There was a time about fifteen years ago, when one of the most fabulously foppish hairstyles in Indian cinema seemed destined for extinction. Remember Rahul Roy in Aashiqui? Thankfully in 2003 the style was back but not alone. It brought a lot of talent with it too, and when the two combined, it gave us John Abraham. Today the tousled locks are replaced with an ascetic, boyish crop. John with a crop? Yes, you heard! The luminary of photography, stage and films has changed his look. He strolls into his make-up van, wears his beanie hat, greets me with his signature smile. Bollywood Film Goal he says is his all the way.
From Bikes to Babul to Business ventures. You are totally engrossed in whatever you do. Do you have time for all the work or does work take a lot of your time?
I thought I had time for all the work, but I think it works both ways on the weighing scale. I have time for all the work and work too takes a lot of my time. I strangely don't sleep too much; say about five to six hours a day. And that's bad. I need that extra one hour of sleep and I'll be fine. Talking about business ventures, Wrangler has given me the license to start my own brand called 'John Abraham' which many of them are aware of now. I've also started off a company called 'Qua' which means - In sync with. It's a Greek terminology and for that, I've tied up with a company named 'Mindshare' which is an international media buying house who technically looks after my work now.
Besides the script, what encouraged you to say 'Yes' to the film Goal?
Very honestly, the script is the real hero. When I read the script I wanted to clap. I remember I was in a flight to Uzbekistan shooting for No Smoking. I landed and called my director Vivek Agnihotri saying, "Vivek, the script is freaking great. If we can just execute what's given in the script then we have a hit film on our hands."
Goal being a multi star cast film; do you think it is one film, which will showcase the real John Abraham - the tough and the sporty kind?
Well, I just believe that I am a sporty person. I used to captain my school and college football team. India never went anywhere in football but I feel this film is a great opportunity for football stadiums to be used as football fields. It's an even bigger prospect for cricket pitches to be wiped out in the middle of this grand sport called football. This is the right time to get the sport in because Indians have failed to impress in this year's cricket world cup. It's also a great time to encourage youngsters to follow football. Talking about Sporty, Yes, this is John Abraham. The sporty me is John Abraham. So you are going to get a lot of 'Me' in this film.
How decisive was the moment when you had to cut the trademark long hair for this film to have a complete new look?
For me, it was just the question of asking whether to cut or not to cut. I remember there was my producer Ronnie Screwvala, my football choreographer Andy Ansah and my director Vivek Agnihotri. I told all three of them that I was very weary of cutting my hair because my fans recognise me with my long hair and they love it. Then Andy came out with a perfect advice. He said that today's footballers, specially the English Premier League ones have crew cut and short hair. Look at Christiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, etc. So I decided that there was time for change before my audience realises it. But there is some good news. I go back to my lovely long hair in couple of films from now.
John's style of films has changed over the long run.I is true?...read on...