Give me what I deserve

Published On: 2012-07-15

Author: unknown

Media Link:

"Give me what I deserve, I'm not asking for more"


Submitted By: Roserose2k
Typed By: Yvonne


Part I

Hrithik Roshan is back! 

Koi... Mil Gaya's phenomenal success has erased those two miserable years in Box Office Siberia and he now awaits the imminent release of Lakshya, where he plays an Indian soldier fighting a war in Kargil. 

Archana Masih, caught up with the articulate actor last fortnight, just before he left on a hectic concert tour of the US and Canada. 

The winner of all of Bollywood's Best Actor awards last year is on his way to the dentist and limping. He hurt his knee during a dance rehearsal two weeks ago, and has many things to finish before leaving for a one-and-half-month concert tour in Britain, the US and Canada. 

"There's so much to do and such few days," says Hrithik Roshan, limping into the elevator of his 9th floor apartment in Juhu, Mumbai, a neighborhood which is home to many of Hindi cinema's celebrities. Virtually next door live Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan, the former with who he will be seen in Lakshya shortly and had acted in the mega blockbuster Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham in 2001.

The star is polite without being overtly friendly. He calls his secretary to inform you well in advance that he will be late by 30 minutes so you don't hang around waiting for him. Unlike many stars who meet reporters in their offices or in an outhouse in their mansion, he invites you inside his living room while he finishes with some guests in another room. Unlike one superstar who did not offer colleagues even water on a hot day, he gets his staff to offer you a cold nimbu paani (lemon water) spiked with pepper. He then pops in to say he'd be through in five minutes...

Occupying prominent space in the large and tastefully done room are photographs of himself with his wife Suzanne and an assortment of framed family photographs. Coffee table books on Michelangelo, Picasso and M.F.Husain neatly lie on the glass and wood-lined table. An ornate silver mirror hangs on one wall, a plasma television on the other. The main door to the apartment has a nimbu-mirchi (a lemon and chilly) string, a common Indian charm believed to ward off misfortune. 

For the good looking and charming actor soaring high after the huge success of Koi...Mil Faya-the biggest hit in India last year-and looking forward to another big movie this year. Hrithik does'nt seem wanting in luck. Not for now. But with the wisdom of hindsight, he has chosen to thread cautiously. 

The lessons from the two-year lean patch after the phenomenal hit of his debut film Kaho Na Pyaar hHai are fresh and he knows the risks of over-stretching beyond the Indian horizon in search of roles in the West, merely on the back of his international looks and physique. 

Your kind of looks, many believe, would find you an audience in the West?? 

It's not about having international looks. It's about having the international attitude and the two people I can think of who really have that are Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan. I don't have that attitude at all. I'm basically very, very simple. Every time I have to be stylish in a film it takes a lot of energy. 

I'm very, very inspired by Hollywood but somehow I don't feel a motivation or a drive to want to do an English film right now. 

It is very simple for me to do roles like Rohit in Koi...Mil Gaya. I knew that character like the back of my hand. I was absolutely carefree, comfortable, relaxed. I didn't have to look good. I had to be myself, which is why I don't think I'd be a complete fit in Hollywood. Of cource if I have the drive and the motivation that is always the starting point for anything good that I've done in my life. 

When GQ featured you in March 2002 did it inspire you to look towards Hollywood?? 

I want to take what's good from there, get it down to where I'm and use that to help our cinema go to the next level. Sort of what we did with Koi...Mil Gaya, which has gone a long way in educating the audience that there is a world beyond our world. It conjures up an imagination, a vision in your mind that is beyond what you've been used to. 

The film worked here in India and not that much abroad because it was about trying to get those elements here. Abroad the entire audience has been used to these kind of films. What they actually like is a traditional Indian film - Dilwale (Dulhania Le Jayenge), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham -tradiotional, very high value films. 

That's not what I really want to do right now. I want to open those doors and windows and try and make films that are beyond just our family values, relationship-based films and romantic stories. 

