Changing Phases

Published On: 2012-03-31

Author: Devesh Sharma

Media Link:

Changing Phases


Source: Screen
By: Devesh Sharma


Early in his career, father Rakesh Roshan taught his son that an actor’s life is nothing but phases... Sometimes good and sometimes bad. No wonder, undettered by the recent critical comments,Hrithik Roshan quietly moves ahead to conquer new worlds. For, courage and fortitude are the hallmarks of a true survivor... 

The promos of Koi Mil Gaya are pretty intriguing? 

My father, Rakesh Roshan, has always believed in giving something unique to the viewers. He has applied this formula to all his ventures and for a long time he wanted to do something that has never been attempted before in the annals of Hindi filmdom. To make Koi Mil Gaya a worthwhile moviegoing experience, we hired the same SFX team from Hollywood that had worked on Independence Day and Godzilla, so I can assure you of never-before-seen special effects at least. 
The film is been touted as a confluence of E.T. and Forrest Gump in the trade circles? 

Well, unlike Forrest Gump, my character in Koi Mil Gaya isn’t mentally challenged but is a 11 year old kid trapped in a man’s body. And as for the similarity with E.T. or even Close Encounters Of A Third Kind, yes, there is an alien and yes, there are spaceships, so there are bound to be comparisons. But, believe me, our treatment of the theme is totally different and Indianised. I don’t think that American or European filmmakers have a copyright on UFOs or science fiction and it is high time that our filmmakers started incorporating such elements in Indian films too. We haven’t just added these features for the sake of padding up the film. They are very much a part of the storyline 


Do you feel that it is only your father who has the ability to draw the best out of you? 

(Smiles) Who understands a son better than his father? My father will always put a little extra love, a little extra care while making a film for me, and the effort will surely shine through. However, I have been blessed in the sense that till now I have worked with several top directors and all of them, through their efforts, have contributed to my growth as an actor. 


After Mission Kashmir, it took a long time for you to team-up with Preity Zinta? 

I know that our pairing in Mission Kashmir was well received and people expected us to appear in more films together. However, due to circumstances beyond our control, we weren’t able to do so till now. She’s a sparkling actress and her presence has added another dimension to both Koi Mil Gaya and Lakshaya. 


Your earlier release, Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon was the first Rajshri venture which not only was shot abroad but also used animation in abundance... 

(Interrupts) I knew right from the beginning that MPKDH is going to be Rajshri’s most lavish film till date and the fact did bring with it an added tinge of responsibility. They shot the film abroad because its main protagonist was shown to enjoy both water and snow sports and it would have been difficult to shoot those scenes authentically in India. In fact, both Kareena and I performed most of our own stunts. We didn’t even use body-doubles for the bungee-jumping sequence and the overall result was mindblowing. Today, the audience has so many options for entertainment that only by giving themselves something unique you can hope to stay ahead of the pack. The special effects were added for similar reasons. 

How did it feel to be a part of the Rajshri set-up? 

Rajshri’s do have a certain aura. A certain myth surrounds their banner and it feels nice to be a part of their extended family. Right from day one of the shooting, it never felt like I was working for some outside banner, it all looked as if it was my own home production. The whole process ran like a well-oiled machine. There were no false starts, no hiccups. Every person in the unit knew his job well and executed it on time. 


How would you rate Sooraj Barjatya as a director? 

I must say that I’m hugely impressed by Sooraj’s approach to work. It is said that “God is in the details,” and Sooraj lives and breathes this motto. He is so wonderfully organised that as a result, he is the most relaxed person on the sets and soothes others by his presence. He has an uncanny intuition when it comes to his actors and knows how to make them comfortable at every step and thereby extract their best from them. Like other young directors on the scene today, he likes to work by a time-bound script. Then, he doesn’t limit himself to just direction but oversees every other department concerned with filmmaking as well. All-in-all, working with him was a hugely satisfying experience. 


Prem, the character that you played in MPKDH was Salman Khan’s sobriquet in the last three Rajshri films... 

(Interrupts) Yes, I know that there are bound to be comparisons between Salman’s rendering of Prem and mine but let me remind you that Prem as conceived in Maine Pyar Kiya was different from the Prem which appeared in Hum Aapke Hain Koun or Hum Saath Saath Hain. In MPKDH too, Prem was written with a different concept in mind. I had always envied Salman that he got to play these extraordinary roles and I’m both honoured and pleased that fate granted me an opportunity to portray this wonderful character. 

How would you describe Prem in your own words?

Prem, on one hand, is a sensitive, caring individual and on the other believes in taking risks and living life to its fullest. He can be emotional one minute and his love can turn very raw and physical the next. He belongs to the generation-next and yet hasn’t forgotten the age old Indian values. In short, he is a lucky guy who has imbibed the best of both eastern and western cultures in his psyche. While Abhishek Bachchan who also played Prem in the film, he was shown to be an introvert, while I was depicted as an outgoing, extrovert character. 

Going by press reports, you really seem to be enjoying playing a true-blue soldier in Lakshaya? 

I’m well and truly enjoying wearing the uniform because the role is close to my heart. Our soldiers are heroes in the truest sense of the word. They selflessly guard our borders with their lives. I wanted to depict the role of an army man as authentically as possible and hence decided to sport a crew cut. Farhan is a wonderful director and working well within the bounds of commercial cinema has made several sensitive reflections concerning the Kashmir issue with Lakshaya. I’m sure of the fact that the audience is going to love and appreciate the film.