John Abraham’s Struggle to Enter Bollywood – Blast from the Past

John Abraham’s Struggle to Enter Bollywood – Blast from the Past

John Abraham had an intense struggle before he made it big. Once he was even rejected by Anubhav Sinha

Every superstar goes through his  or her period of struggle , which becomes  easy to romanticize once stardom happens. But there is one story of a spurned  superstar that has never been told,and that involves John Abraham. This was  the time when John, a  supermodel was desperately looking for a break in Bollywood. Like all strugglers with no genealogical connection  in  the  film industry  John was trying to make his way  into the tightly-insulated world of  movies.

One of his closest friends during his days  of struggle was Raveena Tandon. I remember Raveena and  I   were at the  post-premiere dinner of Kamal Haasan’s Abhay at  the Taj in Mumbai when Raveena received a message . She was sitting  next to me when she whispered, ‘I am slipping out for a while. John has got  a new bike and he’s waiting outside. Wants to take  me  for a spin.”

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I didn’t bother to find out who ‘John’ was  until she came back from her spin. John’s struggle was intense. When he decided  to become  a Hindi  film hero he  didn’t know a word of  Hindi and was  rejected by almost every producer he managed to meet. (Meeting a producer for a newcomer is  like  an arthritic  running a  marathon race).

One such  producer  was Anubhav Sinha. While rejecting John for a role in Tum Bin, Anubhav  most categorically told  John to first learn  Hindi and then  try to crack the Bollywood code. John did get down to doing  just that. But it took time. In his  debut film Jism his voice was  dubbed by a professional  dubbing artiste.

Interestingly  there  is a history of  male debutante’s voices being dubbed in films  produced  by  Mahesh-Mukesh-Pooja Bhatt:  While Rahul Roy‘s voice was dubbed by another actor in AASHIQUI and Faraaz Khan’s voice was also dubbed by someone else in FAREB, director Vikram Bhatt had dubbed for Dino Morea in RAAZ and Aftab Shivdasani in KASOOR.

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