What kind of films would those be? 

Why not make a film on computer for instance?? Like the film called "(The) Net. Introduce that here, educate people, they will be curious. Or a time travel film. Space... There are so many ways, so many places to go. That's what films are really about. 

For me, films are about entertainment. As children there were so many things that entertained us. We don't have that genre at all. All the films are being made by grownups. They forget the child in all of us still loves these kinds of films like Superman, Batman. 

Cinema is about entertainment. It's about taking your imagination to the next level. That's what I want to do. 

Part II


A Bead of Sweat hangs at the edge of Hrithik Roshan's sharp nose, Sushil, his driver who came on board shortly after Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai, turns the pedestal fan towards the actor's face and offers a white hand towel as he rehearses for the concert. 

It has been hectic. Hrithik, who turned 30 January 10, has lost weight and has been practicing for two and a half hours every day for the past fortnight for the concerts, which get underway in the US this week. With bottled water, some pink vitalizing drink and an apple as his energy boosters, he dances to It's magic, it's magic from Koi...Mil Gaya in a room where walls have been replaced with mirrors. 

Aishwarya Rai, Fardeen Khan, Celina Jaitley and Lara Dutta - the actors performing on the tour - practice with other dancing partners in three studio rooms in Andheri, a Mumbai suburb, while Hrithik matches steps with Sanjay, a dancer with the troupe accompanying him. 

The rehearsal is in its final leg, but there are still steps to learn from the Govinda trademarked Kisi Disco Mein Jaye and Tusshar's Dil Ding Dang Dil Boley, and concert choreographer Ganesh Hegde asks Hrithik to work on a low swiveling move. 

"Hrithik has a natural instinct for dance, but gets nervous easily. Sometimes you have to take care of him as a child to make his comfortable. He gets insecure but that's what makes him perfect with his steps," says Hegde, who choreographed It's magic for the actor and has hits like Khallas, Kambakht Ishq, Mast mahaulo mein jeene do... on his resume. 

The last time Hrithik did a concert in America was in 2002. he remembers how hectic that schedule was. The shows usually began at around 7 pm and ended by midnight. By the time he made it to the hotel it was about 2.30 am, giving him just about two hours to sleep before heading for the airport at 5.30 am for another six-hour flight. If he was lucky the hotel was a half hour from the venue and he'd get four hours of sleep in an average day. Sometimes there were four shows back-to-back and he was sleeping just 12 or 13 hours across four days. And when awake, he was only dancing. 

Will your wife Suzanne travel with you on the tour? 

She always does. You are so dead that you don't want to go out anywhere, so I want to lie down in bed and watch television. Its' really hell for her as well. All I do is be a zombie. The bags are packed, she does it all. She's my teammate in this. She does her bit and I do mine and together we pull it off. 

It must be a break from routine for sure? 

It is. It's a different kind of life. The last time I was there- you end up feeling like a god. You end up feeling invincible. But you have to keep in mind that it's all just an illusion because when you are on that stage and there are 40,000 people screaming out your name, you feel you can control the world. 

There are going absolutely crazy. What I always keep in mind is that every scream, every yell, every shout is just a compliment saying - 'job well done.' That's how I see it-as a compliment I never fail to remind myself that that's all it is because I have put that much effort into every shot of mine in that hot set, sweaty, perspiring and nervous, with all the palpitations that I get before every shot. All that is what is paying off here. 

Apart from all this, the money is good and we are all trying to earn money. 

Any objectives from this tour? Is it meant to recapture the NRI franchise that may have diminished after those non-successes of 2002 and 2003, and win over new audiences? 

If it does both, well and good. I had not though of these things until you voiced them. It's not even the last thing on my mind right now. It's (the concerts) got no purpose actually. It's a fun thing. 

