By: Reshma Kelkar, IndiaFM
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Nagesh Kukunoor's first film with a star-value celebrity in the cast was to happen with Aashayein where he had cast John Abraham as the main lead. The film being produced by the Percept Picture Company was formally announced on Tuesday evening in the presence of Nagesh Kukunoor, John Abraham and Shailendra Singh, the CEO of Percept Picture Company.
Nagesh sounded quite positive about the project. "Aashayein has always been my dream project and I am extremely excited to do this film. The word Aashayein means hope. It is one of those words that struck in my mind during Iqbal. (Aashayein was the theme song from Iqbal). There are lots of up and downs in the film but eventually while watching the film you'll understand how the title is so apt".
Interestingly John had a narration of Aashayein on phone and he agreed to do it there and then itself. "Nagesh narrated the story idea to me some time back on phone itself while I was in LA promoting Water. I loved his concept so much that I agreed to do the film there and then itself. In fact I was so excited about this film that I told Nagesh if we could start this movie early. But he had some other prior commitments. So this will be my next project after Goal."
On the outer surface John is brawny but from inside he is equally emotional at heart. "I love subjects that touch my heart. Aashayein is one of them. I read the script of Aashayein five times and broke down every time after reading it. I have seen Nagesh's earlier works and would like to work with him on a great project like this"
Ask him on his character in the film and John says, "I am playing a gambler in this movie". So what's his biggest gamble in life been? "I think getting into films was the biggest gamble of my life because I did not plan that", he reverts instantly. "I was a model and I wanted to be a good model. But when I got into films, I think I was the biggest gamble for all the producers who cast me in their film."
So how come John came into the cast of this film? Nagesh has an answer, "When I thought of this character I gambled on John. When I spoke to him about the film I knew that he had done Water but I hadn't seen it. I saw Water after Kabul Express and was happy that my gamble had paid off. After seeing his performance in Water I am excited to work with him all the more. So it's a gamble that has paid off handsomely".
Explaining on the theme of his film, Nagesh adds, "Gambling is a metaphor for life. We all gamble for something or the other. Aashayien is more about gambling on life rather that hopes. The film centers on John and there are some characters that support him. We are in the process of finalizing others in the star cast".
And wasn't John a little apprehensive about doing a small film? John doesn't believe in big or small movies and one thing that matters to him is subject. "You see there were many big projects that bombed on box office but there were many small films with bigger ideas that worked. I think Aashayein has a big idea."
While this was about his movie, John is currently all geared up for the Oscars. There has been a little change in his looks as well. "I have trimmed my hair a bit as I have to look a little neat. I'll be wearing something very Indian like Achkan. It's a black tie affair so I have also got a black suit designed by Narendra Kumar Ahmed and Rocky S for the two events i.e. Oscar and the Governor's event. I don't really concentrate on dressing because I dress very simply. I am a white T-shirt blue jeans guy.
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