With no confusion or ambiguity in his mind, model-actor-producer John Abraham is aggressively promoting his ready-to-release Madras Cafe, saying it is not a multiplex movie and that he is targetting selective audiences who can appreciate it.
After his first successful production venture Vicky Donor, this is his second film and he is also acting in it. "We are very clear that we are not a multiplex film," John told IANS, adding that a limited number of prints were being released. "We are not apologetic about this. We are not trying to make our film a mass entertainer."
"I am an actor and can make 10 other mass entertainers, but this film is to reach out to a specific audience and I don't have a problem with that. I don't have a problem if I find my audience on Monday. I will be very happy if I find my audience on Monday," he said.
Directed by Shoojit Sircar, Madras Cafe, a spy thriller high on action, features John and Nargis Fakhri in the lead. It is slated for an Aug 23 release. Busy promoting the film, John said: "This is a political thriller and each film has its own audience. We have to find our audience for the film."
"This is not a Welcome Back or a Dostana where you get your audience. For this film, you have to search for your audience. I am sure people will appreciate the effort that we have put in; at least that's the intention with which we have done it. I hope it does not go unnoticed."
Nowadays, filmdom has a new yardstick to measure a film's box office success - the Rs. 100 crore club. But John doesn't agree with this, saying: "All Rs. 100 crore films are not the greatest films. There are Rs. 20 crore to Rs. 30 crore films that are brilliant."
"As an actor I am doing Welcome Back and Dostana 2. I am doing the most commercial films which will go beyond any numbers, but it's important to make a film like Madras Cafe. I am very proud of the film," he added.
He may have his fundas clear about the release, but he admits that producing films is a daunting task. "As an actor you only think about your acting. Now that I am a producer, I have understood how much responsibility is on your shoulders. It's very difficult and challenging. I did an MBA. Before modeling, I was interested in advertising, so to present a film is my passion. As a producer it became a progression. Being an actor is great, but being a producer is very difficult," the 40-year-old said.
He also shows a bent towards regional cinema. John, a half Malayalai, said: "I can't speak Malayalam, but yes I accept my interest in Malayalam films. I would like to do some guest appearance with Mammootty and Dilip to start with. I really believe their cinema is unbelievable. You have to see Malayalam films to see their depth. I am a very proud half Malayali."
John's father is a Malayali, while his mother is a Parsi.