Six years after Garam Masala (2005), John Abraham teamed up with Akshay Kumar for Rohit Dhawan’s directorial debut, Desi Boyz. This was to set to rest persistent rumours of a war of words with his senior co-star during the making of Priyadarshan’s film over the snipping out of his scenes. However, even as they filmed their latest rom-com, speculation was rife that all was not well with the boys. Akshay, peeved because John was paired with a more saleable Deepika Padukone, was giving him a hard time on the sets and in the editing room.
John laughs off the buzz: “No way, I’m always happy being around Akshay and it shows. I owe him a lot. He has great comic timing and watching him helped me grow as an actor within the same comic space. Garam Masala was my training ground, with Akshay and Priyadarshan as my teachers.”
Today, they have parallel lead roles in Desi Boyz and John insists their chemistry is so good that someone joked on the sets that they looked “pretty” together. “I guess that’s because we’re happy together,” says John, who’s hoping their new film will flag off a successful franchise. “Right now, desi is cool. Asian youngsters in the UK and US are proud to be desi. So there’s enough reason for a Desi Boyz 2.”
John plays Nick Mathur who, along with his friend Jerry Patel (Akshay), lands at the Oxford University. A couple of years later, he finds a job as an investment banker, a beautiful fiancée and a cushy London pad. Jerry, a security guard, happily sponges off him till recession strikes. Nick is downsized and Jerry is told by social services that he’ll lose his nephew Veer to a foster home. It’s time for desperate measures and the duo decide to strip and earn a living as pole dancers under new names, Hunter and Rocco. What was it like playing a male stripper? “Desi Boyz is a film for families,” John corrects in haste. “It’s not about strippers but two people spreading love.”