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This article was first published 12 years ago

John Abraham: I would love to do Force 2

Last updated on: November 23, 2011 18:48 IST

Image: A scene from Desi Boyz
Sonil Dedhia in Mumbai

Fresh from the success of Force, John Abraham is all set to tickle the funny bone in Desi Boyz directed by first-timer Rohit Dhawan. John and Deepika Padukone make a pretty pair in the film that co-stars Akshay Kumar and Chirangada Singh. It will release on November 25.

John talks to Sonil Dedhia about what Force has done for his career, why he wants to be known as Action Abraham, and why he guards his private life so fiercely that he would "react probably like how a tiger reacts" to any intrusion.

So, are you happy with how Force has done at the box office?

Force is the biggest hit of my career so far. The sad part is that it was not pushed to the level it could have been otherwise it could have been a bigger success. 

I did whatever I could but then there are limitations from the production house. Overall, I am very happy with the film.

Does box office success matter to you?

Yes it does, and I have learnt that over a period of time. In the past, I wouldn't be bothered if my film failed to click at the ticket window. Today, if I select a film that I know may not deliver the numbers, I make sure I make it in the right budget.

'I would not like to do an experimental film'

Image: John Abraham

Would you agree that Force is a much-needed boost to your career?

Force has been a revelation for me. I did not want to prove a point to anyone except myself. The media was concerned that if Force doesn't work, what will happen to John Abraham.

I proved a point to myself and said it's time to get back to work. I have proved myself with the film. If anyone needs bigger hits from me, let Force 2 come. I'll show what I can do.

With the success of Force, are you now planning to concentrate on the action genre?

The success of Force has convinced me to do a lot more action films. After Dhoom, I've not attempted any action films. Force has been my biggest opening ever and it says that people like to see me in the Action Abraham avatar. I would like my character ACP Yashwardhan to continue.

Nishikanth Kamath (director of Force) and I have not discussed a sequel to the film, but I would love to do Force 2.

So would you agree that formula films work at the box office?

Yes, I would agree because whenever I have experimented with my films I have failed (smiles). Right from No Smoking to Kabul Express to Jootha Hi Sahi, all of them failed.

Karan Johar once told me 'you have got a commercial face and body so you should only do commercial films', and it's true.

If you ask me today whether I would like to do an experimental film, the answer would be no. But if you ask John Abraham the person whether he would love to be a part of No Smoking 2, I would love to do it.

I would like to work with Anurag Kashyap again. He is a rockstar director.

'Akshay and I have got a winning combination'

Image: A scene from Desi Boyz

What are your expectations from Desi Boyz?

Akshay and I are coming together after six years. I hope Desi Boyz lives up to the promise what Garam Masala delivered, but I am sure it will do better. It's a fun film and I am very excited about how the audience is going to react.

How was it working with Akshay this time around?

I keep joking with Akshay that in Garam Masala, there were not three but four girls as I was new and was unsure of what I wanted to do.

There were great comedians like Paresh Rawal and Rajpal Yadav in that film and somewhere I felt lost. 

Today, with Desi Boyz I am very comfortable with Akshay and I think we are both on the same page. I've learnt a lot from him, especially about comic timing. We have got a winning combination.

Akshay recently mentioned that he would like to learn comedy from you.

(Smiles) Akshay likes the fact that there is a certain ease with which I do comedy and he finds it very funny. He has started enjoying the way we both perform; in comedy, it is very necessary to have the jugalbandi between two actors.

You will surely see the comfort level in Housefull 2. It's a slapstick comedy but I guess we have taken it to a new level.

'Rohit is a combination of David Dhawan and Farhan Akhtar'

Image: A scene from Desi Boyz

This is the first time you are paired opposite Deepika Padukone. How was the equation with her?

We really enjoyed working with each other, which is visible in the promos of the film. Our chemistry looks beautiful in the film.

Off screen too, Deepika and I get along very well which makes a difference when we work together.

What is your take on debutant director Rohit Dhawan?

Rohit is an outstanding director. He is a combination of David Dhawan and Farhan Akhtar. As a director, he has got his comic timing in place. His father is a legend. Rohit is a very calm and focused approach to filmmaking. He has his own identity.

You worked with David Dhawan in Hook Ya Crook but, unfortunately, the film did not release. What is that one difference that you see in him and his son Rohit?

