John Abraham was last seen on the big screen in Madras Cafe (2013). But the actor maintains that in his time away from the limelight, he was busy developing ideas for his upcoming production ventures. Now, as he is set to appear on the silver screen again, the 42-year-old says that he only wants to do work that is creatively satisfying. Here, he talks about his future plans, and more.
You haven’t had a release in two years. Was this a conscious decision?
It is important to do work that you really like, rather than quantify and keep a benchmark that you need to be seen on the big screen at least twice or thrice a year (sic). I don’t think there is a set rule. I’m doing the work that satisfies me. The first film that really excited me after Madras Cafe (2013) was Nishikant Kamat’s next, then Rohit Dhawan’s upcoming movie, followed by the second instalment of Force (2011).
So what has been keeping you busy?
Of late, I have just been developing content. Madras Cafe took me six years to develop. Of course, all the credit for it goes to Shoojit Sircar (director). He and I tried for so many years to get the film out, but no one wanted to touch it initially.
Why do you think that was the case?
It takes time for people to understand that we are in the business to make good cinema. As a producer, that has always been my intent, and that’s why I made Madras Cafe. No one wants to take someone’s money and run away. Similarly, I have utilised these two years trying to create content that is sensible.
Don’t you think that staying away from the limelight at the peak of your career can have its disadvantages?
I look at it this way — if a guest comes to your house every day, you will get fed up, and drive him or her out. But, if a person comes to your house after a long time, you will make him or her sit, and offer him or her something. I’m like that guest. I feel that the audience is more concerned about spending money on something worthwhile. So, it’s important to make films that are entertaining.
The kinds of films that you take up as an actor are quite different from the movies you have backed as a producer.
I have been a big fan of slapstick comedy. I love to watch Hollywood actors like Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell. I enjoy this space, and I am happy that I’m doing such films. But as a producer, I would like to make movies like Vicky Donor (2012) and Madras Cafe (2013). I want to do thought-provoking films now, because that will build my filmography. But does that mean I wouldn’t do a comedy? I will, as it offers the audience variety.