Nuclear tests were India’s most defining moment,” said Actor John Abraham who is all in the limelight after his new movie release ‘Parmanu’ which tells a story around the nuclear tests conducted in 1998 at Pokhran, Rajasthan.
Personally influenced by Parmanu in his childhood days, John Abraham said that “I was very influenced by Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, and by the nuclear tests. It defined the trajectory in my life because of incidents that were associated with the sanctions that followed. I was planning to go somewhere, to a college, (but I) didn’t get through. There was anger at first, then the understanding came that this (nuclear status) can make India great… I started thinking like an Indian and started feeling like a nationalist.”
“I think today’s youth does not know what happened 20 years ago in May 1998,” John said. In his head, when he thinks of the most defining thing in India’s history after Independence, he feels it’s one when India had circumvented US satellites, fooled everybody and conducted nuclear tests right under their nose.
“It is the biggest case of nuclear espionage in the world, and it happened on Indian soil. I thought it was a story to be told. I asked myself, ‘Is this film very difficult to pull off?’ And then I smiled because I was going to do it. And because it was difficult to pull off, and was not a formula film, I decided to do it.”
To answer the question straight, John said, “When I decided to do it, I knew I wanted to make an engaging thriller like ‘Argo’, ‘Eye In The Sky’, like ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, where it doesn’t matter if the young audience cares what happened 20 years ago or not.”
“But the by-product, like in any of my films – be it ‘Vicky Donor’ or ‘Madras Cafe’ – when you walk out, you walk out feeling that ‘Wow, I am proud to be an Indian… This is cool that India did this. I didn’t know this’. That’s what I wanted to achieve with this film.”
John, who will soon start working on spy-thriller Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW), says he may be more frequent in action films but comedy has always been his favourite genre as a performer.