August 18, 2010 (Sampurn Wire): Here's John in a startling unexpected avatar. We've seen John Abraham flaunt his physicality in so many variations and permutations that we don't know what he looks like with his clothes on. Tarun Mansukhani, who has to strip John in a new way in 'Dostana 2' is being driven up the wall.
"After 'Dostana' how much more can John strip without getting into his birthday suit?" says Tarun in exasperations as he sits on the storyboard poring over ways to make John look like a reborn beefcake.
But beefcake is the last thing that John has in store for his fans in 'Jhootha Hi Sahee'. Now it can be told. But not seen. John Abraham's carefully-concealed look in Abbas Tyrewala's film will remain out of bounds for a while. And with good reason. John actually gets out of his body-beautiful space to play a nerdy ordinary whitecollar bespectacled guy with a flabby physique in 'Jhootha Hi Sahee'.
John in fact wanted to go all the way for the role to add buckteeth to the guy's personality. But Abbas put his foot down.
Says the director, "This is a side to John that no one has seen. He's painfully ordinary in speech, body language and clothes. He wears thick glasses and can't look straight into anyone's eyes."
The clothes for John's character were bought off the rack from departmental stores.
Confirms Tyrewala, "Yup, no designer clothes for John in 'Jhootha Hi Sahee'. We shopped for his clothes in retail outlets, actually purchased working-class labels like 'Arrow' and 'Raymonds'."
Forget the itsy bitsy swimming trunks from 'Dostana'. John actually slouches and shuffles his way through 'Jhootha Hi Sahee' trying to blend into the crowds. Naturally, stripping for the camera would seem like the last thing on the character's mind. But hang on! John's nerdy character does take off his clothes in 'Jhootha Hi Sahee'.
"And when he does strip, boy does it come as a shock," chortles the director.
Apparently John got flabby for the stripping scene. When he disrobes, fans would be shocked to see a little paunch peeping out.Says Abbas, "John wanted to put on a lot more weight. I decided against overdoing it. Those who are used to seeing his chiselled body would be shocked by the absence of contours when he strips."
Ask John and he chuckles, "From a Greek to a Geek, long journey I think."
--Subhash K Jha / Sampurn Wire