Action Is Not Just Stunts, It’s About Your Attitude: John Abraham
‘Force 2’ actor John Abraham talks about his love for action and why doing his own stunts is well worth the trouble.
Force 2 actor John Abraham has immense respect for Bollywood’s stuntmen and doing his own stunts has made him realise how tough and rewarding it really is. John says that action is not just about the stunt, it’s about one’s attitude. Interestingly, John believes that action also separates self respect from ego.
There is a difference between self respect and ego, I don’t have an ego, but I have self respect. If you draw the thin line, you would know when to take the hit and when to hit back.
Q: Unfortunately, the state of the country matches the theme of Force 2. Was it conscious on any level?
John Abraham: We planned the film a year and a half back and there was no sense of nationalism or being opportunistic. Coincidently and unfortunately the Uri attacks happened, and we have problems now. Force 2, has suddenly become a far more relevant film in today’s time. It was never planned that we would work around a certain attack. We had a script that always fascinated me and Abhinay Deo, and we thought that we should make a film on true stories.
So Force 2 is an amalgamation of true stories and we’ve created something that we thought was very credible. Having said that, we were very clear on making a commercial film and not just a documentary. Force is a hardcore commercial franchise. By the time, you would get up to walk out, you would be like, ‘Oh wow! This does make sense.’
No where would you hear us proclaiming that Force 2 is a fantastic film, or that we expect this much business. We just want to make an honest film and want the audience to accept it.
Trust me, I have learnt the hard way, and that’s why I just put my head down and only concentrate on working. I do not make any false proclamations and do not want anybody to validate what our film looks like, by having a secret screening for five influential people. The audience is the final decision maker.John Abraham, Actor
Q: Is doing stunts yourself worth all the effort?
John Abraham: I don’t have a false sense of bravado, and if there is enough safety, then I don’t think there is any harm in doing stunts myself. Of course, if you are an idiot and the producer is irresponsible, what will happen is that you will get hurt. Those situations may arise but talking about it being worth it, when you do your own stunts it is a lot of fun.
Q: Social media didn’t take the video very well and dissed you in many ways…
John Abraham: Social media does not seem to have a face anymore. Men have stopped being men when it comes to the ones on social media. I feel that women are more honest than men today. At least men used to fight wars once upon a time and now there is no face that they have. Have you ever heard of bravery or honesty on the internet? It doesn’t exist. You can be blonde with blue eyes or tall dark handsome… how does it matter?
You are unhappy and want to get your angst out. The easiest people to vent at are actors, because we are standing there, ready to be bashed. I didn’t put that video out to get some sympathy, but to tell people that we really worked hard on the film, and did get injured because it’s not a glamorous life.
Q: Taking a cue from your injury, what about safety measures when it comes to stunts in Bollywood?
John Abraham: I hope we get safer, but right now to be safe, what we are doing is employing foreign action directors. We need to understand and start being safe at home. If I am shooting in Mumbai, I need my action directors to understand the technology and safety measures to protect not just me, but more importantly my stuntmen.
Action is not about doing two backflips or jumping on a wall like a monkey. It’s the attitude, because you are breaking through glass. Most of the time we are not doing it, it is our stuntmen who do it, and they go home injured.
Do we even ask them what their names are? We need to give them credit and respect. I am speaking about all of this because I love action and it is second nature to me. I will always support that cause.
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