EXCLUSIVE Interview with John Abraham By Jasmeet Panesar For The New Bollywood Film Rocky Handsome
John Abraham stars in the upcoming action thriller film titled Rocky Handsome which is set to release in cinemas on March 25th.
You have come across several injuries due to action sequences or stunts. Did you suffer any injuries during Rocky Handsome set? For Rocky Handsome, during training, my body was black and blue because we were training in certain martial arts form with weapons so during training I used to get dented, get hurt, scratches and cut. I would probably only realise that in the evening when I would go and have a shower, this went on for a month. When we finally played out the film, there were absolutely no injuries because I was well trained, equipped and knew what I needed to do.
How much input do you as an actor have when it comes to planning how to have the action sequences to be shown on camera or do you just leave that to the professionals to compile it together? I think I was really insistent on the fact that I need an action director of a particular calibre and style that would execute the kind of action that I saw from the original Korean film. I also had made it really clear that I needed to train for it. So we been really clear with the art form so designed each action distinctively and when you see Rocky, the character in the film, when he does these art forms, you will see that it is a second nature to him. He’s not really trying as it comes effortlessly to him and that is why practise was really important.
What more is there that defines Rocky Handsome if you take away the hard hitting and bone crunching action? I think Rocky Handsome is an emotional film and I think and hope that an audience like you when you go to see this movie, you will say it is such a beautiful emotional film despite of it having a lot of action. The emotion is the core of this film and that is the reason why we wanted to do it. A beautiful film with a lovely, yet engaging story of a very organic subject of emotion of this little girl breaking down with this big guy. Action is only a by-product, I have always said this Jassi, that any action, from anywhere around the world is absolutely useless without the characters emotions.
How was it to work with a child actor who plays a really significant part in the film? Diya is a blessing because, I’ve heard child actors are very difficult but this girl was a bundle of good energy, I had a great time. She would come to the set always smiling; she even knew the whole script of by heart, literally everybody else’s lines too. She was just fantastic. She was never in a bad mood so we were lucky to have worked with her and she is such a darling, I just can’t stop singing praises of her.
Did Diya face any issues having to be surrounded by so much action and even fake blood or was she simply being professional at all times? Actually that is a very good question because you know Jassi, we made sure this film is very appealable to the women audience and children. When you always think of action, you think of blood and gore. But action is really cool, sexy and aspirational. We tested this action with a lot of young female audiences; they came out of the screening and totally loved the action. When we asked them do they like the emotion and they said emotion is beautiful but the action is sexy. I think that makes a difference so we made sure that the action is not bloody, not wild and rough, it is just cool and that is the way it should be.
The director Nishikant has a role of the villain in the movie as well as being the director. How was that experience of fighting with your own director on camera? Nishi got this role by accident, his friend who we had casted for the role ended up having cold feet 2 days before the shoot. So Nishi was told that you know the character, you have written him and imagined it and Nishi actually is a fantastic actor. Nishi decided to finally do it, but he has done such a fantastic job because if you benchmark this against our last film we did together FORCE, this film, the action, the actor, the villain, the story and the emotions are way above the film Force. We are friends but we both have matured as an actor and director.
John, if in the future you were to ever write or direct an action film, what would you desperately want to include that no other Bollywood movie has done so far? Well that actually depends on the script honestly Jassi. I would love to think about this and give you an honest answer but the one thing that I would like to include is skill. We don’t have that much of skill and if I were to become an director to direct action then I want the action to be believable but unbelievably believable, that is what I would want.
Well if that ever happens, I look forward to seeing such film. All the best for your new movie Rocky Handsome and I shall help promote it as much as I can in the UK. That is really kind of you Jassi, really appreciate that, god bless.