Actor John Abraham admits that, before his ‘tour de Force’, film critics had sounded the death knell for his career. “But I’m used to being written off every two or three years,” he explains, adding that as a beginner, he struggled to understand the business of cinema.
“I was doing what I thought were interesting films, like No Smoking (2007) and Water (2005), but they tanked in India. Then came Dostana (2008), which was huge. After that, my movies didn’t perform well again, and everybody resumed predicting the end of my career. Until Force (2011) happened.”
The actor has been maintaining a low profile since his last on-screen appearance. He is currently focusing his time on setting up his production house, reportedly called JA Productions. “I don’t want to go into the details now. There’s still some time before things are finalised,” he says predictably, adding, “But I’m interested in directing films in the near future. They’ll be commercial projects.” The production house’s first project called Vicky Donor will be directed by Shoojit Sircar.
Though films are his primary focus, John reveals that he doesn’t want to be remembered purely for his acting skills. He’d rather his interest in supporting various charities be his legacy, case in point, being his current association with Shiksha, an NGO that helps over 2,80,000 underprivileged children access basic education. According to him, their goal is to achieve “an idealistic 100 per cent literacy rate.”
“I’ve always been interested in charity because my mother is a very active supporter of various causes,” he says, adding, “It’s important for me to use my celebrity status to draw attention to issues that concern us today. I don’t just want to be known as the guy who walked out of the sea showing off his butt in yellow briefs (popular
introductory scene in Dostana).”
Rueing the fact that Indians are “not given to charity by nature”, he says, “Even in times of tragedy, we don’t really step up. Less than one per cent of this country actually cares about donating.”
Does that mean he plans to set up a charitable organisation of his own? “Salman Khan is a great example of how we should give back to society,” he says, adding, “I’d like to set up my own fund, but only when I have enough financial backing to support it myself like he does (with the Being Human Foundation).”