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‘This One Is A New John Abraham’

John Abraham on his maiden production, Vicky Donor

Have people started addressing you as ‘Mr Producer’?

Jee aaj subah se mujhe producer hi bulaa rahe sab log and it’s a special feeling as I feel I have graduated. I’m excited with this new role and hoping for the best for my film Vicky Donor, which is releasing on April 20. Vicky Donor is a winner of a script. I’ve seen the film and it’s outstanding. I am confident and relived that it’s my first production. At John Abraham Entertainment, I want every film that is produced with or without me to be of 100-per cent quality.

Weren’t you supposed to start your production house with another film, not Vicky Donor?

I had always planned on turning producer and Vicky Donor was an accident. Shoojit Sircar brought the Vicky Donor script to me while we were meeting over another film. Aur padh kar mujhe bahut achi lagi aur humnein decide kiya ki I will present this and we’ll do the casting since we had decided that I would not be acting in the film. We finally found the right cast in Aayushmaan and Yami. So my first production happened by chance and by accident.

Turning producer is a natural progression for any actor, right?

Ya, I always knew I was going to produce but, like other actors, I had always thought I would star in my first production. But I am not. I wanted to be effective as a producer, to see what I could do from the outside. I think that’s the only difference

How do you handle the conflict of script against marketing? And how most films boast heavy and effective marketing gimmicks against a hollow script?

I have chosen films and directors that I believe in. In the case of Vicky Donor, I thought even if this chap (Shoojit Sircar) delivers 60 per cent of what his writing promises, he will be a winner. When I saw the film, it was 120 per cent better than the writing. Content is important to me; marketing comes next. But I wouldn’t say marketing is not important but it has to be looked at after securing quality content.

Wasn’t your item song Rum whiskey a marketing gimmick?

If it was just an item song, we could have avoided it. But being a producer, I thought I should not lose an opportunity. So, taking precautions for my leg, we shot all night as it’s a driver song and my presence would give it more weightage.

Do you think you’re in the best phase of your career?

I’m very confident because I’ve grown as an actor and I’ve understood the modalities of being a producer. I am enjoying the great combination. This one is a new John Abraham and it’s just the beginning. (Laughs)

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