Published On: 2012-07-05

Author: unknown

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Source: Cine Blitz
Submitted by: Vanita


He has felt the rapture of hits and the stings of duds…Post-Lakshya though Hrithik is in ‘Chillax’ mode. In Mumbai campus lingo, that means he is chilling, relaxing and generally having a ball! 

Hrithik Roshan is actually enjoying his time off from the sets. He is wading through loads of offers and scripts. Actually, he seems to have become a fervent convert to bindaas-ism! Today, as he strolls into his richly luxurious dinning room area, he looks like a lost waif. He is also waif-thin. He’s surprised we are not aware that he has been ill. Like the rest of us unfortunates who’ve been struck by viral fever, he too fell prey to it. Our keen eyes watch for signs that he is unhappy with the box office performance of Lakshya. Happily, we find none. He evidently has ample routers to keep him looking happy and content. 

But the question that has been on our minds for song time now, is why he hasn’t signed a film since the past 2 years! After all, Hrithik’s fundamentals have always been that one cannot rest on past laurels. But Hrithik, like we said is in ‘chillax’ mode. “I want to have fun,” he maintains. “I don’t want to take myself seriously. I want to explore, I want to experiment…uh I just want to chill out now.” He laughs. “The idea is to take less stress about everything. I am not a monarch here holding court and saying ‘Aao Mujhe Scripts Dikhao’ (Come and show me scripts). That’s not the scene you know, it never was. But I also think I was too intense earlier. Believe me, it’s a big pressure off me not to be so intense anymore.” Going by the glow on his face, we can well imagine!

The actor is impatient about the big deal being made about the fact that he hasn’t opened his account this year with an announcement of a film. “Don’t take it all so seriously,” he says. “I AM NOT UNEMPLOYED! It has only been six months that I have been away from the sets. A film will come my way; if not now, then six months down the line! Meanwhile, I am working on my father’s script. I have just returned from my shows. I always follow my heart. And I want to check out to what extent this phase will continue. Only then will I be able to tell if I did the right of the wrong thing by taking this path.” 

Then he gets ruminative. “Tell me, of all the films that I have done, how many will I be remembered for?” Hrithik reveals he is not adamant about doing just one film a year. “If there are three films that excite me I will even shoot for all of them in one year provided I don’t have to jump from one set to another. I don’t like working that way,” he says. 

The industry buzz is that the script he has been brainstorming with on with his father, since the past six months, is a sequel to Koi…Mil Gaya. We have heard various interesting stories of the film from those who claim to have inside information on the yet to begin film. “Ha, ha, ha, ha! That’s Funny!” Hrithik can’t stop chortling. “Tell me what else you have heard but only believe the story I tell you,” he says in confiding tones. “Playing Rohit of Koi Mil Gaya in a sequel will not be possible for me. Besides dad has come to a point where he wants to explore another idea. You know, he wrote Koi…Mil Gaya in a week. He went to Khandala, sat there for a week and finished writing the script in a shot. But with this film, somehow it seems to be taking longer. If we did a sequel to Koi…I would only be trying to imitate myself. That isn’t very exciting for me. I want to grow from my last film. This may sound over dramatic to a lot of people but while I was shooting for Koi…I had shut myself off from the world for one complete year. I wanted to know no one. I wanted to immerse myself in a child’s world. It was fun then but today I wouldn’t want to do that again.”

While Koi…Mil Gaya has firmly placed him at the top of the heap, surely it must hang like a milestone around his neck too? It was the kind of film that creates a benchmark and every subsequent film has to be better than that landmark. Hrithik valiantly defends his home production saying, “I would never think of Koi Mil Gaya as a burden. NEVER! It has given me so much! And you always want to hope and grow…I always look forward to greater achievements, higher goals; that’s the only way you have triumphant endings. Koi…was the highest peak I wanted to conquer. That’s why it became what I did. I am happy that it became a benchmark in my head. How else will I know how much I have grown? I am glad it tapped a side to me that even I didn’t know existed. And I have a whole load of characters inside of me that I know I can play!”

Lakshya was definitely a sharp departure from anything that he had done so far. It just doesn’t have the Hrithik stamp to the way he has portrayed Karan Shergill, the meandering aimless youth who finally finds a calling in life. While Hrithik has been roundly praised for his performance from all quarters, the box office has been disappointing, that must have knocked him up pretty bad, right? “Nope,” says a super cool Hrithik. “If you ask me, I have not been happy with watching any film as I was with Lakshya. I think it is one of my most successful films. People have been reaching out to me and congratulating me on my performance. That has truly been heartening. I sincerely think the mounting of this film has not been seen in Indian films before. The film will not be loosing proposition for everyone everywhere. In Mumbai alone, it will do a business of over Rs. 5 crores, which is considered a hit!”

