John tells us about an incident that occurred while shooting in Uzbekistan, in minus 20 degrees Celsius and four feet of snow.
"In the film, I run about 10 kilometers a day. There was this Russian actor who was dressed as a soldier, who had to run behind me. I told Anurag that I would run but this guy would fall. But Anurag said the Russian would be used to running in this terrain. So I ran for about 200 meters and everybody started shouting 'cut.' That guy had collapsed, as we were shooting on high altitudes and there wasn't much oxygen. They had to pump him with oxygen and rush him to the hospital, as he could not breathe!"
Looking at his recent choice of films, one can't help but wonder if John wants a change in image from the long-haired star to a thinking actor. "Honestly, you start doing different kinds of films when you start believing in them. I did Water because I loved her films, 1947 Earth and Fire. After that, I loved the concept of Kabul Express even before Yash Raj Films decided to produce it. I selected No Smoking when it didn't have a producer. But yes, I am doing films that are more meaningful.
"There have been films, where I was told that there are big stars, and it was a safe bet to do it. I refused initially. But they insisted. Those movies failed. So today I want to do different films. I don't mind if they fail because I know they will be good," John says.
Asked whether he was hinting at Ravi Chopra's Baabul and Salaam-E-Ishq -- both big-budget multistarrers which bombed -- and he says, "I am hinting at a lot of my films like Lakeer."
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