The Telegraph
Tuesday , November 12 , 2013

‘Jamshedpur’s got talent’

John Abraham, Bollywood’s favourite hunk-with-brains, was in Jamshedpur on Friday and Saturday to shoot for his forthcoming home production with a fruity name. Directed by debutante Sajid Ali, who’s the Jamshedpur-born brother of hottie director Imtiaz Ali, Banana is Jamshedpur’s first major Bolly link after Udaan. Looking dapper in a smoke-grey cardigan and a pair of khaki trousers, the B-town heartthrob agreed to chat with Animesh Bisoee at Loyola School amid lights, camera, action...

Why Jamshedpur?

Sajid (Imtiaz’s brother) decided to shoot the film in the city, as he felt the script suited it. The audition was also done here earlier this year. The film is being shot at Loyola School, as the director is an alumnus (batch of 2003) and the school is an integral part of the film. The portion we are shooting here is the time when the all-boys’ school went on to become a co-ed institution

Tell us about the talent from the steel city

Jamshedpur students comprise more than 70 per cent of Banana’s cast. I am coming to the city for the first time and am surprised to see how talented the young brigade is. They are bright, intelligent. There’s no dearth of talent. I did not expect this kind of performance from teenagers, most of whom are facing the camera for the first time

How was it working with Sajid?

I am very impressed with the way he works. The journey till now has been simply wonderful. I am sure Sajid will go on to become the director of the future

Besides Loyola students, who else is there in the film?

It’s mostly a new cast. Incidentally, the father of both Imtiaz and Sajid, retired Tata Steel executive Mansoor Ali will make a brief appearance in the film as principal S. Puthenpura of Loyola School.

So, what’s Banana all about?

Well, I really cannot say much at this moment. But, I am sure Banana will surprise the audience and make them nostalgic. It’s a coming-of-age film. Banana traces the character’s teen journey

What is the tentative release date?

The shooting is expected to be over by mid-December. We will hopefully release it during the summer holidays

Offbeat subjects like Vicky Donor and Madras Café seem to attract you. Any comments?

Both the films have done good business. I will continue to work on unique subjects with quality scripts off the beaten track

John Abraham is known for his passion for superbikes? Any advice?

Guys, please obey traffic safety rules while driving. Wear helmets and avoid rash driving