Performance Art

Published On: 2015-11-07

Author: unknown

Media Link:

Performance art

Source: India Today
By: Suhani Singh

Actor Hrithik Roshan on the art of building your craft.

All around Hrithik Roshan's sea-facing home in Juhu are framed inspirational quotes, all coined by him. "Find beauty in everything", "Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure", "You never fail until you stop trying". One relies on them more especially if one is employed in the movie world-an artistic medium driven by commercial diktats. "I put them up so they can catch me off guard and trigger something when I probably need it," says Roshan. "Sometimes I'm thinking shall I or shall I not? And then I will read 'If you are looking for a sign, this is it.' The idea is to stop being superstitious, and look at things and decide now."

Roshan, who has been in the industry for 17 years now and whose affiliation with it goes further back thanks to actor-turned-filmmaker father, Rakesh Roshan, is conscious that Bollywood measures success largely by box office returns. How does he handle this clash of art vs commerce? His response reflects that all those motivational one-liners are very much his own creation. "The ideal situation is where your artistic pursuits, and the direction they are taking, are in alignment with the commercial environment," he says. "Sometimes that doesn't happen. I'm still learning, but from whatever I have learned, if you are subjecting yourself to the environment enough by watching films that have worked and not worked, and what people like, follow and think, which is to say that if you are with the times, then your passion will automatically align with the box office." Roshan is surrounded by art in diverse forms. Both S H Raza and Daku find space in his apartment. Raza in the dining area and the Daku graffiti -"Should. Would. Could. Did"- in his study-cum-children's playroom. He loves British graffiti artist Banksy too. "I love his quotes and the way he depicts them. There is a lot of mental acumen behind it, which I find extremely engaging," he says.
But for Roshan, there's no urge to flaunt only the biggies. The first painting you are likely to notice is a black-and-white one by Rashmie, his erstwhile stylist Akshat Tyagi's mother, which hangs in the passage. A chunk of a wall in the living room has adorable pictures of him with his boys-Hrehaan, 10, and Hridhaan, 8. The cinephile in him is also evident in a Charlie Chaplin portrait and Batmobile and Catwoman figurines. There are lovely small paintings with titles such as "A somewhere in between house" and "Of improvisation". By his own admission, Roshan is not very good with names. Prod him on the artists behind some of the works that grace his wall and the actor is apologetic. But he will happily take credit for them being there: "Every single piece that you see in this house I have selected myself just to reaffirm to myself that I accept my likes and my dislikes. It takes courage to put something up that you like. 'I like this, I am going to get it; it may look like rubbish but I like it'. That courage is something that people tend to take for granted."
One can sense the pride that Roshan has when talking about his home, which he shares with his boys who visit him over the weekend. "Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would have a passion to build homes or dabble in interiors," he says. "I am nuts about house and design magazines. I have apps on homes and interiors." It is easier to get the name of the entertainers who have shaped his artistic sensibilities. There is Amitabh Bachchan. "I still find myself studying him, his composure and pauses." The dancer in Roshan is in awe of Shammi Kapoor.

The fitness enthusiast in him idolises Sylvester Stallone. Other names cited include Raj Kapoor "his vulnerability struck me"; Jerry Lewis "in my childhood, I used to watch him every day" and of course Michael Jackson. "I feel such a deep sense of respect and gratitude for these artists who have inspired me," adds Roshan. Most will see 2016 as a lamentable year for Roshan, who found himself making headlines for all the worng reasons. Mohenjo Daro, his solitary release, failed to live up to the epic expectations attached to it, becoming one of the biggest duds this year.
Then there was the legal quagmire with Kangana Ranaut that Roshan found himself engulfed in and that kept the tabloids busy with umpteen stories of He Said, She Said. You'd think that Roshan wouldn't look back fondly at the year, cited by TV host John Oliver, and rightly so, as one of the worst in recent times. "The chaos in life actually is cathartic to find your centre," he says. "The film business has the potential to be very turbulent. There are no guarantees here." But Roshan isn't uneasy. "I would go one step bit too far and say that I think I have cracked it. I am really feeling a sense of so much contentment and peace, and feeling great about who I am, what I am doing, where I am and where I am going." This awareness Roshan says came "just within this year [2016]". What happened to lead to it? "I don't know...Probably it is inner evolution or whatever you call it. May be it is also failure or the extra chaos that removes the layers and you can actually find yourself." Roshan and his fans will hope that 2017 is better.

The actor will be busy from the get go with Kaabil releasing on January 25, a film produced by his family banner, Filmkraft. Directed by Sanjay Gupta, Kaabil sees Roshan play a visually-impaired man with revenge on his mind after a personal tragedy. "I see Kaabil as a small film with a large heart," he says. It will be competing with Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Raees for eyeballs, a scenario Roshan admits would hurt the financial prospects of both films. But Roshan isn't the sort to sit back and think about what could have been. He is assured, calm and collected. "In my entire life I don't think there has been a single moment that something has impacted me and it has not had the same effect on other people," he says showing faith in his forthcoming release's merits. "Which is why I have never been disappointed in my life. I always make peace with the results of my creative process." There's another potential quote for the wall.