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‘John Abraham is always known to come on the very, very wrong dates all the time’

Bollywood actor John Abraham talks about clashing with his friend Akshay Kumar’s film Gold on Independence Day with Satyameva Jayate, and why we need to acknowledge corruption before addressing it.

bollywood Updated: Aug 01, 2018 18:58 IST
Rishabh Suri
Rishabh Suri
Hindustan Times
John Abraham,Parmanu,Satyameva Jayate
John Abraham plays a vigilante in his upcoming release, Satyameva Jayate.(Photo: Pramod Thakur/HT )

This is a packed year for Bollywood actor John Abraham. “We’re shooting in a place near Rajkot. The shoot is shaping up very nice for RAW (Romeo, Akbar, Walter), but we still have another two-three months to go,” he says, sounding tired yet alert, when we ask him what’s keeping him busy, apart from the fact that his next film, Satyameva Jayate, is up for release close to Independence Day. He talks to us about being Bollywood’s underdog, always choosing the ‘wrong’ release dates, and how he deals with corruption.

What attracts you to patriotic subjects so much? Just this year, you had Parmanu, and now Satyameva Jayate…

I’m attracted to scripts that’d entertain me as a viewer, and this one moved me, as much as it moved Manoj Bajpayee, my co-star. There’s always a fatigue factor when you’re kind of bringing in the patriotic [angle] all the time, but I think Satyameva Jayate is a hardcore commercial film. It talks about corruption, bribery, molestation — all of this in a commercial garb. That’s interesting, because people don’t want to see a documentary, they want to see dialogue-baazi, romance, drama, and interesting songs.

Did you do any research for your film, which mostly revolves around corruption?

You don’t need to research anything about corruption! It’s just a matter of how you deal with it. I’ve experienced it myself, but when you have an honest family, your default setting is honesty. My father is the most honest man on this side of the planet. But how John Abraham addresses corruption in real life is very different from how he does it on-screen! (laughs) You don’t want to mess with him. Also, the idea is not how you address corruption, but just [to] acknowledge that it exists.

And what comes after we acknowledge it?

If I tell you, ‘We need a corruption-free society’, you’d probably giggle and laugh and say, ‘This guy is an idiot’, because in fact it’s practically impossible [to achieve that]! But we need to make it [close to] possible by educating the new generation.

Your film is clashing with good friend Akshay Kumar’s Gold (August 15). Is that playing on your mind?

No. People have their choices to make. On a day like August 15, there’s enough space for two films. Also, neither Akshay nor me are the producers of our respective films; [the release date] is the producer’s decision, and both of us are happy with the date. Also, John Abraham is always known to come on the very, very wrong dates all the time.

Why do you say so?

Look at Parmanu. We released on the Friday on which the IPL semi-finals were taking place, and on the coming Sunday, there were the finals. We released one week before Veere Di Wedding, two weeks after a similar-genre film, Raazi, and had just five days to market the film. How wrong can you get? For a change, I’m releasing on a good date, so I deserve to be happy! (laughs)

You were supporting Croatia in the recently concluded FIFA World Cup finals, but France won. What was your reaction?

Though I wanted Croatia to win, I knew France would be the winners — they were a brilliant team. But as an underdog yourself, you always want an underdog team to win. I consider myself one. You always look at yourself and say, ‘Listen, someone in the front has to look over his shoulder to look at me’, so you’re always behind, and more dangerous to the man. What Croatia was to France, that’s what I am probably to everyone here.

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First Published: Aug 01, 2018 18:57 IST