John Abraham not being experimental

By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Jan 4 (IANS) After doing the experimental "No Smoking" and the semi-experimental "Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal", John Abraham says he isn't deliberately heading for the experimental mode.

"I'm not aiming to be an art house actor or anything so lofty. I know my limitations. And I've been working my way around them. To me, doing a 'No Smoking' is as valid as doing a 'Goal'," John told IANS.

"And now my next two films again take my career on an unpredictable course. Karan Johar's film with Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra and me is a light-hearted romantic film. Sriram Raghavan's film with Aishwarya Rai is also a romantic film, though far more intense than the other one. I've made my own place. But I still need to do a lot more."

John is not the least daunted by the adverse reviews for his experimental film "No Smoking".

"It may have got a drubbing from the local critics, but it got glowing reviews from the international press, including prestigious magazines like Sight & Sound and Hollywood Reporter.

"Yes, I agree the film came across as esoteric to the masses, but 'No Smoking' was never meant to be a film for mass consumption. Just because it features names that have a clout at the box office you can't convert a niche film into a mainstream product."

"No Smoking" has made John wiser.

"I've realised every film needs nurturing till long after release. There was no need for an item song in 'No Smoking'. We should've marketed it the way it was meant to be. I feel the film never got its audience."

He's sickened by the way a section of the industry rejoices when a film fails.

"Look at 'Saawariya'. The way people reacted to it was sad and sick. I think every filmmaker should be given the freedom to make the kind of film he wants. And we actors should be encouraged to explore new possibilities rather than being in the safe zone constantly."

John is very happy with the outcome of his last release "Goal".

"Apart from the fact that the film was being unnecessarily compared with 'Chak De! India', which is a cult film, we're all very happy with 'Goal'. We achieved what we set out to. In fact, recently 20 of my friends came down from abroad. I took them to Fame Adlabs to watch 'Goal'. It was great fun."

John, who celebrated his 35th birthday Dec 17, says he prefers being with his family on special occasions.

"I like to spend my time with my family. And if that makes me boring, so be it. I'd much rather eat properly, sleep regular hours and lead a regimented life than be a wild party animal who looks 50 at 35," said John.

Then as an afterthought John added: "Of course, looking young and healthy isn't what success is about. At the end of the day you could be the best-looking guy in town and still a loser."

There are no new films except Johar's next to be directed by Tarun Mansukhani and Raghavan's film.

"But I'm constantly searching for projects I feel instinctively good about. The search for the perfect vehicle will continue until I'm 64, may be more."

John hasn't lost his sense of humour.

"I think all my films take longer than usual to register. Critics should wait six months before drubbing my next release."

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