Even as Indian cinema and actors are making a dent abroad, actor John Abraham would rather stay put in Bollywood and have Indian cinema go global in terms of production value and craft.
"I don't want to sound like a marketing agent for Rang De Basanti but I think it's the finest example of global piece of Indian cinema," says the star of films like Jism, Garam Masala, Taxi 9211 and Zinda.
Meanwhile, Abraham is soaking up the rave reviews for Water which has been received well in Canada, US, Australia and even in neighbouring Sri Lanka, where it is running to packed houses.
John Abraham will soon be seen in Kabul Express
"It's an Indian subject and it's a pity that the release of the film has been delayed in India. But it will be released here shortly." he says.
Another film that's expected to hit the theatres at the end of September or beginning of October is Kabul Express. As a part of his homework, Abraham read Khalid Hosseni's Kite Runner and saw Osama directed by Siddiq Barmak.
A comedy, where he plays a scribe on an assignment to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban regime, Abraham says that the film was an eye-opener in ways more than one.
This was the period when Karzai had just come to power. The Talibans were kept locked in Afghani backyards and foreign correspondents would pay up $200 a piece to interview them, he says.
"America has lot of press and PR but it's India that's doing a whole lot of development work," states the 34-year-old talking about the warmth exuded by Afghanis during the shoot.
On the remake mania gripping the film industry, he says "I think it's a great trend. It's raking in the moolah for the industry."
So does he regret not being a part of Dhoom II? "I can either be grateful that the prequel was offered to me or crib about the latter. I choose to be thankful."
Since Abraham has done action, comedy and a romantic lead, which one is he most comfortable with? "I think action requires the least bit of acting because that's really being yourself on screen. Comedy is a bit of work and I admit I made mistakes in Garam Masala," he says modestly.
On his favourite director, Abraham says that he'd "give his right arm for Mahesh Bhatt. He is a legend."
His good looks make him a favourite of the fairer sex but what explains his popularity with kids? (He is the brand ambassador for a kids' channel because he was at the top spot on the poll conducted by them).
"I think it's the streak of rebellion that they like in me. I think it's the biggest compliment to be loved by kids as they are honest about their feelings and are your loyal audience."
His chiselled body, the envy of many he reveals is a result of "good food, adequate sleep and workout."
The model-turned-actor who was in town to promote a diet cola, he endorses, responded to the health minister's call urging actors to refrain from endorsing cola by saying that he had "signed the contract much before the Minister's appeal."
"You have to trust my choice. I endorse a kids' channel where cola ads are not shown. As for the others, the consumer today is sensible and is free to make an informed choice."
Abraham also claims to put a lot of thought into the campaigns he chooses to endorse. "My stint as a media planner with an ad agency comes into play here. The brands I pick are usually niche and I personally go through the media plan to avoid over-exposure."