Deepa has decided to sign John for a key role in her next multimillion epic project 'Komagata Maru'.
Says Deepa: 'After 'Water' I have realised how professional and pleasant Indian actors can be. John's discipline before, during and after 'Water' is exemplary. Here was this actor from an English-speaking background who mastered the Sanskrit words in the dialogues, learnt to play the flute and to wear the dhoti and came on location in Sri Lanka fully prepared.
'I was totally bowled over. As the shooting progressed, I realised what a fine performer John was. I think subconsciously I had made up my mind to work with John again even before 'Water' was completed.'
'I think it's very important to have the cast in place. When I close my eyes, I see Mr. Bachchan and John in 'Komagata Maru'.'
Elaborating on the impact John has made on the director personally and on the movie, Deepa says: 'His goodness of heart shows up on screen and in his real-life conduct. You have no idea how much of an impact John made with his performance. He has mobs of fans of every age and gender running after him.'
Deepa regrets her first choice for the two leads in 'Water' didn't work out.
'I sincerely wanted Kareena Kapoor for the main lead. I had seen her in 'Refugee' and thought she was the perfect blend of beauty and talent. She's ethereal. I thought she would be perfect as Kalyani. I flew down to Mumbai, met her with her mom. Kareena seemed so excited. Then suddenly I was left with only her secretary to deal with...
'As for Rahul Khanna, I am very fond of him. It's a pity he couldn't do 'Water'. But it was all for the best. Because I can't imagine 'Water' without John and Lisa.'
John goes into 'Komagata Maru' as soon as Deepa finishes her script. 'Right now we are enjoying the attention after 'Water'.'