Director Nagesh Kukunoor speaks to Minakshi Saini on his forthcoming film Aashayein, starring John Abraham.
Was John Abraham the first choice for Aashayein?
There were different names in my mind but I felt confident once John was finalised. He best suited my intuition and was a perfect answer to all the questions I’d had while thinking of my protagonist.
What is the movie about?
The genesis of Aashayein is to start living life now. John plays a gambler who loses everything and then finds the real meaning of life.
How would you rate his performance?
I’d rather the audience judged and rated John’s performance. But I personally would love to work with him again.
How do you cast for your films?
I go with my gut instinct. If my intuition tells me a certain actor will work, I just go ahead. My only concern is that the actors I pick must justify the roles given to them.
Do you like casting newfaces or is that just by chance?
Fresh new faces are the USP of my films. I believe you get more variety with young blood. There are instances in which I need established names in which case I try to cast them.
<b1>How is it working with new actors?
An actor is an actor. It doesn’t matter whether he is new or experienced. A highly trained actor will have his own parameters to work and might not deliver a performance you want. But one always has an edge of experimentation with new actors. They bring a lot of colour to the role, as most of them are open to your thoughts.
Your USP as a director?
My uniqueness as a director could be my associationwith the field of acting. Iwas trained as an actor, so I communicate clearly and can understand an actor’s mindset.
Iqbal and Dor both had underlying messages.. do you like making such movies?
It’s not a conscious effort. Imake movies primarily to entertain the audience. But I’m human.. so I’ll obviously put in my philosophy into the script.. that might result into a message driven film.
What you hate the most about being a filmmaker?
The worst part about being a filmmaker is to promote your film. I am bad at it that is why whenever, wherever my production team asks me to go, I obey them and simply show my face at promotional events.