By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Your performance in Deepa Mehta's Water has been widely appreciated?
Not too many people in India have seen it. And I didn't tom-tom it. It's such beautiful film. In Canada Water has catered to an all-white audience. And they were completely taken aback. We've never had reactions like that before. For them the whole concept of the film was alien. It's one thing for audiences here to call out John Abraham. It was quite another when they did it there. I was proud. If I've to reach to a global audience I'd rather do it through a film on an Indian theme like Water.
Has it opened doors for you abroad?
I've had offers. But I don't want to proclaim, like other actors out here, that I'm doing a Hollywood project. Here they don't seem to know the difference between Hollywood and any other international project. I wouldn't like to make a fool of myself by making such proclamations. There's no offer that I'd like to talk about. I'm considering some. But I'm doing none till next year.
But you're doing Deepa Mehta's Komagata Maru?
Yeah...but we still need to finalize dates. Honestly, for the other role she needs Mr Amitabh Bachchan. Only he can do justice to it. He's a rock star. Mine is more a Bhagat Singh kind of a role.
What new films are you doing?
I'm doing Nikhil Advani's Salaam-E-Ishq with Vidya Balan. She's damn sweet. It would be a nice different pairing. I've signed Sriram Raghavan's very sweet romantic comedy Happy Birthday. Sriram is super-talented. And his concept is so interesting. I'm also doing a film with a new director Babar to be shot in Baghdad. I'm choosing very very carefully. I need to work with filmmakers who'd get the best out of me. I still need that one huge film in my career.
How happy were you with your comedy in Garam Masala?
Not very happy! It took me the first four days to grasp the genre. But I don't think I got it completely. I've a long way to go. Credit must go to Akshay Kumar and director Priyadarshan for pulling me along the laugh-line.
How has your career been so far?
Today I'm able to dub for Kaal and Viruddh in a day! The industry has been very patient with me. At a time when big heroines refused to work with me, Mr Amitabh Bachchan worked with me in Aetbaar. Mr Bachchan and Bipasha have been very supportive. I'm very close to Abhishek and the entire Bachchan family. I wouldn't want anyone to say anything negative about them. In their unspoken way they've been very supportive. Abhishek is a colleague and co-star I'm most comfortable with. You can't take away from that boy's success. He's sweet, and he has worked hard for it.
Any new endorsements?
Yes I've just signed on as UN ambassador for drugs and crime. And I'm the sole ambassador for Diet Pepsi in India...Good fun. I'll endorse only a product that matches my image, physically and psychologically. I won't do alcohol. In real life I don't even touch wine. It's not a morality issue. I just don't like the smell of alcohol.