By Radhika Bhirani
New Delhi, Sep 9, During her college years, scriptwriter-actor Pakhi was starry-eyed over handsome hunk John Abraham. And when she sat down to write her first script, she had only him in mind for the lead role.
Pakhi has acted in her husband Abbas Tyrewala’s directorial “Jhootha Hi Sahi” which she also wrote.
“I wrote this script for John when I was in college. But at that time, he wasn’t available. Then after my marriage, Abbas had gone to talk to John for another project…that’s when he happened to mention this. And John immediately said ‘I’m on’. There was no chance to think of anybody else for the role. It was always John from the beginning,” said Pakhi.
“Just like every crazy fan, even I used to collect a lot of pictures of John and even my mobile caller tune used to be his song ‘Aawaarapan’ (from ‘Jism’). It was my dream to work with him,” the 26-year-old said.
So what happens when a star-struck girl meets her idol and gets to work with him too?
“When I finally got the chance, I realised he has no starry tantrums…he is just truly and superbly inspiring to work with,” Pakhi told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
“Jhootha Hi Sahi”, set for an October release, is a romantic comedy about Siddharth (John) – a compulsive liar – who causes conflict in his own story of love with Nishka (Pakhi).
The protagonist is a boy-next-door, who wears average clothes, has a paunch and even wears bulky spectacles – a complete contrast to John’s reel-life image.
“It used to be quite interesting to think how John, who is among the best looking men in Asia, would play a guy who has the most average looks. But he did it. Believe it or not, within five minutes of the film, you will forget you are watching John Abraham,” she said.
The 26-year-old, who has earlier acted in Hansal Mehta’s “Ye Kya Ho Raha Hai”, says she is amazed at the actor’s humbleness.
“John used to stand up and give cues for all actors irrespective of whether he is in the shot or not. Now who does that? There was an emotional scene on one bridge and I was extremely nervous about shooting it. But he came forward and encouraged me by saying very inspiring words. He knew everyone’s name on the sets…he is a completely fantastic person,” she said.
Wasn’t hubby Abbas ever jealous?
“Abbas did make me change my caller tune ‘Aawaarapan’ back then, but not because he was jealous. He was just concerned that his casting director for ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’ couldn’t have that as her caller tune!
“We weren’t dating then. But jokes apart, Abbas is a very secure person and he has no problems with my male friends. He understands…,” she said.
Working with her husband on this film was a refreshing change for Pakhi.
“Abbas never had any problems with me working in films or with him. But he was apprehensive if I will be able to keep personal and professional relationship separate. Neither of us carried our relationship to the sets. For me he was just ‘sir’ while shooting.
And Abbas can be a strict taskmaster too!!
“As for my script, he made me rewrite it eight times before approving it and then asked me to back off from it completely. But I am happy with the outcome,” the actor said.
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)