Issue 43 / John Abraham Returns With A Bang In 'Rocky Handsome'

John Abraham Returns With A Bang In ‘Rocky Handsome’

Mar 28, 2016

John Abraham returns to the big screen with his own production, Rocky Handsome, proving that he's more than just good looks and muscle.

It's been quite some time since we've seen John Abraham grace the silver screen. His last releases were Shootout at Wadala, Madras Cafe, Welcome Back and a cameo in Wazir this year and now he's back with Rocky Handsome, a film he also produced.

One would that think with time away from the screen, an actor would return with a more mature screen presence, and boy has time away worked wonders for Abraham. While he's always been a great actor, improving with each new role and film, Abraham's return is less about maturity and more about taking risks and getting the films he's truly been waiting for all this time. So when I spoke to the actor for ANOKHI, it was hard for me to believe that he felt some of the films he had done in the past, hits like Dostana, Dhoom, No Smoking and Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal were all a part of his underdog phase as an actor.

So this what's new with this new phase in Abraham's career? How has he improved? What has he learned? And how can we see and experience it? This is the crux of how my conversation with Abraham flowed, revealing the true artistic nature of the underdog beast we've all been itching to see.

Rocky Handsome movie poster.
Photo Credit: Azure Entertainment

So when it comes to Rocky Handsome, what inspired John to be a part of this project. Why this film? Why now? Abraham's answer starts of with the appreciation for one of his heroes, Sylvestor Stallone.

"I got into films by chance, but I was always influenced by Stallone. I remember watching Rocky 4 and I was really, really impressed. I remember saying to myself 'how can a man look like this?' So with that inspriation I decided to work out and really build my body for this film," Abraham says.

"I really looked up to Stallone a lot because he's always been an underdog. I believe that I am the same in my industry. I love operating from this space, its fantastic. When your cards are down, you can fight back and excel. It's great motivation!" he continues.

Still from Rocky Handsome
Photo Credit: Azure Entertainment

But Rocky Handsome is very indicative of Abraham's career growth and an ode of sorts to the kind of complex and meaty characters he's getting to play — speaking to this underdog phase, but one who is emerging with triumphant colors. Abraham isn't just the lead, he's also the producer.

"You know Daniel, I wasn't very happy with the work I was doing as an actor. Even though my films were massive hits, I really wasn't completely convinced. I wanted to bring new kinds of films and characters that I felt people in India and in the diaspora would like to watch. This is why I chose to become a producer as well," says Abraham.

Vicky Donor movie poster.
Photo Credit: Eros Entertainment International Pvt, Ltd.

"Not too long ago, I produced Vicky Donor and even a film based on the assassination of our ex prime minister. With these films and projects I wanted to make a statement and change the way people look at cinema in India and the way that people look at me too. There's been a 360 turn on people's perception of me, and that came from the organic and humble attempt to make good films," Abraham says.

Of course many of us millennials grew up in the 90's and the genre of films being made then are very different than the ones being made now. Tastes have changed, but audiences today appreciate intellectual cinema and more cutting-edge stories. So does this new evolved sense of storytelling and audiences tastes affect an actor of John?

"I think I should have come into the industry now" laughs Abraham. "I'll be very honest with you, I think I came into the business 10 years too early. I had to go through the motions of doing bad cinema, what I define as bad cinema at least. But even then I managed to do great films such as Kabul Express and No Smoking."

Still from Deepa Mehta's Water
Photo Credit: Mongrel Media

When speaking about changing audience tastes Abraham is also quick to make reference to Canadian film Water directed by Deepa Mehta also starring Lisa Ray which went on to be nominated for an Oscar Award. The film is one Abraham holds in fond memory. "Water for instance was such a great film and was largely appreciated in Canada. But the audiences are more mature there and the society is far more developed. In India, the film failed miserably and didn't even run for a single show. But today, the same poeple who did not appreciate it and tell me today that they love the film. So the its the time, the tastes and how society is changing to. I'm happy to be here now and working now during this time in our industry," continues Abraham to ANOKHI.

Still from Rocky Handsome
Photo Credit: Azure Entertainment

So with all this growth and maturity, what's it like for Abraham to don to creative hats, as actor and producer? "I think it's much more gratifiying to be honest. A lot more work for sure, and definitely a lot more stress but I enjoy this process, and its something I never had before. I have control of what I am doing as a producer" says Abraham.

"I feel safe as an actor working in my own production cause I am part of credible content creation and there's a lot of quality control."

Featured Image Credit: Azure Entertainment

Check out the trailer of Rocky Handsome below:

Daniel Pillai


Daniel is the Digital Media Manager for ANOKHI MEDIA and the host for ANOKHI's entertainment channel, PULSE TV. As part of the dream team, Daniel manages all multiple channels under ANOKHI’s portfolio, while also training new on-air talent, and showing budding p...


Newsletter Sign Up

Subscribe to our FREE newsletter for all of the latest news, articles, and videos delivered directly to your inbox each day!

  • PLEASE NOTE: Some of the contents of the newsletter may not be suitable for minors.

    Join A Community That Cares About What Matters To You!

    We Fearlessly Celebrate Our

    Desi Identity!