There were quite a few horror stories doing the rounds about director Farhan Akhtar and producer Ritesh Sidwani’s high-handed ways. Was it a tough film for him to do emotionally and physically? Apparently it was, as Hrithik recounts the experiences he had shooting at high altitudes where the oxygen level was dangerously low. “When I started working on the film, I felt like I had gone back to school. They didn’t allow us to do anything! There was a protocol to everything. All the actors were given printed instructions, which specified everything they had to do. Those instructions had to be strictly followed. There were rules and regulations and laws. When you enter this kind of a set up from an atmosphere of freedom, you do feel a little out of place. You feel you are not fitting in. it’s uncomfortable; you know what I mean?”

“On my father’s set, everything is done differently. Dad gives the orders and those are executed. Nothing is done on paper. Dad doesn’t belong to that school! On the Lakshya sets, an actor could not just get up and enter the sets, if he was not required there at that point of time. If make-up and hair was scheduled at 6.15 am., you were expected to be ready with it. Someone was keeping a constant check and if you got delayed you were made aware of the fact that you were late. There was a specific place for the actors to sit. There were enclosures. There was a lot of segregation of labor. Initially, I did feel very alien in such an atmosphere. But by the third or fourth schedule, I realized that this is the way it should be. Practically speaking, it was an actors dream. I didn’t have to do anything. Someone was responsible for my hair and makeup; someone else was responsible for my costumes. All I had to do was memories my lines and land up on the sets and give my shot. I realized that by working this way things were far more organized. Everyone was working towards the betterment of the project.”

Four years ago Hrithik, the newcomer, must have had a whole set of pressures and insecurities. Would he say that those pressures and insecurities have diminished after his current super-successful status? Success comes with its own baggage, Hrithik explains, “ The challenge for me now is to maintain what I have already achieved,” he says. “Today, hopefully I am considered an actor of some worth, by a lot of people. That has not come easy. I have worked very hard for it; the challenge for me now is not to let people down. To live up to what is expected of me. And the only way to make that dream a reality is by doing things that I am passionate about. The other challenge is of course, to reach where legends like Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan have reached. As an actor, I see the kind of heights they have achieved and I want to reach where they have too…”

But in the four odd working years that he has been in the industry, he is already been bracketed with them. So that is a pinnacle that he has evidently already reached. 

Hrithik terms this an unrealistic viewpoint. “It doesn’t matter how much people bracket me. I know exactly where I have reached and it is now where close to these legends. I don’t think I am foolish enough to put myself in the same bracket as Big B and Srk. The kind of respect and recognition I have achieved is a fragment of what they have. I have a long way to go and no one knows that better than me. You know, being at the top doesn’t just mean you have to be a good actor. You need to have complete control over your senses, your knowledge, every bit of information should be at your fingertips and more importantly, you should know how to handle the world around you. This is basically what has gone into the making of icons like Mr. Bachchan and Srk and so many innumerable others in the industry. I think, it is also very important to basically be a good human being. Otherwise all you talent counts for nothing.” 

It’s a very common perception in the industry circles that Hrithik Roshan dislikes being part of a camp. He is often considered aloof in an industry that thrives on bonhomie, however fake that may be. Sighing, Hrithik remarks, “The concept of camps is something I don’t fully understand. I don’t know what a camp is,” he tries to explain in frustrated tones. “Of course, I know what it is theoretically but in my head it doesn’t quite hold true. I don’t see so much of ‘campism’ happening anywhere around me. If you ask me honestly, camps signify people clinging to the one most important person. And that doesn’t work well for me, I am sorry. For one, I work best alone. I don’t like people praising me. I would rather be with people who can honestly tell me where I am going wrong rather than be with people who a** lick and give me a distorted view of reality. I need that kind of honesty to evolve as a person. That is my only aim.

“Insecure people need to be praised and buttered all the time, in order to feel invincible and God-like. I fully realize how frail human beings are. But that is a good thing about common people. You can live with your faults and not feel any the less a person because you have faults. Those who create camps around them need to be surrounded by people who put them on a pedestal. And the people who buzz around the ‘important people’ are there only because that person is their only claim to fame! In such an unhealthy scenario, I think I am best left alone. I am my best critic; I have my feet firmly planted on the ground and my head firmly screwed onto my shoulders. I don’t need people to tell me how good I am .I only need them to tell me how bad, I am! “ He laughs.

The popular perception about Hrithik is that he is boringly nice! Doesn’t the Mr. Good image tire him? A little notoriety is always good to spice up a stars image. Shooting a I’ll-strangle-you look Hrithik gripes, “Now, now come on. I can’t help being the way I am. I don’t think I need to be bad just so that people will stop thinking I am fake! Fakes are weak people and I am NOT weak! And please I am perfectly comfortable being who I am. I will not change just because my image needs to be spiced up. But I would also like to ask, from where did this tag of Mr. Nice suddenly come along? According to the media, I have had several affairs with my heroines. How conveniently that is forgotten, now. Well, in any case, thanks for entertaining me with all the contradictions. And just for the record, I love being Mr. Nice!”

And, not just for the record, we love it too!