Directed by Shoojit Sircar, 'Madras Cafe' is set in the late 80s and early 90s in India and Sri Lanka. The spy thriller traces the political and military histories of the neighbours and covers the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Lankan rebel group LTTE's activities through the eye of an agent, played by Abraham.
"I don't think we made this film to create controversies. That has never been our marketing tool. So we are very disappointed that all this is happening so close to the release. Shoojit and me are just one film old and the last thing we wanted to do was create a controversy," John said. MDMK leader Vaiko, Seeman, founder of 'Naaam Thamizhar Katchi (We Tamils Party) and other pro-Tamil outfits have sought a ban on the film alleging that it has portrayed LTTE in bad light.
"We want to make films with credible content. It is disturbing to see what is happening at present. We have full faith in the democracy, full faith in the government and we hope that people exercise their good will and come and see the film," the 40-year-old actor said.
Asked why he decided to star and produce such a gritty film, John said being a politically aware citizen it was only befitting for him to choose such a subject. "Me and Shoojit had planned the film seven years ago. I completely loved it then. I love political spy thrillers. I am happy it has finally happened. I am politically very aware and that is the reason I did a film like 'Kabul Express' before.
"For 'Madras Cafe', we began our research in 2007 and finally the film went on floors in 2012. It has taken us that long for the script to mature," John said. 'Madras Cafe' is the second collaboration between John and Shoojit. The two have earlier worked together in last year's sleeper hit 'Vicky Donor', which also received the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. "I have blind faith in Shoojit as a person first and then as a director. As a director he is mercurial, he always makes something that is completely off the cuff. We plan to make things that are interesting every time and present something different to the audience," the 'Jism' star said.
After 'Madras Cafe' the actor will be next seen in 'Dostana 2' and 'Welcome Back', both slated to release next year. John is glad that the audience has accepted him in all types of roles -- be it of a dreaded gangster in 'Shootout at Wadala', an Army officer in 'Madras Cafe' or a fun-loving character in other films.
"I think people have been very gracious towards me. I love the fact that they accept me as a producer, as a thinking actor but they also like John Abraham in yellow trunks. I like the fact that they see both sides of the coin, so it is a pleasure to give them both," John said. John will also produce Shoojit's next directorial venture, tentatively titled 'Hamara Bajaj'.
"We will shift our focus to 'Hamara Bajaj' after August 23. It is an interesting subject. There is still work left in the script. Shoojit will get back to it once we are done with 'Madras Cafe'," he said.
'Madras Cafe' also stars Nargis Fakhri, who plays a war correspondent and will mark the debut of actress Rashi Khanna. The film will hit theatres this Friday.