What to Read Next

I've mastered the art of understanding audiences: John Abraham

Priyanka Sharma
26 January 2013

New Delhi, Jan 26 (IANS) The role has to have an edge, says John Abraham, who made sexy look sexier in "Jism" and grey even greyer in "New York". After a decade in movies, the Bollywood heartthrob believes his middle-class roots have helped him balance his personal and professional life.

"I have grown up in a middle-class family; so my value system and lifestyle are also very regular," John, who features in the just released "Race 2", told IANS in an exclusive interview.

When it comes to chosing roles, he is very clear that he doesn't "like being normal, romantic 'pyaara sa gaata rehta hai'. The role has to have an edge."

"I have mastered the art of understanding what my audience wants... I know how to add that extra edge to a character," he added.

John, who turned producer with the super hit comedy "Vicky Donor", doesn't want to stick to "funny" films. His next film "could be a political thriller like 'Madras Cafe' and a human story like 'Humara Bajaj'."

In a candid chat, the 40-year-old actor reveals his fascination for negative roles, his aspirations as a producer and why he chooses to stay away from the party circuit. Excerpts:

- Negative roles:

From "Jism" to "New York", "Zinda" to "Dhoom" and now "Race 2" and "Shootout at Wadala", all my roles had shades of grey... I think I like that space. I don't like being normal, romantic 'pyaara sa gaata rehta hai'. The role has to have an edge. Someone saw me in "Race 2" and said 'bad has never looked so good' and I think that is the plus point.

- Personal and professional growth in 10 years:

I think maximum growth has been as an individual. I have matured, settled down mentally. As an actor the growth has been tremendous too. If you see "Race 2" or "I, Me Aur Main", my action hero concept was very strong. But someone saw "I, Me Aur Main" and said you have transformed from action Abraham to actor Abraham.

I have mastered the art of understanding what my audience wants... I know how to add that extra edge to a character.

- Pros and cons of celebrity status

The cons of being a celebrity is criticism and I use the cons positively to make myself more superior, better and stronger. So the cons actually work for me, making my pros stronger.

- Filmdom and its vagaries:

Whichever industry you enter into, you go with the pre-conceived notions in your head. Similarly when you enter the film industry, you think it is only for film people... that it is ruthless and that if you are not good enough, you are out of it.

Well, all that is somewhere true, but I don't belong to the film industry and I am good enough and I am here. So you defy the rules.

- Perks of middle-class upbringing:

It is very natural that a star doesn't always remain a star. Over the years, he or she gets older and carries on with his or her life. Look at a normal person, he also lives with the thought of getting old some day. So everybody's life goes up and comes down. If you keep your lifestyle like a flat line, keep your needs less and live a normal life, then the highs and the lows won't affect you because you are leading a normal life.

I have grown up in a middle-class family, my value systems are very regular. My lifestyle is very regular. So whether I am a star or not, my lifestyle still remains normal and it won't affect me. I train my mind to understand that I am like any other normal human being and I am no different from anybody else; that is it.

- Friendship in Bollywood:

I have always been very disconnected with the film fraternity... The industry knows I really don't indulge myself in parties; so nobody feels bad about it. My only three friends in the industry are Karan Johar, Abhishek Bachchan and Akshay Kumar and all three of them I speak to once in a while and it's never about work.

- Stint as a producer:

If "Vicky Donor" is a benchmark, I have to make films in that space, which are commercially entertaining. By that it doesn't always mean that it has to be funny, it could be a political thriller like "Madras Cafe" and human story like "Humara Bajaj". It has to be J Entertainment Film', which is completely different.

I have a lot of confidence in my content, my directors and my writers and stars I will create. Like Ayushmann Khurrana became a star, we'll create more stars.

(Priyanka Sharma can be contacted at priyanka.s@ians.in)

Do NOT pay your insurance until you try this.

If you drive less than 55 miles/day OR have no DUI's you can get auto insurance for as low as $29/ Month! See if you qualify.

Your second chance to enroll in Medicare & Medigap

Never heard of the Medicre General Enrollment Period? Read this to find out how it could benefit you.

Find Your High School Friends

View photos, profiles and see where everyone is now. Check out your yearbook and remember the good times!

Mountains of Freebies Are Delivered Every Day!

7 million users get samples without buying anything! Sign up to get yours!

Controversial Flashlight Should Be Banned?

A Controversial decision to ban this new military flashlight just released to the public could take effect soon. They are selling out quickly, see why

Stop Paying Too Much For Your Prescriptions.

Drug prices vary wildly between pharmacies. GoodRx finds the lowest prices and discounts. Compare prices, print free coupons & save up to 80%.

Military Mortgage Rates In 2016

Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

9 Cards for People Who Have Great Credit

What card offers up to 5% cash back? And which one offers 24/7 concierge service? See the best credit cards of 2016. Apply online, quickly & easily.

What Has Been The 2016 Best Skin Tighteners ?

Women everywhere are saving thousands of dollars on plastic surgery by reducing the appearance of wrinkles from the comfort of their own home.

Help Erase Credit Card Debt with a Personal Loan

Are you paying too much on your credit cards? Consider a Personal Loan to help consolidate your payments.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Naive Homeowners Make Banks Record Profits in 2015

Homeowners are in for a shocking surprise in 2016. If you own a home and owe less than $625,000 then you need to read this before it's too late...