After years of active work in plays and several Bollywood films as an actor, Barry John is about to go behind the camera for the first time. Interestingly, the film he’s slated to helm was initially speculated to be directed by Mira Nair. Turned out she was already committed to other productions and Barry ended up spending over a year mulling over a new screenplay.
Renowned for guiding actors such as Shah Rukh Khan, Manoj Bajpayee, Lillette Dubey, Freida Pinto, Kunal Kapoor — and more lately, Arjun Kapoor and Varun Dhawan — Barry is cautious enough not to divulge much details about his debut directorial venture.
Tentatively titled The End of the Bandit Queen, it is inspired by events in the life of Sher Singh Rana who stands accused of assassinating Phoolan Devi, the dacoit-turned-politician in 2001. He is currently an under-trial in Tihar Jail.
“All I can say is we’re entering the pre-production phase and the casting is being done. It’s a biopic with thriller as its genre. I’m excited to be part of the project,” says the British-born theatre veteran who last appeared in Chittagong.
On being asked what took him so long to decide to become a film director, the Delhi-based sexagenarian laughs before adding, “Oh gosh! I don’t know to be very frank. Maybe I was waiting for a realistic film like this one here to happen.”