With an 18-year career in Bollywood that is filled with some of unusual choices of films that hold strong recall value, John Abraham is trying to cater both sections of audience – urban and mass. The actor says, he does not have the fear of failure and that drives him to take risks.
The actor is known for ‘Jism’,’Dhoom’, ‘Dostana’, ‘New York’, ‘Kabul Express’, to ‘Madras Cafe’, ‘Parmanu’, ‘Batla House’ and the latest released ‘Satyamev Jayate 2’.
While some of the above-mentioned films are very clearly commercial potboilers and some are much loved by the urban audience, asked if he has any strategy to make such choices, in conversation John opens his heart.
John said: “I think the only strength that I have in my career since the beginning is, I have no fear of failure. Initially, there was a list of films that I did that were ahead of their time. So they did not work for the larger audience immediately after the release. I was ok with it. I also knew from the beginning that, every story has its set audience.
“If not instantly, eventually the story will find its audience. So, there are films that I did and that earned a lot of money at the box office, which wasn’t something I was expecting when I was making the film. I never put myself under pressure imagining the negative result of the end product. ‘Zyada se zyada kya hoga’, it won’t work for the audience, right? Ok, we will move on to the next film. I live film to film and keep moving on.”
His latest released film ‘Satyameva Jayate 2’, a Milap Zaveri directorial is a sequel to ‘Satyameva Jayate’.
How the new film picks up at the box office, one has to wait and watch.
Meanwhile, John shared some of the films that are very close to his heart.
‘Jism’: Released in 2003 the film received a lot of love and appreciation from the critics and audience alike. John said, “It will always remain a special film for me because it was my debut. My favourite song ‘Awarapan Banjarapan’! it was first time I got so much adulation from the audience. I realised how my long hair and physicality became a rage among youngstars but for me, back then, I was just a guy passionate about storytelling. Trust me, I am still the same.”
‘Dostana’: One of the most successful films that came out of Dharma Productions in 2008 featuring Abhishek Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra, the film had a humorous take on the gay relationships. “When I read the script, I just found it funny. I was laughing throughout the reading season. That was it for me to come on board and do the film. Yes, the rest is history! But I wasn’t very calculative about it. I was going with the flow,” said John.
‘Dhoom’: Released in 2004 the first instalment of the franchise John, who played the traditional ‘bad guy’, really changed the image of the villain. Again, his physicality and passion for bikes created a rage among a whole new generation due to the success of the film. “When I look back I wonder how that magic happened really because I am the bad guy, I had no track of love story or song picturised on my in the film.
“All I had is the character and my bike! While I couldn’t predict the end result of the film that turned out so successful, I would go back to my earlier point, I had no fear of failure. You see, that is the point, my driving force,” said the actor.
Quite interestingly in all these films that become cult, John has received a lot of appreciation for his strong screen presence and good looks. Be it his bare body, long hair look in ‘Jism’, flaunting his biceps and walking around the Miami beach in ‘Dostana’ and biking in ‘Dhoom’.
Does the good looks put him into the box of non-actor, in the eyes of the critics?
“Hey, but I am the same guy who did a film called ‘New York’, a very important story that was. I did ‘Water’, ‘Madras Cafe’ and ‘Kabul Express’ too. I did a film called ‘Zinda’, ‘Force’…well the list is long and I am not being defensive here. I am trying to say in the initial stage of my career when I did those films, ‘subtle acting’ was not a trend then. So, the performance wasn’t noticed perhaps but those films are still watched and loved! Now, I am trying to reach out to every section of the audience, my choice of films is a reflection of that”, John signed off.