'I know Abbas and Pakhi well. They make a beautiful couple. There's absolutely no awkwardness about doing a love story with the director's wife,' John said.
He said Pakhi has co-written the script and knows the characters well. 'She's an unknown face and extremely pretty. These are her biggest advantages. A beautiful woman whom the audience hasn't seen.'
'I'm going to sit on script readings with Abbas, do workshops and rehearsals with Pakhi, just like Abbas did with the cast in 'Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na'. I'm hungry for acting challenges,' said John, who seems to be quite serious about his new project.
'But most of the time my physicality comes on much too strongly on screen. People haven't really seen the performances I'm really proud of, like 'No Smoking', 'Kabul Express', 'Zinda' and 'Aashayein'. My physicality always takes precedence. But I'll change that. I've been in this industry for only five years. People have started looking differently at me after 'Dostana'. The body was talked about. But when they praise my performance it really feels good.
'When Abbas offered me that film he was directing 'Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na'. The film's producer Madhu Mantena had 'Ghajini' in the making and I was doing 'Dostana'. By God's grace we all have a success on hand. So we're a proud team. It's an intense love story and it's such a wonderful space to be in. Before 'Dostana' I was only doing films that kept me within my comfort zone. Now I'm going to test myself as an actor as much as possible,' John said.
Asked if he would feel awkward directing love scenes between his wife and John, Abbas said: 'I hope not, if I can remember they're acting. Luckily I've never written explicit love scenes in my film. The only explicit love-making scene I've conceived was for Vishal Bhardwaj's 'Maqbool'. That apart, I like my writing to be benign. It doesn't matter whether my wife is acting or not. I can't forget my parents will be watching my film.'