Hrithik magic

Published On: 2012-07-28


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Hrithik magic


Source: YT 


He became a rage with Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai. He showed how intense he could be in Fiza. And with Koi ... Mil Gaya he has proved that he can slip under the skin of any character. PRATIBHA UMASHANKAR has an exclusive chat with him to find out what makes him tick ... 

HE'S THE universal heart-throb. With Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, he conquered the teenyboppers. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie made every parent want to have a son like him. Now with Koi ... Mil Gaya he has the junior brigade eating out of his hands. That about covers everybody. But when he says 'Hello,' over the phone, his voice sounds soft, almost hesitant. No starry airs here. His simplicity and humility come across clearly. If it is difficult to track him down, it is not because he wants to play hard-to-get, but because he has only 24 hours in a day to fit in all the things that demand his time.
But yes, we tracked him down ... somewhere between whizzing in and out of shoots and show rehearsals. He is profusely apologetic for the delay. And it is that soft voice again that answers all the questions patiently and at length. You realise that here is a person who is choosy about what he does, and having chosen to do something, believes in doing it well. The chat reveals one thing ... no, two things - stars don't have it easy. And stars are human, too.

YT: You were a child star before you were officially launched in Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai.

Hrithik Roshan: My maternal grandfather - J Om Prakash - always thought I had a special talent. He had to his credit 14 to 15 silver jubilee hits. It was his idea that I should do roles in his films. He thought that I was his lucky mascot. So he gave me bit roles, dancing with the heroes like Jitendra or Dharmendra. So I was into films from childhood. The films were produced by my father and directed by my grandfather.

YT: Bhagwandada was your first film with a proper role wasn't it?

HR: Yes. It was the first time my grandfather gave me a big role. I was the adopted son of Rajnikanth. And it became a silver jubilee hit, too.

YT: You are seen as a teen heart-throb. Wasn't it a professional risk to do such an unconventional role in Koi ... Mil Gaya (KMG)? 

HR: I am not commercial in my thinking. I don't think of a character or a film as a commercial proposition or whether it will become a big hit. I go by my instincts. The character of Rohit appealed to me and the film appealed to me. My heart was just jumping to do it. I was excited to do the role.

YT: The film has already bagged many awards. What about the Zee Awards in Dubai?

HR: I am very happy that I have a nomination. On such an important day for the Hindi film industry, it feels good to feel a little important. It makes me feel special. That itself is a big joy for me. Of course, it will be great if I win the award, because the film is special to me.

YT: Both your big hits - Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai and KMG have been with your father. Does it mean your father brings out the best in you?

HR: In a way, I believe that. It's true that my two biggest commercial hits have been with my father. But according to me, my own best performance was in Fiza directed by Khalid Mohammed - a new director. So, it may not be right to say that only my father brings out the best in me. All the directors took me and tried to change my style and my fort. That's why, perhaps, things went wrong. That's why I had a few flops in between. They (the directors) became too dependent of me as a star as opposed to me as an actor. They could not bring out the actor in me.

YT: You got married early in your career. Wasn't it a professional suicide, since your image was of a romantic hero?

HR: I don't believe that. My personal life doesn't have anything to do with my professional life. It was the love of my life. When Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai got completed and became a big hit, half my joy was because now I could marry the girl I wanted to.

YT: Did you have any misgivings before signing K3G, since you were cast along with a superstar like Shah Rukh Khan and a legend like the Big B?

HR: Not at all. I felt flattered that I was being asked to do a role in a film with such stalwarts. In fact, not many may know it, but Karan Johar wanted to sign me for the role even before Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai. You can imagine the kind of faith he had in me to do something like that! I told him that he was being very nice, but he should think over it and not be in a hurry to sign me on.

He came to my house to offer me the role. But I wanted him to first see my work in Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai. I told him to wait and watch. It was nice of him to sign a new-comer like me because of his love for me. I thought it was a great opportunity for me and had no apprehensions whatsoever, being in the same film with such big stars.

YT: Tell us about your new projects.

HR: Lakshya is due for release in June. It has war as the backdrop. But I cannot say more than that about it at the moment. I am discussing scripts with my father. I am also discussing a lot of stories with others, but have not decided on anything yet.

YT: Does this mean you are choosy about films?

HR: I am not choosy in that sense. I could do five films at a time, but all the five need to excite me at a certain level. I am looking for scripts that excite me. It could be one or it could be 10.

YT: After your stint as a child actor, there was a gap before you were officially launched in Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai. When did you decide to take up acting as a career?

HR: I can't remember any particular point of time when I decided. I grew up with films and I wanted to be part of it.

YT: Did you nurse any other ambition when you were growing up?

HR: Yes, at times I wanted to be a scientist. And at times, I wanted to walk on the moon....

YT: Was that probably what made you want to do the role in KMG, as it has a touch of sci-fi to it?

HR: Yes, I'm a complete sci-fi buff. I am fascinated by it. And playing the character of Rohit was like a dream come true ... definitely the most fulfilling role.

YT: How did you prepare for it?

HR: I looked deep inside of me ... for the child in me. When I found him, I had found Rohit.

YT: But you were a grown man acting like a Class 7 student. How did you gel with the other youngsters - your friends in the film?

HR: My first challenge was to find that character within me. Once I did that, I was comfortable with what I was doing. That was the most important task. The rest came naturally.


YT: Between your two big hits, you had a few flops. How did you cope with that?

HR: It's part of the game, and one learns from them. But I would definitely say that none of my flops were bad memories and I stand by each and every one of my roles. And I have learnt something from all of them.

YT: You are one of the best dancers in the business. How did you learn to dance like that?

HR: I am still learning. (Laughs)

YT: But you threw a surprise in Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai. Did you look deep within you to find a dancer, too?

HR: Actually, I was not good at dancing. I had to work very hard to get the moves. I practice a lot. It is because of the hard work I put in that I can dance well.

YT: You grew up with films. But did you have any formal training in acting?

HR: Yes I did. I attended Kishore Namit Kapoor's acting institute.

YT: What makes you get up every morning and go to work?

HR: It is definitely how inspired and excited I feel about what I am doing. That's what makes me want to go to work.