Bollywood

One-on-one with John Abraham: I don’t believe in awards, and maybe I don’t deserve them

John Abraham is all set for the release of his next film Rocky Handsome a film that he believes in. But before we got him speaking about the film, we decided to ask him about his brother’s environmental project that he will be taking up as a social cause.

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What is the Bombay Greenway  Project?

It’s a  green pedestrian corridor  that will have  cycling track above Mumbai’s railway lines and has been designed by my brother Alan Abraham who is an architect. This project will start  from Churchgate and end in Virar. He wants to make a green pathway where there will be no vehicles. There will be parks, cycling paths, children’s play area and green patches for the senior citizens to walk on. There will be shops on the sides where you can buy stuff. He will be approaching the government soon with the blueprint. This will be a zero pollution area.  Some international cities have this facility.  He’s  working on a lot of projects  currently but this he wants to do this for the people of Mumbai.

We heard you have made certain strict rules for yourself of being a responsible citizen?

I realise that it’s difficult to get certain things done when you make certain rules for yourself. I don’t pay bribes. I don’t cheat.  I don’t dance at weddings too. I don’t think dancing at weddings is wrong but I don’t believe in it and I won’t do it to earn money. I also don’t believe in awards and maybe I don’t deserve them. I have survived in this industry for 13 years with these beliefs and I want to continue being like that.

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Do you think that the projected box office collections of films are tampered with?

Sometimes perhaps. Most of the collection figures cannot be tampered with.

Tell us something about your upcoming film Rocky Handsome?

This is a clean commercial film. I have made an attempt to make an honest film. The USP of the film is action. There is hand-to-hand combat. I trained for a month in Thailand to make these action scenes look realistic. The girl calls him (the character) ‘handsome’ and his code name is Rocky. He is a deadly weapon. You have to see the film to understand and he’s someone the audience will root for. He’s not the quintessential good guy or a bad guy. We also made sure that the action is made palatable for  women. Hence we have not shown any bloodshed.

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How did you find this little girl (one of the characters) for the film?

We auditioned a lot of girls but this girl is outstanding! She is six and she knows the script by heart by now. During the dubbing we found out that she knew everyone’s lines by heart too!  She is a natural. We luckily found her. I think she is also doing Salman’s Sultan. She has done a small role in Kick. Nishi (Nishikant Kamat) and I love her to bits.

What made you cast Nishikant Kamat as the villain?

Nishikant’s friend was originally scheduled to play the villain but he developed cold feet. In the end we thought Nishikant would make the best villain who we went ahead with him.

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Did he (Nishikant Kamat) find it difficult to act and direct at the same time?

I helped him get on with his role. Once the camera was off, he was the director again. I think he pulled it off with ease.

With T20 World cup on the cards, do you think that the audience will watch your film?      

Today there’s a sizeable young population who don’t want to see cricket. I think they will see the film.

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What next?

Shoojit (Sircar) and I are planning a huge film. Abhinay (Deo) and me are also doing a film.  I have Dishoom of Sajid Nadiadwala coming up too.

Is this film a remake of Taken?

I was a big fan of Taken but Sheel my producer told me that a Koren film A Man From Nowhere is much better (in terms of plot). So we got in touch with Sunil. Nishi saw and said he will turn it around as per our audience tastes.  We got the rights. This is an official remake of the Korean film.

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You have been doing a lot of action films, why don’t you want to do a romantic film?

Jism was a romantic film that I have done. I want to do romantic films but it should not be regular romance. No one likes regular romance films these days.

What is your take on the Censor Board?

I respect the decision of the censor board but I don’t attach much importance to the certification.  Our film has no nudity or sexual content or double meaning words or bloodshed. I don’t expect any problem from there.

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