It's a challenge doing so many shows back to back. It takes a lot out of a person: it's a high that you get when you are on stage with millions of fans all around you, screaming out your name. It's like they want me to come and perform for them and I can't say no to that, I, as it is, find it very hard to say no to anything. It's an opportunity for me to get closer to my fans there. To almost touch a few of them, talk to a few of them. 

Are you going to bring any innovations to the show, any fresh acts? 

I'm almost embarrassed to say that I don't call the shots. It's not like how Michael Jackson has a concert. He's boss there. He plans everything I guess. It's just like a movie and here Ganesh Hegde is the director. 

He's a fantastic show director, choreographer and a great friend of mind. He's great to work with. He designs the show, sets the pace, everything is about him. I'm only trying to give my best shot. 

Ganesh has tried something new this time. It's been packaged really well. It's a lot funnier, the entries are more dramatic. The rest I hope people receive us with as much acceptance, love that they accepted us when I went in 2002.

I hope the tickets are worth the show and the show is worth the ticket. I hope they have a nice time and I hope they don't go back saying it wasn't worth it. We're doing our best. 

How do you cope with life on the road? 

You've got to make time for everything. I do my best the whole day. I get exhausted, sit down, get up again and go on to the next thing. At the end of the day I make a little prayer to god to make the next day a 26-hour day but that doesn't happen and I end up being as exhausted as the previous day. 

Part III


A few hours after the music launch of Lakshya in Mumbai, Hrithik boards a flight to London. Lakshya, which is set against the 1999 India-Pakistan war in Kargil, will open on June 18, almost a month after India elects a new government May 13. 

The film has a dream cast with Preity Zinta, Hrithik's leading lady in Mission Kashmir, Koi...Mil Gaya, and Amitabh Bachcan, who played his father in K3G. Based on a rich Punjabi boy's journey from college to the Indian Army, the film is his only release this year. 

"We wanted sombody who could look vulnerable, be responsible and feel the sense of loss. Hrithik had the best face suited for the role in the industry," says director Farhan Akhtar, who is older by just one day to the star. 

Hrithik was meant to do Akhtar's debut film Dil Chahta Hai in 2001, but things didn't work out. Instead that year he was seen in Subhash Ghai's Yaadein and Karan Johar's K3G. Luck that had flirted with him since his magical debut, mercilessly abandoned him after k3G and the actor had to wait through four unsuccessful films and declarations of 'he's finished' from showbiz critics till his father's film, Koi...Mil Gaya came along. 

Now no one, not even Shah Rukh Khan can match his record - of the five biggest Bollywood hits since the new century began, Hrithik has starred in three of them, Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, K3G and Koi...Mil Gaya (Gadar A Love Story is the beggest and Devdas takes the fifth slot).
"Like they say in cricket - form is temporary and class is permanent. Hrithik is class," adds Akhtar. 

Were you very hasty after Kaho Na Pyaar Hai that you did not scrutinize scripts adequately? 

I don't think so. I did the right thing at the right time. It was the time to do all sorts of things. I was new. One does not necessarily have to do all blockbuster. You can't wait around and pick the one you think is going to be the next blockbuster. These films are hardly going to come your way. 

Once in a lifetime a film like Koi...Mil Gaya will come your way. But you have to keep working. You do different films for different reasons. At that time and that place I picked the films that I thought were right for me and I thoroughly enjoyed doing those films. yes, I did not use the right criteria. But that's what it is all about. It is about growing up, changing and realizing your mistakes. 

It's got me where I am now. The whole success of Koi... without those two bad years would not be as sweet as it is now. Everything happens for a reason and as long as I put my entire life into the next shot I think everything will be okay. 

What are your thoughts about Lakshya at this moment? 

Lakshya is as important as any other film that I've done. But it's a little bit more special because of the time that we have spent making this film. It's been really rewarding by itself. I like the whole approach Farhan has got in his films. It is very educating for me to have worked with him. He's a very mature director. Sometimes it's a relief that he is atleast a day older than me. Because if he was any younger, I'd feel really embarrassed because he's far more mature than anyone I've met who is my age. Just the way he handles his actors absolutely was a revelation. I've never been handled like this. It was absolutely phenomental. 

