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‘Who is Bipasha marrying?..Couldn't be me’

He has been the media's darling and bete noire. One day, he’s uber friendly, next day he’s as reclusive as Greta Garbo. Roshmila Bhattacharya speaks to John Abraham.

entertainment Updated: Nov 17, 2007 16:26 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya

He has been the media's darling as well as bete noire. One day, he’s uber friendly, the next day he’s as reclusive as Greta Garbo. Either way, his dimples, six-pack and casual demeanour still add up to one helluva movie heartthrob. Cut to the chase then.. John Abraham quizzed by Roshmila Bhattacharya

The buzz is that you're asking for Rs 5 crore a film. True.

(Laughs) I thought it was more. I don't discuss finance. For me, money is a by-product.



Julia Hill, whose story has inspired Deepa Mehta's

Luna

, has gone on record to say that you're as hot as Antonio Banderas. But will you get as much footage as Rachel Weisz.. when the project happens?

Most of Deepa's films are women-centric. So is

Luna

, it's the name of the tree Julia camped on for 738 days to protest against the clearing of the Red Wood forest.



I play the part of an activist who gets her food, romances her and most importantly, teaches her how to climb trees.



Have you ever climbed a tree?


(Grins) I've even climbed buildings.



What happened to Deepa Mehta's

Exclusion

based on the Malta boat tragedy?

It'll start in 2010. It will be the biggest international film made with Indian actors, outside India.



<b1>

Despite an Oscar nomination for the Best Foreign Film,

Water

was a damp squib in India.

What do you expect from a film which wasn't marketed at all? It was graceful on the part of Ravi Chopra to distribute it.



It didn't bring you any offers from Hollywood?


Why would I want to go to Hollywood? (Laughs) There's not enough work for the actors there.. why would they offer me work?



Is Rohan Sippy's film on?


It was to be launched on November 24 but I wanted some time to promote

Goal

. So we've pushed it to December 1. Sriram (Raghavan) has come up with a goldmine of a script!



News is that you're out of the Yash Raj camp for turning down

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom

?


Adi (Aditya Chopra) was my senior in school. He's a genuinely nice guy.. honest. He wouldn't stoop so low.



<b2>

Rockstar

with Imtiaz Ali has fallen through. Any regrets now that

Jab We Met

is a hit?


We're still hoping

Rockstar

happens some day. Imtiaz and I are in touch. I'm happy for him. He's a good boy!



After Dhoom, three years ago, instead of consolidating your position, why have you been experimenting with films like

No Smoking

.


No Smoking

was a niche film. But though the director thought ‘festivals', the producer expected ‘commercial'. I thought it would bridge the gap but it failed. At least I've earned respect for my conviction to support such films.



Won't its failure affect

Goal's

market?

The audience is very forgiving.. it's only the media which has a strange amount of retention power. As far as commercial viability goes, after

Dhoom

I've had a super hit

Garam

Masala

.

Taxi No. 9211

was a plus film too. Next year I'm doing a romantic comedy being produced by Karan Johar.


Apparently, Saif Ali Khan refused the film because it has gay undertones?

It does but the gay references are not derogatory or perverse. I found the script really funny.. the audience will enjoy it.



Bipasha Basu has stated that she'll marry after four years.. when she's 32! Whom is she marrying?


Couldn't be me.. I don't plan to settle down for another 10 years. (Laughs) Just joking but seriously, you can't plan these things.

Right now I'm focused on building my equity. When I feel the need to settle down, I will.

Then how come you nixed a multicrore deal with UTV?
Why get stuck with a contract when my price could go up tomorrow?

Okay vis-à-vis Goal , you've always been a keen footballer, right?
Yes, I captained my school and college teams and played for the Bombay District Football Association. I was centre forward.. since I'm an ace sprinter, my job was to take the ball and run. But I soon learnt there was no money in the game. So I did my MBA.

So Goal must have been a joy trip.
There's no joy when 22 guys are chasing after one ball for an hour-and-a-half in sub-zero temperature. It was a thrilling though to play at Manchester United's Trafford grounds, use the player's locker rooms and visit the museum that is a memorial to the eight players who died in the 1958 air crash.

It's amazing.. despite the big blow Manchester United lifted the European Cup a decade later. Our film embodies that spirit. Really, I hope we soon stop digging cricket pitches in the middle of football grounds.

We may be world-beaters in cricket.. in football we're lagging behind by just five-seven years. And that's because of poor infrastructure, red-tapism and bureaucracy.

Director Vivek Agnihotri admits that there was simmering racism on the field. True?
I realised that when one of the British actors had to refer to me as a "Paki". Initially, he was embarrassed because "Paki' is like an abuse there. But then, even after the scene ended, he continued with the "Hey Paki" chant.

There have been continuing differences with Arshad Warsi too.
Creative differences.. we looked at the game in our own way which was misinterpreted by bystanders. More than scoring a goal, Arshad was more excited about jumping on everyone on the field. (Smiles) Boys will be boys.