I feel like a meat shop: John Abraham
In hit film ‘Dostana’, John Abraham flaunts his well-toned body on Miami beaches and when the camera panned lovingly over him, many men and women almost swooned. But the actor says he never shies away from talking about his body.
Q: Correct me if I’m wrong, but the film is called ‘New York’; why were you shooting it in Philadelphia?
A: Because the topography is similar. A lot of films located in New York are actually shot in Philadelphia. I was shooting for three long months and if it wasn’t for my parents and brother and sister-in-law and Bipasha visiting, I’d have gone crazy. When they all came to see me, I stopped feeling homesick. I was away for so long sometimes when I woke up I forgot where I was. Before Philadelphia, I was in Miami shooting for ‘Dostana’ for three months.
A: Now I go to Boston for Abbas Tyrewala’s film. When I’m away what I miss most is the home-cooked food. My parents were over, but I wouldn’t let my mom cook here. I pampered her, looked after her like a little baby. That’s what one is supposed to do with one’s parents, specially when they get old, no? I think I’ll take them to Boston too. Dad is an architect; so he loves to check out the buildings and architecture. But before Boston I come back to Mumbai to do a film ‘Hook Ya Crook’ with David Dhawan..
Q: You’re a good son.
A: I’d really want to believe I’m a good son.
Q: How was the shooting in Philadelphia?
A: Gruelling, but very satisfying. I shot the most emotionally and physically exhausting scenes of my life. Frankly, I haven’t done an action film since ‘Dhoom’. It’s a genre I really enjoy. ‘New York’ has very effective action. I not only had a lot of running around to do, but I enjoyed myself. At this point of my career I just want to push myself beyond the limits.
Q: By wearing the briefest briefs and giving an interview on why you wore it!
A: Oh, that was an endorsement for ‘Dostana’. And, besides, I’m never ashamed of talking about my body. Though at times I do feel like a meat shop.
Q: So why go on and on about your body?
A: I am proud of my physique. But I feel I’m also good with emotions. In fact, I perform the best when I’m unhappy. I function best when in angst.
Q: Happy to be a gay icon?
A: I’ve been told that. And I accept it very graciously. But women have reacted as strongly to me in ‘Dostana’ as men. Some have reacted to the sensuality; others to the fitness. But everyone has a query about my body. Very often I don’t know how to react. Initially, it was fun to be regarded as a body beautiful. I wonder how audiences will react to my physicality in my next release ‘Aashayein’ where I’ve lost 30 pounds.
Q: ‘New York’ is your second film with Kabir Khan?
A: I loved doing ‘Kabul Express’ with Kabir. I loved shooting in Afghanistan. I’m a sucker for pain and agony. Now I’d love to shoot in Iraq. My grandfather was from Iran. My mother’s cousins are in Iran.
Q: Neil Nitin Mukesh, who’s shooting with you in Philadelphia, has great respect for you.
A: He’s like my younger brother. I love him for the fact that he dotes on his parents. He’s a wonderful kid with a great future. We spend a lot of time together.
Q: Is Deepa Mehta’s ‘Luna’ with Rachel Weisz off?
A: Deepa and I haven’t spoken about it. As for ‘Komagata Maru’, I’d still be willing to play the other lead because it’s as important as Akshay Kumar’s role. It’s always a pleasure working with Akshay. He’s a very positive person. We get along beautifully.
Q: What else have you signed?
A: Only Abbas Tyrewala’s film. Beyond that I haven’t really opened my account book, I’m happy doing films I’m completely convinced about. I’d love to work with Anurag Kashyap again -. I can talk to him for hours. Like me he’s happy doing his own thing. I’m an off-roader while other actors are on the highway.