Just A Minute With: John Abraham on 'New York'

MUMBAI Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:18pm IST

File photo of Bollywood actor John Abraham in Kolkata fashion week April 5, 2009. The 36-year-old actor is laid up with a broken ankle he sustained while shooting for David Dhawan's ''Hook Ya Crook''. REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw/Files

File photo of Bollywood actor John Abraham in Kolkata fashion week April 5, 2009. The 36-year-old actor is laid up with a broken ankle he sustained while shooting for David Dhawan's ''Hook Ya Crook''.

Credit: Reuters/Jayanta Shaw/Files

Related Topics

MUMBAI (Reuters) - John Abraham is hurting and it isn't for the first time.

The 36-year-old actor is laid up with a broken ankle he sustained while shooting for David Dhawan's "Hook Ya Crook".

Things are looking up on the professional front though -- after the box-office success of "Dostana", Abraham is back with Kabir Khan's "New York".

The actor spoke to Reuters about "New York", his career and why he likes being called eye candy.

Q: You seem to have hurt your leg

A: "Yes, I have broken my navicular bone. I am getting used to walking on crutches though. In 2006, I broke my other leg in a bike accident. This is actually much worse than that. You know so far, I have broken four bones in my body. That’s a lot isn't it?"

Q: Tell us about 'New York'

A: "'New York' is looking good. The name of my character is Sam, a guy who is a typical jock. He has two friends, Maya and Omar, and it is about a sequence of events that changes their lives."

Q: This movie talks about discrimination and the after effects of 9/11, which is not a very common theme in Indian movies.

A: "Yes, this is not the jingoistic, America bashing film. It is a very unbiased way of (showing) what happened in America post- 9/11 and the way America looks at a certain section of a community and the way that community looks at America.

"We are also trying to tell a story that is commercial enough to be called a commercial Hindi film. The basic subtext of the plot is very different but the way it has come across is very peppy."

Q: There is a particularly disturbing scene of you in the promos, lying chained in a small cell.

A: (Laughs) I wish I could tell you more but all I will say is that you are right -- it is a very disturbing scene and we prepared for it for a very long time. I think that is one of the clinchers of the film. If that affects you positively or negatively, then we are home.

"It is not always about the time you have spent on screen, it is about the impact you make, which is what I have always believed an actor should do. If I have managed to do that, I have succeeded. But that is something the audience can say after having seen the film.

"I could blow my own trumpet and say this is my best performance, so films are better not being spoken of the actors themselves."

Q: So is it your best performance?

A: "Yes. By eons and light years."

Q: Do you remember the first time you went to New York?

A: "I am very familiar with New York. I used to go there in my modelling days. But when I went there post-'Kabul Express', I was taken aside by the authorities and questioned for six hours because I had an Afghanistan stamp on my passport.

"I remember the head honcho (sic) coming in and me talking about 'Kabul Express'. So he asked me to narrate the story to him. At the end of it, he said 'really nice story, when is the film releasing?'

"When I played Sam, it was partly reminiscent of what I went through in a very small way. But obviously, there are greater prejudices in the world and there are ways of looking at it. You either feel crucified or you give the other person the benefit of the doubt. I feel there is always a reason for someone to behave irrationally. That is what 'New York' is about."

Q: Do you face moments of insecurity?

A: "All the time. But then, you have to channelise that insecurity into excelling and doing better for yourself. Either you can sit and brood over what you don’t have, or you can work hard and try and achieve what you want.

"I have been the subject of ridicule. I have been pushed into every corner. But these days, because I have broken my foot, I sit across from my father and we talk. And he is a very wise man and he always gave me this example of a fable by William Wordsworth.

"A big man was crossing a bridge that only one person could pass at one time. Little John was crossing it from the other end. They meet at the centre and the big man told John, 'I don't let fools pass'. Little John walked back to his end, stepped aside and said 'but I do'.

"That is exactly my philosophy in life. Give the monkeys peanuts, let them rant, rave and scream, you just do your work. Be a horse with blinkers."

Q: Are you okay with being looked on as the nation's eye candy?

A: "Why should I have a problem with that? I want people to look at me as eye candy, if they don't, I would be in deep trouble. After all it is a visual medium. Why should I feel defensive?

"My audience is the one who comes out of the theatre and says 'John, we loved you in Dostana'. That's it. I don't have to sit at 40 fake award functions and go up and give the same speech 25 times, so that I can prove to the world that I have been liked by my audience. My audience has already rewarded me."


After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Republic Day

Reuters Showcase

Australian Open

Australian Open

Serena avenges French Open loss to reach quarter-finals.  Full Article 

Miss Universe

Miss Universe

Miss Colombia is crowned Miss Universe for 2015.  Full Article 

SAG Awards

SAG Awards

'Birdman' wins top honor from actors in march toward Oscars.  Full Article 

Banking Revolution

Banking Revolution

India turns to corner shops, mobile phones for banking revolution.  Full Article 

Climate Change

Climate Change

U.S.-China climate deal does not put pressure on India, says Modi  Full Article 

Bangladesh Politics

Bangladesh Politics

Bangladesh charges opposition chief with instigating attack on bus  Full Article 

Box Office

Box Office

Eastwood's "American Sniper" continues as U.S. box office juggernaut   Full Article 

Boko Haram Fight

Boko Haram Fight

Nigeria repels suspected Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri city  Full Article 

Akshay Kumar's Latest

Akshay Kumar's Latest

"Baby" is a smartly written, well-acted film  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage