He seems to have done it all; one minute, he’s playing a wildlife expert in Kaal, and the next, he’s transformed into a well-muscled beach hunk in Dostana. His latest film, Desi Boyz, sees him in an entirely new avatar — a toolbelt-toting male escort, who’s job is to satisfy the costume fantasies of his female clients.
Controversial this may seem, but John insists that it’s an experience that audience of all ages will enjoy. He was in the City recently to promote the film, and Metrolife caught up with the actor to find out more about his films, co-stars and the chemistry he shares with them.
He believes that Desi Boyz is a film that combines several genres — despite being a comedy, it has plenty of drama and angst in it as well. And although John is paired opposite Deepika Padukone in this film, his chemistry with his other co-star Akshay Kumar, is what really has people buzzing. John isn’t surprised. “It’s a ‘bro-mance’, in that sense. Akshay and I share a real chemistry off-screen, so it’s quite easy to translate this on screen as well. Everyone talks about competition, but I think that Akshay and I complement each other instead,” he says.
His last movie, ‘Force’, had him playing an incredibly beefed-up police officer, but John has shed plenty of his bulk for Desi Boyz. He’s quick to confirm that this was his intention. “In ‘Force’, my director said that my character needed to look like a machine. But here, Akshay and I are playing escorts, who fulfill women’s fantasies. The movie has us dressed like cricketers — Akshay’s Yuvraj, and I’m Dhoni — and pilots. I needed a body that’s leaner and more communicable,” he explains.
Ask him how he keeps fit and he immediately turns serious. “It’s all about having a disciplined life,” he says, also mentioning that this is a principle that his co-star, Akshay follows as well. “We always sleep early, wake up early, and eat our food on time.”
In fact, he’s all praises for his other co-stars as well. “I think Deepika and Chitrangada have such beautiful roles etched out for them in this movie,” he insists, adding, “Deepika has a really great posture. I think it’s thanks to her father — she has sports genes.”
John isn’t just an actor; he’s also extremely committed to animal rights. In fact, he mentions that he’s producing a documentary on tigers as well. “We’re still in the process of getting permission. We’ve located four beautiful cubs, although we lost one due to natural reasons. It’s going to take time, though; we’ve been in the process for a while because of bureaucracy and red-tape.” And what about playing another wildlife-related role, like the one he essayed in Kaal? John admits that he’s open to the idea. “I’d love to do it in an honest, fun way,” he clarifies.
Ask him whether he’s in touch with his Malayali roots, and he laughs. “I don’t really know so much of the language, just the basics, like korcha korcha. Also, I know important things like chood chai venum— because I like hot tea,” he quips.