He is one of Bollywood’s hottest actors. And he has a good range of films in his kitty. But John Abraham is in no hurry – he wants to experiment with his roles and feels he has the time to do it.
‘I’m improving. I know I’m doing better. If you ask me to name my best film, well, it’s still to come…. I want to do all kinds of films. I want to experiment. And why not? I have the time. I think my strength is my audience… people are with me and I’m very happy,’ said John, while speaking to IANS, during a visit to the capital.
John’s Oscar-nominated ‘Water’, a film about the plight of widows in pre-independent India, is releasing Friday, and he says he worked very hard to make his character, Narayan, convincing.
‘I learnt to play the flute. I learnt Sanskrit. I also learnt how to wear a dhoti. The picture is in sync sound so I couldn’t afford to go wrong even when I was playing the flute. I worked on changing my style of walking – in all my movies, if you’ve noticed, my body language is the same, but in this film I’ve tried to walk like ‘Narayan’. It was very important to get under the skin of the character.
He is confident that his female fans are going to like him in his Gandhian avatar in ‘Water’.
‘My character is very endearing, especially for women. I think Narayan is the ideal character for a woman to fall in love with.
‘When I was asked to do a workshop for ‘Water’, I reacted: ‘Why should I?’ But when I saw the final product, I was very satisfied.’
John, who was recently seen in ‘Taxi No. 9211’ and is also doing Anurag Kashyap’s ‘No Smoking’, says he is not making any special effort to endorse meaningful cinema.
‘I have not made a conscious effort to move on to meaningful cinema. If I like the script, I do it. Films like ‘Water’, ‘Zinda’, to an extent ‘Taxi No. 9211’ and ‘No Smoking’ are a different kind of films. I want to do such films because I want the audience to think that if it is a John Abraham movie there’s definitely something different in it.
‘Having said that, I would say that I prefer doing action movies. I tried action only once – in ‘Dhoom’. The film did really well. I want to go back to action movies on a large scale. I want to do a big action film, with bikes and cars – a film that children would love.’
What about his fans who say they prefer watching him in emotional roles?
‘Yes, I’ve noticed that the audience likes me in intense roles – in roles where I cry a lot. I don’t know why!’
John feels that an actor has to break through his own stereotype: ‘I think you have to set trends. If I have long hair today and if everybody wants long hair then it’s important for me to realise my hairstyle is happening. But, if I don’t break my own trend then no one will.’
He has quite a few good films under his belt. After ‘Water’, Mehta is repeating him in ‘Exclusion’ with Amitabh Bachchan. ‘I am also doing Vivek Agnihotri’s ‘Goal’ and films by Sriram Raghavan and Nagesh Kukunoor,’ said an excited John.
John feels that ‘Jism’ was the film that first helped him make a mark in his career: ‘Children loved ‘Dhoom’ but adults – those between 18 to 25 years – loved ‘Jism’. I think it was the turning point in my career, before ‘Dhoom’ came and did the rest.’