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John shares his experiences

Tuesday, December 12, 2006
UNI: In Kabul Express, John plays a war documentary journalist who goes to Afghanistan to write a report on Taliban. ''The character of Kabir is in many ways similar to like I am in real life. For example, Kabir is basically an atheist he does not believe in God, he does not believe in boundaries, he believes that we are born to walk freely across the world. Also, Kabir has got a different affinity for danger and loves dangerous places. Likewise, I am bohemian by nature, would rather ride a bike on two wheels rather than a car on four and am an agnostic who believes in the presence of a supreme being but feel that we don't necessarily need to call him God,''John said.

As the film now readies for release, John has fond memories of life in Afghanistan, experienced during the shooting stint of the film. ''The experience of shooting in Afghanistan has been simply superb. The Afghanis love Indians to death and it is not just about movies but they just love Indians,'' the actor said ading,'' After God, it is Hindi movies there. Infact, Hindi movies are like religion for them. They know every song, every dance, every action and every dialogue of every movie. Shooting in the country gave me a completely different perspective of life from what I had heard.

Shooting alongside co-stars of different nationalities - the film stars Pakistani actor Salman Shahid and Bangladeshi actor Hanif who play a Pakistani and Bangladeshi respectively - was another memorable experience for John.

''Salman Shahid and Hanif were absolutely outstanding.

They got along so beautifully. There was some underlying tension at the start between the two because Afghanistan always believes that most of the problems in the world are caused by Pakistan and Pakistan felt the same about Afghanistan. However, overall, I think everyone got along pretty well with each other. Hanif Hunghom and Salman Shahid have done a fabulous job in the movie. I mean all credit to them and especially to Salman Shahid to play that role because it takes a lot of guts for a Pakistani actor to play that role and hats off to him for that,''John said.

For John it was specially heartening to discover that he commanded a huge following among Afghanis.

''It was shocking when I went there, that there was a John Abraham haircutting salon, John Abraham hairat, John Abraham photo studio in mazar-i-sheriff. However, for sake of convenience my name had been changed to Ibrahim because for some reason they believe I am the son of the soil there because my mother is Irani. So there is a kind of affinity towards me,'' the actor said.

Asked whether, watching the numerous accolades coming the way of Hrithik in Dhoom 2, he felt a sense of envy, John said,''As the suave thief in the film, Hrithik was simply outstanding. I think Bipasha looked hot in the film and Aishwarya looks very beautiful. As a film I loved Dhoom 2. The hero of the movie was styling - the stunts were beautiful and everyone, from Abhishek to Aishwarya to Uday and Bipasha, was exceptional in the film. I have a special affinity towards Dhoom 2 because I was a part of the original Dhoom,''he said.

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