Says Kashyap, "I have known Ayesha for a long time and we were keen on working with each other. I have seen her transforming herself from a model to an actress. Ayesha knew about the story and script (both written by Kashyap himself) of No Smoking as I had narrated the storyline to her some time ago.
Kumarji and Vishalji had been in talks with a couple of other actresses but now Ayesha has been finalised. She's in Cape Town currently and we had a long conversation with her and Ayesha instantly agreed. She will be playing a double role in the film opposite John."
Is No Smoking a dark film like most of Kashyap's films? "No, it will have Kafkaesque elements."
No Smoking is a thriller-comedy and also stars Joy Fernandes and Ranvir Shorey. The shooting of the film commenced from last week.
So how's the working experience been with John? "It's been very good. You will see a new John - John the actor. He's very focussed and non-troublesome.
Ranvir, whom John had earlier worked with in Jism, was pleasantly surprised the first day he shot with him. He looked at John and said, 'There is so much of growth in you from Jism to No Smoking.'
No smoking zone
What is John's role in the film? "He plays a chain smoker for the first 15 minutes in the film. Then John goes to a rehabilitation center to quit smoking and how that changes his life." But John is a non-smoker in real life? Kashyap laughs, "Yes. In fact, when we were shooting on Thursday there were seven retakes. Finally John said that at this rate we would turn him into a smoker!"