Bright Side Of Desire
John Abraham is forever looking at the bright side of human nature.
He has an MBA and started his career as a media planner in an agency, until the media director looked at his chiseled looks and suggested he move to the other side of the business and model instead of planning ads. The prestigious Gladrags Manhunt contest was around the corner; John Abraham filled a crumpled form lying nearby and entered on a lark. Not only did he win, he went on to stand second in the worldwide international finals. A successful modeling stint followed abroad before Abraham returned home to make his mark in India, and once he starred in a bunch of music videos, offers to star in films poured in. John signed Aitbaar with Amitabh Bachchan and the hot and happening Bipasha Basu. That movie is still to see the light of day, but John finally made his debut in the much hyped, blockbuster Jism:The Dark Side of Desire with Bipasha as his co-star.
Jism was being touted as Bipasha’s movie, a woman oriented film where the heroine is a ruthless manipulative woman who stops at nothing to get what she wants. It was John Abraham, however, who turned out to be the surprise package of the movie, a fact that even Bipasha who is his lady both in reel and real life today, acknowledges.
Today he is hot property, and in real life, John Abraham is perhaps even better looking, but what comes across is his humility and warmth, and the fact that he is not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. In an exclusive interview with Little India, he talks of his journey so far and what he values most in life.
Tell me about your growing years.
You won the Gladrags Manhunt contest, modeled abroad and then came back.
You were a media planner, and handled the media campaigns of other models, so what did you learn from the other side of the fence?
Let us come to Jism. It was touted as Bipasha’s film, but you turned out to be the surprise package in the film with your sensitive performance and if it was not for you, the various nuances and subtleties of both the characters could not have been brought out so beautifully.
There was a scene where you realize that the woman you love so passionately has used you all along and you break down. I read somewhere that you drew upon a broken relationship and its painful aftermath, during your MBA days.
There is a scene where he realizes how he has been used and breaks down. I had gone through that pain and I can relate to someone who is emotionally disturbed, because I know how that feels. I remember doing that scene and reliving that pain and I could not stop crying even after the scene was over. Mahesh Bhatt said the last time he saw such emotional reaction and someone getting in to the skin of things was from Shabana Azmi.
It was an unconventional debut. In fact, after the first trial, every one said to me you are the first hero who is coming on the scene, out of a car crying and half dead. Is this how you want to start your career, do you have a better option? I was very sure of the film and said that is just the way I want to do it.
I really thank the audience for their overwhelmingly positive response and it has really brought home the fact that the audience is non-judgmental, hard work pays off and the time for realistic cinema and fresh themes is right now!
I also got a lot of industry support. I had heard a lot of stories about people here being unscrupulous, and I did not see that, but then I guess if you are good people want you, in any sphere of life, and if you are not, you are out.
Aitbaar was the first film you signed and it is still not finished.
I believe you are an expert in martial arts.
You too are not doing too many multistarrers, which have become the norm in Bollywood?
If there was a movie, you would give an arm and a leg for which one would it be?
In the past year with all the stupendous success, what is it about yourself that has surprised you?
That I have come this far. I still tell people that luck and timing are definitely important but nothing succeeds like hard work, and nothing is more important than being honest, sincere and a clean person. I came to the industry with no expectations, I do my work without shortchanging or undercutting any body, the credit if I succeed or the blame if I fail, is all mine, but wherever I end up I want to be remembered as a decent human being above anything else.