Hrithik is too trusting : Rakesh Roshan

Published On: 2015-03-04

Author: Priya Gupta

Media Link:

What I don’t like about Hrithik is that he trusts everybody : Rakesh Roshan



Source TOI 

By: Priya Gupta 



Rakesh Roshan, 64, is a soft-hearted strong person. He is extremely punctual and will not work with a star, however big he may be, if he is not disciplined in terms of timing on the set. He may not display his emotional side easily, but he is the emotional anchor for his family, be it his wife, son, daughter or his brother. Ahead of his upcoming superhero film Krrish 3, he talks to TOI about his struggling years, his trusting son and why he will never give up. Excerpts: 



Let's talk about your childhood? 


I am a Punjabi born and brought up in Mumbai. My father Roshan Lal Nagrath was a music director. After he expired, I took his name as a surname. Our house had one room and a kitchen. When I was young, my father would often compose songs (he composed songs of Taj Mahal and Barsaat Ki Ek Raat) in the hall and Shammi Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar and Dilip Kumar would come home. I used to see their cars and see people gather around them. I was a big Shammi Kapoor fan and would act like him and wear clothes like him. I would also put my collar up. That, of course, I still do, but for only style reasons, as I have no hair on my head. My father would always say, 'First study.' But I would bunk school to see movies and was put into a military boarding school in Satara. I continued to fail in all my subjects and would happily come home and get a beating. On my first day of school itself, during the ragging phase, I taught my classmates how to jump a 15-feet wall to go and watch a movie six kilometres away. This repeated for a couple of days till one day when they remembered they had forgotten to rag me, and ragged me. That day I didn't go with them, but complained about them instead and got them caught as they had ragged me. 



How did you become an actor? 


My father died when I was 16. I had a choice to either study at the film institute or assist. I chose to assist HS Rawail, who was directing Sangharsh with Dilip Kumar sahab, and changed overnight with the responsibility on my head. I then assisted Mr Mohan Kumar on two films, both with Rajendra Kumar. Rajendra Kumar was a close family friend of ours, as my father composed hit music for many of his films. So, after my father died, he asked me what I wanted to do and I told him that I wanted to act. Because of him I got my first two roles as an actor at 21. I would make 200 a month. I gave 100 bucks to my mom and in 100, I managed. But I had wealthy friends and I survived on their money. Mr J Om Prakash, who was a big producer and director, called me one day and said, 'I want to come and meet you.' I wore my best clothes thinking he wanted to sign me, but I was surprised when came with his wife. Instead of offering me a role, he asked my hand for his daughter. His wife and Mr Mohan Kumar's wife were sisters and he had probably seen my sincerity. I got married and my first daughter was born in 1972 and Hrithik in 1974 and my struggle started. I had children, was getting heroine-dominated roles and my movies did not work, so the blame would come onto me. While I could see no future, I kept working and did not give up as I did not know how to run my house. So I changed tracks, mortgaged my car and became a producer. 



How did you become a director? 


I reasoned with myself that if I had to become an actor, I would have in 15 years. But I couldn't, so decided to direct. And made Khudgarz. My acting career was over and as a producer the film I made, Bhagwan Dada, with Rajinikanth, did not do as well. So when I was driving with my wife and children in the car to Metro theatre, where the premiere of Khudgarz was being held, and I saw big hoardings and bands playing, I had tears in my eyes. My wife asked me what happened. I said, 'Pinky this is the last. If this doesn't work, everything is over. And I will have to look out for other work. I have tried as an actor and as a producer.' I went inside and the whole industry came to see the film. I got a standing ovation after the film and I started weeping like a kid. I couldn't imagine it, but did not look back after that. I don't cry in front of people ever, but tears just rolled down my eyes that day. 



Did your in-laws ever lose faith in you? 


No. They probably liked my sincerity and straightforwardness and the way I kept my family, I don't know how to manipulate and manipulating can given me sleepless nights, whether I have hurt someone knowingly or unknowingly. 



Who are you most attached to? 


My wife Pinky. She left everything and came to live with me, my brother and mother in just a two-room flat from a bungalow where she lived. She saw my frustrations. I could not give her what she deserved in life and that would always kill me, even though I would not tell her. I once told her and she said I don't want anything and just kept supporting me and saying, 'Don't worry, I am with you.' Even today, when God has given us enough, she doesn't have any demands and is not a spendthrift. She is a homely person and looks after the family very well. But she is quiet and keeps too much to herself. And it's only when she gets angry that things come out of her, so I have to make her angry sometimes to draw her emotions out. 



Are you as strong as Hrithik said you are? 


I am very strong and if I want to achieve something, I will not leave it. It's just the confidence in me that I can do it, even though I can fail sometimes, so I struggle and take different paths to achieve what I want. My one strength is that I want my name to be on the top and I feel I am born for that. 



Your daughter suffered from cancer, Hrithik had his brain surgery. How did you manage to not only deal with it, but also remain their shield? 


When I came to know that my daughter had cancer, it hit me very badly. I was at Peddar Road and did not allow my wife to cry. Sunaina was in the car and asked me, but I broke the news gradually to her. Recently, with Hrithik, he was to go to Prague the next day for shooting. He called at 11.30 the previous night and said, 'Papa is there no doctor in the world that can cure my headache?' And I told my wife, 'Let us take him for another MRI, since the last was taken a month back.' The next day my wife took him and she called me from there saying, 'Just come here.' I knew there was a problem and went there, where in the X-ray room I was shown the clot. I kept staring at it. Hrithik had already been told. I kept quiet, composed myself and took another opinion and was told that he cannot travel, otherwise he could suffer from paralysis or go into coma. Hrithik was worried, as it would mean a loss for the producers. But I explained to him that if something happened to him, the loss would be even greater and that being a producer, I understood that. So, he agreed to be operated the next day and even though it was only a ten-minute operation, I was very tense. But everything went smoothly and I realised that God gives us problems, but he also gives us a path to come out. I have gone through so many rough periods in my life that it does not affect me any more, as I know I will come out of it. 



What is Hrithik like? 


The best part of him is that he is very honest. He will not compromise on anything he does and is an extremely lovable human being. He will listen to everybody, is homely who needs to be pushed to go to a party. We have a large family of 80 people, but he still gives as much respect to everybody as he did before he became a star and touches everyone's feet. As a son, he gives me a lot of love and respect, even though he does not show it. If I tell him to do something, he will do it. What I don't like about him is that he trusts everybody. With experience, I know who to trust and who not to trust. I sold the film Krrish three years back at a big price at that time. And I know that I can ask for more today, but I won't given my business ethics, even though I have gone above budget. But with Hrithik, anyone can come and say that he is in trouble and he will just give away everything without even finding out whether he is speaking the truth or not. Working with him is the easiest for me as I know him inside out and unlike with another director, who could consider it interference, with me he is involved right from the screenplay. 



Did Hrithik's handicap affect you as a father? 


I knew those problems. When I was young, I too used to stammer. And I knew that like one day I got over it, he too would get over it too. It's related to your thought process, as your mind is working faster than your tongue. When you slow down your thought process and speak slowly, you don't stammer and that's how I treated myself. Also while he had a handicap, he was good in so many other things. He always came in the top three in his class. Also, he was always very creative, be it with his dinky cars or entertaining his friends with his bicycle stunts. He never had a hugging relationship with me and while he is not scared of me, he respects me.