You must have spent time with Indian soldiers, how special was that?? 

I think we all should be ashamed of how ignorant we are about our armed forces. I am because I found out how much they do for us and what little they are doing it for. It just completely blew my mind. By the end of it I ended up wanting to be that man. That soldier. 

That man is the perfect man. He is strong. He is humble. He is polite. He is well mannered. He's strong. He's educated. He's intelligent. he's everything. And we know so little about this man who gives up his life, who risks his life to protect his country. 

I'm completely in awe of these people. By the end of my schedule, few of them had sent their autograph books to me and, for the first time, I felt something was not right here. These were people that I wanted autographs of and they were taking mine. I was almost embarrassed writing my name. But then that's the magic of the movies I guess. 


Part IV


ROHIT MEHRA IS A man trapped in a child's mind in Koi...Mil Gaya. To play that role Hrithik Roshan shed seven kilos and lived Rohit's life even after leaving the set each day. He watched cartoons and ate chocolates. He stripped himself of all glamour, sported the most unstylish haircut and putted out an impressive performance that has taken him to Bollywood's top slot for the second time in a four-year career. 

The film was the beggest grosser in India last year and after seven flops and two hits, Hrithik's sweetest success. 

Directed by dad Rakesh Roshan, who gave him his other blockbuster Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, there could'nt have been a better gift for his son. "The success or failure of a film depends on the director," says Rakesh Roshan. "Any actor, however good he is, can never rise above the script."

The director explains that his son has always given his best and as a parent it is gratifying to see the accolades. "It's like when your child come first or second in class, that feeling is indescribable."

Lke all his other movies Hrithik has seen the movie just once. It is too painful a mindset to revisit. He knows if he watches it again he would start thinking of that boy he had come out of. It would suck him in and change his thought patterns. It is like quicksand. 


Has Koi...Mil Gaya been your sweetest success? 

The sweetest. I couldn't have asked for more. It's just perfect (sighs). I remember the day the thought was conceived. The excitement and the fear. To this day, it's been the sweetest journey and I think it'll stay with me for the rest of my life. 


When doing the film did you know it would take you to the peak of success again? 

Not at all. I was so happy playing Rohit. I used to be shooting on some other set being this hero and I used to wait for that day when I'll be able to put on Rohit's clothes, his glasses, his cap and be able to be pure and innocent. 

I used to live his life, even when I came back home, it wasn't something that I left on the set. I used to be a child in my house, everywhere i went. A child is very spontaneous, instinctive, that's how I was. If I wanted something, I wanted it at that time only. It wasn't something I was trying to do to get into the character' it was something that was flowing from somewhere. 

What scripts are you considering now? 

I'm just looking for something that will really excite me. I'm not looking at a particular genre or a particular character. Films are for entertainment. It it's a good film, I'll do it. 

Very few things excite me now because I've done so much already. First, just having an action sequence used to excite me, just having the opportunity to play a common man used to excite me - all those things don't excite me now. 

Now what excites me is the film in totality and what I get out of it and what the people will say after they come out. It's far less personal and more towards the higher goal of it being a better film. A good film. 

Part V

WHENEVER HRITHIK ROSHAN is down and out he thinks of Shah Rukh Khan. The effect is instantaneous and he's up and back to work as quickly as the snap of his fingers. He watched Khan on the sets of Koyla and Karan Arjun when he (hrithik) was an assistant director to his father and has never forgotten the superstar since. 

The only film they worked on was K3G and he loved it. He had a smaller role compared to Shah Rukh but would gladly play second lead to King Khan if another opportunity came by. "He's a bigger star, the better actor. He'd have the better role. That's what he deserved. It's not something I'm going to fight against," says the actor vociferously explaining that he is not competition to Shah Rukh. 

One of the other actors who helped him immensely is Salman Khan and Hrithik refers to him as the greatest influence in his life. 

