John Ibrahim After he completed
Viruddh with Amitabh Bachchan:
'I have gained more acceptability in Big B's Heart'
Post-Viruddh, Amitabh and John are as comfortable
together as peas in a pod.
John, who plays the son Amitabh loves and loses in
Viruddh, talks with affection of the film he holds
close to his heart. Excerpts:
You worked with Amitabh Bachchan in Aetbaar and now
in Viruddh. What has been your experience? He makes
me feel at home, he is a very chilled-out guy. Incidentally,
I have two more films with Amitabh on the floor.
must have been quite a change to play the son he dotes
on in Viruddh after playing the bad guy in Aetbaar?
I have gained more acceptability in his heart now
(laughs). As I said, I am doing more films with him.
Currently, I am vying with Abhishek and Akshay Kumar
for his onscreen affection!
is known to get into the skin of his character. Have
you tried to imbibe that from him?
him, I try my best to immerse myself in my character
completely. For instance, if I am playing a brooding
character, I keep to myself before a shot.
special preparation did you make for your role in
much. In Viruddh, I play a good son who shares a warm
rapport with his parents. I am a good son in real
life also -- my mother will vouch for it -- so it
was easy for me.
Viruddh, you are working with the style icon of the
1960s and 1970s: Sharmila Tagore. Considering you
are the acknowledged style icon of the current millennium,
how did you hit it off?
Sharmila Tagore is a wonderful person. She is fun
loving, sweet and cute. And she is still so very beautiful.
It was a pleasure working with her because she is
a stickler for time. She talks incessantly about her
family; I enjoyed conversing with her.
moments with her did you treasure from Viruddh?
the film, Sharmila, who plays my mom, fires me all
the time -- it reminded me of my equation with my
mother. My mother always forces me to eat and gets
upset if I don't eat as much as she thinks is right
for me. My screen mom Sharmila Tagore does likewise
in the film.
is the X factor that made you choose Viruddh?
The story. It is sensitive and powerful.
heavyweights like Amitabh, Sharmila, Sanjay Dutt in
the film, is it possible for you to have good screen
this movie, I am the narrator of the film so I am
there from the first scene to the last. I tell people
that I am omnipresent in Viruddh.
was a time when producers preferred to get your voice
dubbed. And now, your voice is considered good enough
to make you the sutradhar of the film.
you believe it? I am using my own voice and that too
with Mr Bachchan in the same frame! It gives me a
very big kick. Nowadays, there are times when I dub
one film a day. Viruddh took me two-and-a-half days
to dub, six concentrated hours of dubbing in all.
Dutt and director Mahesh Manjarekar share a close
bond. Did you worry that you could probably be sidelined?
On the contrary, I was very happy that Sanju was a
part of the film. I love watching Sanju on screen.
is about Amitabh's opposition against the system.
In real life what do you oppose and what issues do
against red-tapism and bureaucracy. I am completely
against cruelty to animals too.
special thoughts on Viruddh?
I hope in real life I never come across anybody who
is in a situation similar as Amitabh in this film.
Viruddh is a stark and real film. I can proudly invite
half a dozen people and declare: 'Watch this film.'
dictates the choice of your films today? Big banners,
big directors or the moolah?
never consciously chosen commercially successful set-ups.
How else do you explain the fact that most of the
directors I have worked with till today have been
first time directors? I go by my gut feelings, my
next after Viruddh?
just finished shooting for a comedy with Priyadarshan,
starring Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal. I am going
to wear my hair short for Milind Luthria's Taxi Nau
Do Gyarah in which I rub shoulders with Nana Patekar.
I have an important
role in Deepa Mehta's Water (it was earlier called
River Moon) which will open at the prestigious Toronto
Film Festival. It is a very important film for me
and I hope it reaches out to audiences all over the
world. In fact, for the first time my fans will get
to see me in a dhoti in Water!