Tomorrow, John Abraham’s outing as a gangster will finally hit the floors. And the actor, who plays the role of slain gangster Manya Surve Sanjay Gupta’s in Shootout At Wadala, is busy preparing himself for the part. Besides working on his physique, John has also been brushing up his Marathi speaking skills with some help from Gupta’s friend and filmmaker-actor Mahesh Manjrekar.
“I’m only trying to familiarise myself with the language. Being a Mumbaikar, I understand Marathi and speak it quite well. But the idea is to get comfortable with the colloquial slang,” says the actor, adding, “I should understand it well enough to know how Manya, a hardcore Maharashtrian and Mumbaikar, used to think. It’s important for me to get under the skin of the character… to know him well, what he did, how he spoke and how he behaved.”
Shootout At Wadala, which is based on don Manya’s life, is touted to be a prequel to Shootout At Lokhandwala (2007). It tells the back-story of Mumbai police’s first-ever recorded encounter. While Anil Kapoor essays the part of encounter specialist Isaque Bhagwan, Kangana Ranaut will play John’s onscreen love interest.
“She is a wonderful actor and I’m looking forward to the new combination. It will give the film an edge, because our pairing is unique. Though it will also raise a lot of eyebrows, as people will wonder how it happened. But we will answer all those questions with our performances,” says John.
In order to understand his role, the actor has been reading material written about Manya for a while now. Calling him an “enigma” he adds, “No one knows what he looked like. There are hardly three-four pictures of him available in the records. We have several characters in the film, but I’m going to make sure people know that a guy called Manya once existed and ruled this city. I’ll make sure he is remembered.”