John Abraham says the best thing to happen to him in 2008 was his brother's marriage. And the most unusual happening in his life in 2009 could be his first stage performance, thanks to the success of his 'Desi Girl' number in Dostana.
"My brother's marriage in Romania was beautiful. Standing there at his wedding as his best man as he took the vows with his wife in a beautiful old church I felt so content. I was never happier. And I liked being the best man. Because I'm the best. People ask me where I'm going from here. And I tell them, I'm only going to get better."
2008 was a decisive year for John. He learnt to be funny. "For the first time I was really funny, far more so than my previous comedy Garam Masala. I'd say there was a 500 percent jump between Dostana and Garam Masala. I was completely clueless about comic timing in Garam Masala. I knew I needed to do let myself go to do comedy convincingly. In real life, I'm very funny. I needed to put some of that across on screen. Why do I have to be so serious on screen all the time? I decided to get seriously funny in Dostana."
John still remembers the moment when he discovered he could be funny. "I was doing a scene when everyone clapped. That was the first time I realized I was really funny on screen. Now when I go to events people start giggling the minute I enter. That's the best gift I've received in 2008. The gift to make people laugh. It's just so beautiful. The other day I was at my doctor's. The assistant kept looking at me and giggling so much that she had to leave the room. That really tickled me pink. I found that really cute."
There's no marriage yet with Bipasha. "And neither are we willing to speak that openly about our relationship," says John. "No more PDA...public display of affection. We've reached a stage in our relationship where we don't need to flaunt our relationship nor talk about it with others or with each other. We're gone beyond that."
And what about his other successful jodi with Abhishek Bachchan? John grins, "Our marriage depends on Ash and Bipasha. Jokes apart, Abhishek and I are not at all insecure about one another's camera presence. I'd love to team up with him again for Dostana Returns. Everyone feels our jodi shouldn't end. People haven't seen male bonding like ours in years." John is happy being Bollywood's no.1 Pinup boy. "I wasn't seen as cheesy. I like being a Pinup boy. God has given me the opportunity to be there. I should respect that. I owe my physique to my parents' wonderful genes."
John says the secret to his 'sexy' tag is his comfort level. "I'm myself wherever I go, whatever I wear. A lot of us have a benchmark for how well-toned we must be. I had a very high benchmark. I'm a leader, not a follower. Not that I am always seeing sunshine up my backside. But I'm very individualistic."
John realizes being an example for the young is a huge social responsibility. "Karan Johar explained what he wanted from me in Dostana. He said I needed a beach body. I didn't need to look like a body builder. I think my physique is achievable. I follow a strict diet. I eat very carefully. But when I go out, I don't create a scene if the food is not cooked in olive oil. I do have normal food. And I binge on special occasions like Christmas and birthdays."
Going to the gym is a must. "It is a part of my daily routine. I work really hard at the gym. I understand my body very well. I know what to do with it to make it respond. I follow a strict gym regimen and a diet. But I believe I'm not just a body."
Regarding the risk of his followers taking short cuts to get John Abraham's body, the stars says, "The use of unnatural substances is just not done to get a body. It leads to hair loss, high blood pressure, mood swings, loss of libido and enlarged glands. Stay away from short cuts."
As a brand ambassador, John has his hands full. "I've a whole array of brands that have stayed with me through thick and thin. I love my association with them and they believe in me regardless of my success quotient. I believe an actor has to be exclusive in his acting assignments, events attended and endorsements."
One thing John still won't do is perform on stage. "I've a strong resistance to stage performances. Forget about dancing at weddings birthdays and functions, I don't even want to go on stage. But now that I've such great songs to perform to it might change. If I could dance the way I did in 'Desi Girl' I think I'm ready for the stage."