John Abraham is one of the finest actors and producers in the Bollywood industry today. Having completed almost two decades in the industry, John has successfully created his own unique place in the hearts of the audience and enjoys a huge fan-base. He stepped into the Bollywood industry with Mahesh Bhatt’s Jism (2003) and hasn’t looked back since.
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In 2005, John Abraham played the lead role in Deepa Mehta’s Water. The film is penned by Anurag Kashyap. Along with John, the lead cast of the film includes Lisa Ray and Seema Biswas.
Set in colonial India against Gandhi’s rise to power, the plot of the film revolved around the story of 8-year-old Chuyia, who is widowed and sent to a home to live in penitence; once there, Chuyia's feisty presence deeply affects the lives of the other residents. Here are some of the lesser-known facts about Water. Read ahead:
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Lesser-known facts about John Abraham’s film 'Water'
- Akshay Kumar was signed for the film in 2000. He left the project after a huge controversy surrounded the film. Manoj Bajpai was also offered the same role at another time, but things didn’t work out.
- Rahul Khanna was signed for the lead role but opted out.
- Deepa Mehta's mother saw John Abraham in the movie Jism (2003) and liked him so much that she asked Deepa to consider him for a role in this film.
- George Lucas took out a full-page ad in "Variety" to support Deepa Mehta in her struggle to make this film when Indian authorities made clear their intentions of shutting the production down.
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- The shoot in Varanasi was stopped due to threats and demonstrations orchestrated by Hindu fundamentalist groups supported by the leadership of the state government in Uttar Pradesh. The protests were based on a previous version of the script, which had been leaked, and lines of dialogue taken out of context to make them appear anti-Hindu. Deepa Mehta's effigy was also burned during these protests.
- The shooting was disrupted by extremist forces in 2000.
- For the role of Chuyia, Deepa auditioned 50 girls.
- Although Lisa Ray speaks Hindi, it is not her mother tongue. She worked on her diction to perfect the dialogues.
- Famous Indian actors Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das, who were the initial choices for the roles of Shakuntala and Kalyani even shot some scenes for this movie, but later left the project midway. The footage was scrapped as the filming could not be finished due to altercations by Hindu Fundamentalists.
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