How important is it for Hindi films to be showcased at prestigious events like Cannes? Or do you think it's not?
I think it's important to have a film showcased at such events so you get a spectrum of audience who come and see what the film is all about. Goal is a film that can appeal to the foreign audience as well and not necessarily the British audience.
You've shot Goal from start to finish in U.K for almost three months. During your stay, did you meet any of the famous footballers?
I haven't met the current footballers but I did meet some of the ex-Arsenal, West Ham and Charlton players. I used to follow the English premier league back home but now I follow it even more minutely. I'm totally in love with it. I don't support any clubs but I like individual players such as Christiano Ronaldo, Fabregas, Drogba, Schevchenko, etc. I also adore watching other leagues and players like Ronaldinho, Messi, Beckham, etc. So, I just enjoy the game and love seeing these great players on field.
What was the most difficult moment while shooting with your football choreographer Andy Ansah?
I remember while I was doing my introduction scene in Middlesex with an imaginary club in the film which we call Aston. I was playing with some boys and they were very good at it. My shin splints were at its worst then. I was going through accupuncture and it was snowing that day. The ball kept hitting my shins and I thought that my leg was broken. I just couldn't take it. But Andy makes you practise twenty to thirty times before a shot, and I couldn't tell him that my legs are hurting because he might think that I am making an excuse. So I ignored the pain and carried on my work. Ultimately, it all paid off when Andy told me that I was the only actor among all the footballers who is playing football without a double being used.
The last time we met you said that you've started your own brand in India. But what about your fans in the U.K who want to buy John Abraham brand? Where should they go?
Well, right now we are in our third line. We've sold the other lines completely. With John Abraham - the brand - primarily is sold in India because people know me in my country. We are in talks about opening a franchise in the U.K, Mauritius, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc. Any nation with an Asian population is going to understand what the brand is about and what the philosophy behind it is - that's me - travelled, distressed, worn outlook and the classics.
What is your Goal in life?
My Goal in life is to make sure that as an actor I should appeal to the international audience. For me, it will be a moment of pride and pleasure to be recognised as an Indian and as an actor who is accepted by the world over.
Why should people go and watch Goal when it releases?
As I've always told my director that I do not know what this film is going to do, where it's going to go, etc. But one things sure, it will unquestionably work in the U.K.
What's your favourite track from the film?
There's an instrumental of a track called 'Hulla Bol' which is the Southall anthem. It's an inspirational tune and if we draw similarities, it's like the Rocky 4's training montage. There is another song called 'Dude, don't mess with me' where all the Southall guys are training on. I can't tell you how good the music is because it's so damn good.
What's going to be the parting words for your fans?
I would like to say a big Thank You. They've been there with me always, and at all times I've mentioned that the audience has forever been my Godfather and my top priority because I know that I'm the only outsider who still exists in the industry because of my audience. I love them all.
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