I don't think I can ever hurt anyone - John Abraham | Exclusive Interview

2016 has been a good year for John Abraham. The actor has had two releases - Dishoom and Rocky Handsome, with the former performing well at the box office and the latter earning him compliments for a fine performance. He is also busy collaborating with young minds on new projects, while as a producer, he is always on the look out for quality content. John is ready to end the year with a bang, (quite literally) as he has got Force 2 - sequel to 2011's successful action film, up for release. With a promising trailer, packed with high-octane action sequences, bike chases and jaw dropping stunts (some performed by stuntmen, who have worked on films like Mad Max and have flown in all the way from Hollywood), this much awaited espionage thriller is all set to hit the screens tomorrow. We caught up with John, who will be seen essaying the lead protagonist ACP Yashvardhan, in between various promotional activities to discuss his love for action films, causes close to his heart and more. Excerpts from our conversation:

 What is it about Force 2, now a franchise, that appealed the most to you?
To answer your question, I feel Force 2 has tremendous potential to be one of Bollywood's biggest action franchise. The sequel is properly connected to the first film and when you watch the film, you will be able to connect the dots quite easily. Also, the plot of this film is relevant in today's times.

We noticed that you have performed some major action stunts in this film.
Also, got home with bruises and injuries (laughs). See, it's an out and out action film, and these stunts were a huge part of it. While shooting in Budapest, I did suffer a knee injury and was back to work the very next day, much against my doctor's wishes. Although, I did undergo a surgery while the film was being shot and was back on the sets after almost a fortnight.

You always confessed that you like being an action hero. What do you think of films made under this genre today and as a producer, how would you like to bring about changes?
Action films have always been close to my heart, and are a hit among masses. Keeping our audience in mind and how much they enjoy films that involve action, our films need to have a good mix of incredible action sequences and the perfect story. That way, the audience can enjoy wholesome entertainment. I personally believe that action sequences in our films can be believable for the audience, only if they are projected sensibly. As a producer, I am trying to achieve that in Force 2, by backing a good story with world class action.

As a producer, you are also focusing on regional cinema.
Yes. Our Marathi production venture shall hopefully kick off in the first quarter of 2017. It's an amazing script that we are working on. Honestly, I feel regional cinema is producing some incredible, quality films with great content. The Hindi film industry can definitely learn a lot from various regional film industries.

During our last interaction, Jacqueline said that you are tough on the outside, but a complete softie at heart. How true is that?
Very true. The general impression is that I am very tough. I tell people, I have never touched or hurt anybody in my life. Not even a fly. And no one has touched me. I don’t think I can ever hurt anyone. In case anyone comes up to hurt me, I’ll probably just buckle up, take a few shots and then ask, “Are you happy? Now, please carry on with your life.” But, that’s the way I am made. I have never purposely given a feeling of intimidation to anyone. People who know me will know that I am soft like candy floss. It’s easy to break John Abraham. Just break him (laughs).

You have supported several causes and campaigned for activities. What are the causes close to your heart, and is there any cause or issue that you think needs more focus and awareness?
Cruelty against animals is a big issue for me, and I have always stood up for it. I don’t understand how parents bring up a child, who goes on to throw stones on a living being, who cant even speak. But, outside of that, a core issue that I would like about are the number of elderly citizens who have been left alone to survive, by their own children. Today, we are losing the values that we had. My mom takes care of some elderly people. I have seen depressing stories of these individuals, and there is an experience that I would like to share here. This one boy in his late 20’s, left his father at the home for elderly and said, “Dad, stay here. I’ll be back tomorrow.” The boy never came back. He left for the U.S. In fact, when his father passed away, the boy didn’t even come back for the final rites. So, what I am trying to say is, individuals today are all consumed by themselves. It’s all about our career, success and earnings. It’s all about ‘ME’. So, a lot of people forget to take care of their parents. These are the people who brought you up, and you have to respect them. There will always be some special people entering your life, and there will be all sorts of pressure, but that is no excuse to disrespect your own parents.

You have also worked on a variety of CSR activities. Tell us a little bit about that.
A few years ago, I collaborated with a leading radio channel on a social activity, that helped change many lives. We wanted to do something for the people, who have faced problems that aren't discussed or talked about on a bigger scale. We started off by supporting acid attack victims. In fact, we reconstructed the face of a girl named Tarana. She underwent four surgeries for the same. Recently, she also got married. Fortis Hospitals supported us in this endeavour, and performed these surgeries free of cost. Another 8 girls were also taken care of. Later, we moved on to blood donation, women against abuse among other issues. It was an attempt to voice our opinion and stand against all the evils in our society, that prevail today. Currently, we are also planning something for the army jawans. Another issue that I have in mind is regularly faced by the citizens of North East. They often face racial discrimination and it’s sad to see Indians refer to their own brothers as Chinese.

So, what next after Force 2?
I haven't really signed a film, but I have read various script and there are several other activities, plans that are keeping me busy. Even as a producer, I've been hearing some great scripts and look forward to backing some good content.

The Dancebee 

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Priya Adivarekar

Priya Adivarekar - Founder and Creative Director at Diary of a Dancebee. She is also a renowned Voice Actress and award winning artiste, with serious passion for dance. When not working round the clock, she can be seen reading, enjoying a movie-binge or listening to music.
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