John Abraham on Desi Boyz, Shootout At Wadala and why he likes to keep his private life private

John Abraham, Bollywood's handsome hunk and ex-boyfriend of dusky beauty Bipasha Basu has been slowly and steadily rising up the popularity charts and making his presence felt in the film industry. With a mix of action flicks, emotional drama and comic roles, John has been trying to prove to his fans that there is more to him than good looks and a great physique.

John talks about his upcoming films, personal life and his efforts to create theVaastav-effect by playing Manya Surve in Sanjay Gupta'sShootout At Wadala.

What role do you play in Desi Boyz.

It is a clean, fun film that you can watch with your kids and even grandparents. There is no vulgarity or violence. In the film, Akshay and I are male escorts but not strippers.

Akshay recently lavished compliments on you. He says he has taken tips from you in doing comedy.

Akshay liked the fact that there is a certain ease when we converse. When I am being myself, my sense of humour comes to the fore and he suggested that I should try to be myself on the screen as well. He feels I am natural and casual when doing comedy. Akshay seems to enjoy the way I perform. And I think that is very important for a jugalbandhi between two actors.

From Garam Masala toDesi Boyz — do you think you have evolved as an actor?

I believe that John Abraham has definitely evolved as an actor with every film. I am no longer a reference point for a good body, for which I have worked really hard. I am also being talked about as an actor. During the making of Garam Masala, I would tell Akshay, I felt like a rank newcomer in front of him, Paresh Rawal and Rajpal Yadav. I learnt a lot from Akshay when we did Garam Masala. Desi Boyz was a different experience as I have matured as a performer.

What do you think of Rohit Dhawan as a director?

Rohit is outstanding as a director. He is a combination of David Dhawan and Farhan Akhtar — two amazing directors. He has got a perfect comic timing and an uber cool attitude. Rohit has a methodical approach to film making as he has studied the art at New York. I think he will do well for himself.

You have experimented with roles but without much success.

Yes, whenever I have experimented, I have failed (laughs) — No Smoking, KabulExpress, Jhootha Hi Sahi and Aashayein. Karan Johar once scoffed, ‘John you have such a fabulous face and body, stick to doing commercial films and it will work'. He is right. Formula films work. I should experiment within the commercial space. Dostana was an example of one such experiment.

What research have you done for your role in Shootout At Wadala?

When Sanjay Gupta spoke to me about this film that is set in the Mumbai of 1980s, he said I would be cast as a tough-looking Maharashtrian guy. Dialogues are crucial in the film. Sanjay has researched well all the characters. I am trying to know every little thing about the Mumbai of 1980s. This film is very important to my career.

Are you secure as an actor?

Ryan Gosling is excellent in Ides of March. George Clooney, who has directed the film, has taken a backseat and has allowed the other actor to score. He can do so because he is secure about himself. I think slowly actors will achieve that sense of security here too. After Dostana released, I took a long break. When Jhootha Hi Sahi failed, everyone pushed me to do a commercial film. But I was secure; there is no paucity of work. You have to learn to make the right choices and work at your pace.

You don't like to party?

I did not go to discos even when I was young because I can't bear loud music and I am repelled by the smell of alcohol. I might have champagne occasionally to make someone happy but otherwise I don't drink. It has nothing to do with my moral beliefs. Yes, I do feel that those who drink should do so, like everything else, in moderation.

What about marriage?

I am fiercely protective about my personal life. But I would love to settle down.

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