Salman helped him lose some of his inhibitions but it wasn't easy. 

"Every time, I've had to look stylish and suave, it took a lot of effort. I did manage to pull it off as the second guy in Kaho Na Pyaar Hai - the Raj character or for that matter in K3G. I know I can do it but I'm really not cut out for it as an indivitual," he says sitting in his car on the way to his dentist in Dadar in Central Mumbai, wearing a cool blue shirt and blue jeans. 

As an actor he doesn't exactly know what he's good at. When he started off he didn't know he was good at action and then he was. He thought he was a bad dancer but everyone said he was great, so he still hasn't got true self worth, he confesses. 

Aishwarya Rai, Bollywood's reighing queen who has only acted in a Coke commercial with him, says Hrithik is pure delight to work with and watch. 

"he is a fabulous performer, incredible dancer and brilliant actor. He is very committed and professional about his work which are the right ingredients for an actor," says Rai who was in the reckoning for starring opposite him in Mission Kashmir. 

Who are the actors you admire? 

People who really helped me when I was working towards being an actor were, of course, Amitabh Bachchan, who no child that has grown up in that generation can escape the influence of. 

Raj Kapoor has inspired me a lot. 

Salman Khan - I got a lot from him. He actually helped me lose my inhibitions because I was shy and introverted. He was the best influence in my life. 

Shahrukh - I've watched him as an actor and that's been the most rewarding experience. I've learnt so much from him. 

Aamir Khan - though I've never worked with him or seen him at work, I like his whole approach to films and career. 

Madhuri - she's one with whom I've worked most with as an assistant director. 

Tabu - inspired me for just the way she cries in films. She's a phenomental. 

Kajol - I couldn't learn anything from her because she is out of this world. I can't think of adaption something that is her approach because I don't think she has an approach. She's just completely, truly born to be an actress. 

When you were going through a bad patch did you ever think that people like Shah Rukh Khan were lucky to have hit after hit and you were stuck? 

I would never consider Shah Rukh Khan as competition. I am not going to be a fool by succumbing to what the media is saying that we are rivals. Shah Rukh is of a different generation. He is 12 years senior to me. 

I would never fell happy beating a Shah Rukh or sad losing to Shah Rukh. I've lonly learnt from him and look up to. She gives me advice from time to time on how to deal with things. I will never be able to match up to him. I'm very sad (about this). The media is basically digging my grave because if people start believing that I am capable to stand at the same level as Shahrukh my grave is being dug. 

Give me what I deserve. I'm not asking for more. But don't make it bad for me. I'm trying so hard not to get affected by what people write about me and Shah Rukh. If I every thought that he and I were rivals. I would have never done K3G

What is life like a movie star? 

I miss not having the baggage of being a star. To just throw oneself into an improvisation and find out in front of an audience if you can take it somewhere or not. 

Right now if I do that I have the whole baggage of being a star. And if I fail there's a lot to be embarrassed about. 

Sometimes I want to run away from here and join an action class in the States or somewhere, there they might not know who I am. So I would be in a better situation to learn. All the good things that I missed have been replaced by other things which I didn't have at that time. So I think the balance really is still there. I have no complaints. If I can't walk on the beach, I can fly to Paris and walk there. 

HRITHIK ROSHAN HASN'T walked on Juhu beach, a few minutes away from his apartment, in a long time. Being a movie star has robbed him of being alone in a crowd. It's probably something he has lost for life. 

There was a time he was invisible at a party. He was introverted. Shy.

To become an actor he broke those barriers and changed. he became suave, upbeat, the center of attraction at a party, but he knows he is not those things. it's an act he has to keep up because he is a star. 

Sometimes he says to himself, 'Who cares, I can forget I'm a star, and be my own self, isn't that the most important thing' but then it doesn't work, and people start telling him, 'What's wrong? Is everything ok"'

People expect a start to be star all the time, he says, and hopes he wasn't aware that they were watching him.