In what is arguably a first in the Indian magazine industry, a Bollywood actor has written out his own story, in his own words, revealing little known stories from his life.
For the 101st issue of Men's Health India in March, John Abraham appears on the cover in his chiselled avatar, but also pens a nine page autobiography-like interview titled "John Abraham by John Abraham" and signed off by the actor, the story is preceded by the intriguing tagline "Life is more than biceps, abs and a famous butt!"
In the story, Abraham speaks to his fans and the readers of the magazine like a big brother, telling anecdotal tales from his life and advising them how to live their own. "It was 20 years ago when I saw Rocky IV. I was a scrawny, gangly and pimply youth. I was so mesmerised by Sylvester Stallone, that I wanted to be him. When the film got over, I ran out and had 12 bananas straight off the cart on the road to get strong and big," writes John.
In another part of the story, John dispenses heavy duty advice. "Don't get influenced by an actor's body, be inspired by his lifestyle. Let a John Abraham body be your catalyst. But remain the hero of your own story," he says.
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Another story he tells is of a time when he was already a Bollywood star. "In 2005, after I had broken my ankle in a bike accident, I went onto Google and searched for the 'Best Trainer In The World'. The name Google threw back at me was American fitness expert Mike Ryan. I traced Mike to a gym in LA and told him I wanted to train with him.
He said he'd charge me $100 an hour, and I agreed. But he didn't let me into the gym for a week after that. Instead, he set goals for me to accomplish in the car park before I was even given entry," he says.
Besides fitness, John talks about his friendship with M.S. Dhoni ("I wouldn't be able to squat like MS Dhoni for half a day behind the stumps. What core strength it takes," he says), on what a man should invest into his relationships and how his modelling days didn't make him a style icon, his fitness regime did.
Jamal Shaikh, editorial director of Men's Health, says: "John Abraham writing out his own interview makes this story so personal in nature, it is a treat for his fans and others alike. In times of PR-generated quotes, this is the closest you'll get to the personal thoughts of a Bollywood star. We're proud to have him on our 101st cover, and this story is a special one indeed."
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