'Fiza will shock a lot of people'

Published On: 2014-06-01

Author: Lata Khubchandani

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'Fiza will shock a lot of people'

Seldom has an actor enjoyed the instant adulation and success that Hrithik Roshan has now come to accept as part of life. His debut film, Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai has had an uninterrupted eight-months-and-still-counting run. As for the actor himself, he has gone about his business -- acting. Now, a scant four days prior to the release of his second film, Fiza, Hrithik prepares to get ready for audience reaction to his character, diametrically opposite to the one -- or should that be ones! -- in KN... PH. Excerpts from a conversation with Lata Khubchandani:

How has life been after Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai? 
Since January this year, when the film released, I've been feeling like this huge boulder pushed off a mountain top. And I'm just gaining more and more speed as I roll down in this humungous hurry... I don't know what I'm hitting; I don't know what I'm going past; I don't know how many little things I've crushed on the way... but I can't stop myself. I'm just waiting to hit flat land, to slow down. Once I do, perhaps I'll be able to think clearly. 

What does your stardom tally look like, right now? 
I can't say -- I haven't sat down to tally my balance sheet. I haven't closed this account yet. So I really don't know the tally -- whether I'm more in debit or credit. But so far, it's been hard -- really hard. There are a lot of things I'd rather not have like saying, 'No time', which is such a cliched complaint all actors give. But it's true. I really have no time. I meet my mother so rarely that every time I meet her, it's like a homecoming. It's like, "Hey, where have you been?' There's less sleep, less time to prepare for my work, less time for rehearsals -- there are so many people around me. I really would like to please everybody. But after signing 20,000 autographs, I just cant sign the 20 more that are left. And I let those 20 people go without my autograph or shaking my hand. Those 20 will feel bad, think that I'm behaving like a star.... I wake up and when I come out of my room, there are children waiting for me in my drawing room… I meet them, sign autographs, go for a bath, dress and go down. At the gate, there are more children waiting. It's mostly children... and it affects me badly if I can't do anything for them. But I'm still a newcomer; I need to focus on my work. And I can't because I'm always so tired. I want to rehearse my lines, but before that I have to meet my fans. I get no time to do my work... 

Everyone is is waiting for your second film to see if you can come through. What do you feel about it? 
It doesn't make sense to me. I didn't take the release of my first film too seriously. So why should I take the second? 
I'm just going to take my work seriously. I have to keep doing my job to the best of my ability. And as long as I can do that, I don't see why anything should go wrong. Besides, the fate of the film is not in my hands. Fiza just happens to be my second release -- actually, it was the first film I had signed. 

How happy are you with your work -- since it's an unusual story? 
Very happy. The film is exactly what it was supposed to be. It's not a commercial, run-of-the-mill film. It's going to shock a lot of people, because I'm not doing what I'd done in my first film. For one, I'm playing Karisma's younger brother. A boy-next-door, very human character. There's nothing heroic about him. Till the end of the film, he tries to be the hero, but he can't. People should remember that I'm an actor who will do different kinds of roles. I refuse to get slotted as a commercial hero. I want to play characters that excite me.  Amaan, my character in Fiza, excited me because he's so different from your normal hero. It's exciting for an actor to get a role which is not the normal kind. Fiza is a sweet story about a mother, her son and daughter. The brother gets lost and the sister is looking for him. I come into the film in the second half. So, in that sense, it's really not MY film. It's Karisma's story and I'm playing a part in it. That's how Fiza should be looked at. 

So you think Fiza might show your versatility as an actor? 
If nothing else, it'll at least show that I'm trying to do something different. I'm trying to be an actor. I'm not trying to just make hit films. I want to act; I want to have fun with my art. I want to try and bring as many characters to life as I can. It's not about glamour, it's about creative satisfaction. 

Your Mission Kashmir is also about ready? 

That's right. I play Altaf -- a strong and heroic militant... He's seen a lot of pain, but he's strong and will not stand for injustice. Actually, he is in the wrong hands, though he doesn't know it. So this is another deviation from the normal hero type film. 

What other projects have you signed? 

Not many since KN... PH, simply because I have no dates. That's another point: Everyone talks about my signing films for crores of rupees... I wish I could! I certainly have that many offers. But the truth is, I can't. I've got to finish the earlier films that I'd signed. I'm now shooting for Na Tum Jano Na Hum -- I'd signed it a few months before the release of KN... PH. It's a cute love story by new director Arjun Sablok. I have a lot of faith in the script, which Arjun has written himself. I think it's a winner. It's so finely detailed. 

How has it been working with Esha Deol? 
She knows exactly what she's doing and she's very good. She surprised the hell out of me! Na Tum... will be released some time next year, while Mission Kashmir is slated for a Diwali release. 

Do you wish you hadn't signed these films earlier? 
Not at all. I'm happy with my films. I believe that right things happen at the right time and I go where my heart leads me. And I'm going to work hard at making these films beautiful. 

There are only a handful of actors who look like they could do any role that's given to them. You're one of those. What do you think? 

I know I could do any role that's given to me, but the way things are going now, I just don't have the kind of time that I need to prepare. And I can't help feeling my work has suffered because of that. There's so much happening. Take right now. If I weren't giving this interview, I'd be studying my lines and finding out more about little gestures and nuances I could add to my character. The more time you give a role, the more thoughts flood your mind. It's about time. If I go on at this pace, I know I'll fall flat on my face. I have to calm down, sit down, take control of my life, reschedule my way of working. 

But that's hardly in your hands, is it? 

So far, no. But I'll start organising myself from next year. I have to take control. Else I'll have no one to blame but myself. People will say, "Oh, he's just a fluke. Baap ne picture banayi thi, to (his father made a film and so) he took care of him. He's useless in films not directed by his father." Before that happens, I have to take myself in hand. 

The inevitable question -- how was it working with Khalid Mohamed? 

Very cool. He's always smiling, never hassled and keeps a good atmosphere on the sets. He was easy and made everyone feel easy. 

Has your success made you contemplative? 
No. Success is very transparent. I'm not the person the media has made me out to be. Yes, I've been appreciated to a great degree. I also realise it is unprecedented. So I attribute my success to timing and good luck. And some to my hard work! There's nothing special about me. Anybody else in my place could have done this.