Actor John Abraham says doing the sequel of Akshay Kumar-starrer "Welcome" has not affected their real life camaraderie.

John Abraham and Akshay Kumar
John Abraham and Akshay Kumar

While Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar and Paresh Rawal reprise their roles from the 2007 film, the sequel has John and Shruti Haasan replacing Akshay and Katrina Kaif.

Interestingly, John also replaces Akshay in the upcoming sequel of "Hera Pheri 3".

John, who has shared screen space with Akshay "Housefull 2", "Desi BoyZ" and "Garam Masala", said the "Brothers" star in fact encouraged him for "Welcome Back" saying it will increase his reach as an actor.

"He was the first person I called up after signing 'Welcome Back' because I have also learnt a lot from Akshay. I have done 'Garam Masala' with him, he literally held my hand through that movie. We have a beautiful relationship that goes beyond films. We still talk every day. We met here last when he came to promote 'Brothers'," John said here while promoting the film.

"The only thing he said to me was, 'Do this film, don't worry about anything. This film will reach out to an audience in the country that you have never reached out'. I think he is absolutely right. This film will have the highest repeat value on TV."

The actor feels audience should not compare the two movies as they have different storylines.

"'Welcome Back' starts where 'Welcome ended'. The two have completely different stories. People should not make the mistake of comparing the two. They should watch it as a fresh film. There are three very important characters from the original film. In the first movie, Akshay got married to Katrina. So that story is over. This is a new story," John said.

Having starred in a host of comedies, John has high regard for the genre, which he considers a "serious business."

"Comedy is most probably the most serious business. To make people laugh is very tough. And when you have actors like Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Naseeruddin Shah and Shruti Haasan in one film, it becomes classy. It is a massy as well classy film."

Also starring Dimple Kapadia, the film is set to hit theatres this Friday.