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‘I dig history’

John Abraham talks about his love for children, his childhood aspirations and his new movie Satyameva Jayate

Bollywood star John Abraham, 45, is the son of a Malayalee Christian father Abraham John, and Parsi mother Firoza Irani. He was born and brought up in Mumbai, studied at the Bombay Scottish School in Mahim. He graduated in Economics from Jai Hind College, Mumbai, and has also a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. He joined the Kishore Nath Kapoor acting laboratory and completed an acting course while juggling with modelling assignments. In 2014, he married Priya Runchal.

He made his debut with Jism, directed by Mahesh Bhatt, alongside Bipasha Basu. He got best debut Filmfare Award for his performance in Jism. He tasted commercial success with Dhoom. He received two Filmfare awards for his negative roles both in Dhoom and in Zinda. Since 2006, he appeared in several critically acclaimed and commercially successful films, such as Garam Masala, Dostana, Force, Race 2 , Shootout at Wadala and Dishoom. He produced Vicky Donor which was a commercial hit and won a national award. Afterwards, he has set up his own company John Abraham Entertainment. Madras Café was his second film as a producer.

His latest film Satyameva Jayate is an action-packed thriller based on corruption and directed and written by Milap Zaveri. He was injured while performing a stunt during this film’s shooting. The film is doing well at the box office and has won critical acclaim.

Recently, he was in Delhi at the invitation of Smile Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that works for children around the globe. John has interacted with the children, and followed it up with a brief interaction with the media. Patriot talks to John Abraham about his childhood dreams, upcoming film and more. Excerpts:

Kindly share your experience while shooting for Satyameva Jayate.
I have learned a lot while shooting for this film. I really enjoyed because there was no tension, which normally exists in other films.

What’s the importance of Satyameva Jayate for children?
I think it is useful for children. This phrase Satyameva Jayate means you have to take the right path and , you should be honest in life. No matter how hard it seems initially, but in the long run, it will help you. Don’t get into biases like religion, caste or creed. Avoid all these and treat everyone equally. That’s my advice to all children.

What profession did you wish to pursue in your childhood?
I was fascinated by archaeology. I am still curious to know more about our ancient civilisation, history and our historical monuments. So, I wanted to become an archaeologist, not a film actor!

Tell us about your childhood memories.
I used to love sports since childhood and had a passion for football. My brother used to be very good in studies. But for me, my parents used to get complaints from my school teachers because I was a very naughty kid.

Besides acting, what are your other passions?
I love to interact with children and want to focus on social work. Whenever I have spare time, I make it a point to visit children’s homes.

How was your interaction with children at the Smile Foundation?
I am overwhelmed by the way these little children interacted with me and asked me so many questions. They reminded me of my own childhood days.

Tell me about your football team.
I am the owner of a football team — NorthEast United FC — of the Indian Super League.

You spend a lot of time on social causes.
I love animals. You can call me a strong advocate of animal rights.