outside the hotel knew me by name. They had my photograph to sign. And Water is solely responsible."
While last year John was in Toronto with Water this year he took Kabul Express. "Kabul Express didn't feature in the gala section. But it reinforced the fact that I was there two years in the running. It's considered prestigious to be at Toronto film festival twice in two years. Cameron Bailey who got Kabul Express there said onstage, "I promise you a John Abraham film every year.'
John is open to an international career. "But I haven't really said yes to anything. Right now I'd rather focus on my projects here. Yes, there's a probability that I could do an international project next year. But not right now."