Rohit is very structured whereas David will improvise on the sets. David is fast and spontaneous and has around 70 to 80 films to his name while this is Rohit's first film. 

When you see the film, you'll realise that Rohit is the actual hero of the film. He has not only directed the film but also edited it, done the screenplay and has also written the film script.

'My body is not the central point for me'

Image: John Abraham

You play a male escort in the film. In the same situation, would you do it in real life too?

In the situation that prevails in the film, I wouldn't mind it. There are absolutely no issues. I am from that very old school of thought that prefers to earn money for what I do rather than be very choosy.

I am conservative to a large extent, but am projected as completely the opposite. I still don't understand how a person can enter a discotheque and come out kissing some random person they met there.

People consider me very cool, and I may be cool, but at the same time I am very sensitive and emotional.

Nowadays we see you experimenting with your body. Do you think that directors today are primarily concentrating on your physique?

I remember when New York released, Aditya Chopra told me that people will now start looking at you in a different light. With Force it was very clear that the audience loved the film and the buzz was visible. I can't take any credit for my performances as the director is responsible for it to a large extent.

I feel the people I am working with have a lot of confidence in me. In the past, the perception of John Abraham was only his physique and his body. Today, when Sanjay Gupta, who is directing Shootout at Wadala comes and talks to me, we discuss the mannerisms and dialogues rather than my physique.

As an actor, I have progressed way beyond my body. It is a visual medium so today, even a Shah Rukh Khan or Aamir Khan or any actor is maintaining a great physique. My body is not the central point and I have worked hard to have such a good physique so why should I not play around it if it adds a lot to the various characters that I play? 

'I am training like a beast for Race 2'

Image: A scene from Desi Boyz

Your next two releases (Desi Boyz and Housefull 2) are comedies. Do you think somewhere it will hamper your 'Action Abraham' image?

No, I don't think so. I have started shooting for Race 2 and I am training for the film like a beast. The John Abraham you are going to see in Race 2 is something beyond Force.

Also, Shootout at Wadala is very raw. I don't think I want to lose the 'Action Abraham' image. Whether I like it or not, I'll make sure that it stays with me for the next 10 years.

Can two actors be best friends?

There is a lot of professional competitiveness in the industry, which is really good. It all depends how you define friendship. For me, a friend is someone I can call in the middle of the night to discuss anything.

I am very close to some people. I am close to Akshay, Abhishek Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt. I don't call them every day or compete with them, but they are my close buddies. I feel we all complement each other rather than competing with each other.

Do you believe in camps?   

I think the whole camp system is hyped in the industry. Today, actors have friends and if an actor is comfortable with some people that does not make a 'camp'. It is the media that has made up this word 'camp' and I don't belong to any of them as I don't hang around with people nor am I a party animal.

'I fiercely protect my personal life'

Image: A scene from Desi Boyz

You are working with new and young directors.

Nishikanth Kamanth is one of the best directors that the country has seen. Desi Boyz is Rohit Dhawan's first film and I am sure once the film releases it will just take him to a higher level than where he is today. He is one of the finest new age directors in India. If Desi Boyz works, it is only because of Rohit.

How do you react to the rumours of your personal life?

I fiercely protect my personal life. I will never comment on my personal life in public. I will hold it like a fortress close to me. If anyone comes in the way of my personal life, I will react probably like how a tiger reacts.

In the past I had a gestation period where my personal life was out in the open, but I have passed that stage. Right now, I just want to work in good films and have a simple and a beautiful life.

'I think Shootout At Wadala will be the Vaastav of my career'

Image: A scene from Desi Boyz

Is there any special kind of research that you are doing for Shootout at Wadala?

Director Sanjay Gupta has done some unbelievable research. I am playing Manya Surve and it feels like I am living in 1982. Anil Kapoor will play super cop Isaque Bagwan, Vivek is playing Dawood Ibraham. I have heard that for the role of Julio Ribeiro they want to rope in Naseeruddin Shah and for Haji Mastan they want Nana Patekar.

Do you think the traditional villain in Bollywood has come back?

Sanjay Dutt is remembered for his brilliant performance in Vaastav. I think Shootout At Wadala will be the Vaastav of my career. I want this film to be etched on my tombstone (Smiles).

You are also planning to sing in Shootout At Wadala?

Yes, sounds scary, doesn't it? (Laughs). The music composers Faizal and Bilal of Stings have come out with something interesting. It is a hardcore item song.