Rakesh Roshan Interview 2001

Published On: 2013-01-05

Author: Subhash K. Jha

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By: Subhash K Jha



He was one of the wannabe pin-up idols of the 1970s. Then Rakesh Roshan re-invented himself as one of the most successful film directors of commercial Hindi cinema. Now he’s the father of one of the phenomenal superstars of Indian cinema. In person, Rakesh Roshan carries his tremendous achievements effortlessly. Well mannered,humble and pleasant, the boy nextdoor who regaled us in light-hearted comedies and musicals like Khubsoorat, Khatta Meeta and Khel Khel Mein is today mobbed as Hrithik’s Dad. Rakesh Roshan has just made a wonderful ad for Coca Cola, with his son
playing a lovable vagabond who wins over a hoity-toity heiress. Sweet dreams are made of these, I guess...



This has been a spectacular year for you. Kaho Na Pyar Hai is not just dream launch for your son, it’s also a roaring hit. How do you explain its popularity?

God has been kind. What happened with Kaho Na Pyar Hai is, the music and the film were immensely liked. And then Hrithik was appreciated to such an extent that the film was pulled even further at the box-office.


Do you think Kaho Na Pyar Hai would have worked just as well with another established hero like Shah Rukh Khan who was originally supposed to do the film?

No, Shah Rukh was supposed to do another script. We have no way of knowing what would have happened to Kaho Na Pyar Hai if another actor had done the film. Having a newcomer in the lead is an advantage only as long as he’s good. And by good, I don’t mean simply good-looking. He has to be a good actor. Otherwise, a good-looking star without talent looks dumb on screen. But I had told Hrithik before the release of Kaho Na Pyar Hai that people will take to him even if the film is a slow-starter.

I remember seeing Hrithik giving a riveting performance as a child in a film produced by you and directed by your father-in-law, J Om Prakash, called Bhagwan Dada. Did you anticipate his super-success?

It’s all God’s karishma. That’s how I feel. It’s as though God has sent a message to every person on earth (laughs) that they have to like Hrithik. I wasn’t really prepared for his success to this extent. But let me tell you, two days before the release of Kaho Na Pyar Hai we had gone to check the sound and prints at a theatre in central Mumbai. As we drove to Juhu, every car that passed us wished us luck with the movie. The same was true when we drove back. I told Duggu (Hrithik) that this has never happened. It’s all God’s doing, and both my son and I are thankful to Him. On the day of the film’s release, audiences whistled and clapped the minute his name came on. Without seeing him, people seemed prepared to love him.

But before Kaho Na Pyar Hai, films with heroes in a double role hadn’t been doing well at the box-office. Did that scare you?

I knew a film of this kind, if well-scripted always does well. There are numerous instances to prove my point.