John Abrahamis a crowd-puller, a fact evident from the Gladrags Manhunt Contest, which he won in 1999. Today, he is on the sets of Mukesh Bhatt's new film with London lass Katrina Kaif.
Sporting a beige shirt, blue jeans and a stubble, John, whose mother is Parsi, father Malayali, says he wants some feedback on the promos of his debut film Jism, in between bracing sips of carrot juice and a vegetarian salad. Rohini Iyer tells him they look steamy.
"Even my mom was amused!" he grins.
Though he refuses to discuss his romantic linkup with costar Bipasha Basu, he can't stop raving about how good she is in the film.
On his character inJism
I play Kabir, a Casanova lawyer. He is this cool dude, full of attitude. His life revolves around wine and women. He does not take life seriously. One day, he meets this woman who teaches him about life and love. It is an interesting script.
On his movie debut
Many feel my debut is unconventional. But I am happy. It's a perfect launch. It's not your average, predictable newcomer kind of launch. But, yes, I am doing the normal hero bit in my other films.
Jismis like a revelation. I know I have a decent body and a good-looking face. People would expect me to do the usual hero-bashing-up-villain thing. But what makes Jism special is that it focuses on my acting talent. My vulnerability comes across on screen beautifully.
On his modelling career
I got into modelling after I completed my MBA. I became a media planner. One day, my media director suggested I should take up modelling. I decided to give it a try.
He told me about a modelling competition. I picked up a crumpled magazine for the details and filled out the form. And I won it -- I became the Gladrags Supermodel of the year!
I went abroad on modelling assignments. But I felt that people in India must know who John Abraham is. So I came back and started modelling here. I also did a couple of music videos. One of them, Chupke chupke, brought me a lot of film offers. At the time, I was not sure about acting. So I decided to establish myself as a model and get into acting when I'm ready. I'm ready now!
On his forthcoming films
After Jism, there's Vikram Bhatt's Aitbaar, with Bipasha as my costar. The film also stars Amitabh Bachchan. Vikram is a great director to work with. I'm looking forward to Aitbaar because my role is a surprise.
Then there is Ahmed Khan's film. It has a great cast and great music. There is also Mukesh Bhatt's film which I'm shooting for with Katrina Kaif.
On whether models can act
At the end of the day, I believe talent and hard work always pay. People say male models can't act. But luckily for me, there is Arjun [Rampal] and Dino [Morea] who have done very well.
I am not here to challenge that theory though. I enjoy acting. I have no inhibitions as an actor. Modelling and acting are completely different. I'm learning and growing as an actor every day.
On Bipasha Basu
She is great in the film. As for my personal life, I do not want to talk about it. Let people say and write what they want.
A section of the media wrote I met Bipasha in hospital and I played Florence Nightingale. It's amusing to read all this. I visited her in hospital because she lives alone in Mumbai. She needed someone to be there for her. I would have done that for my other friends too.