Up close with Hrithik Roshan

Published On: 2014-06-03

Author: Rohit Khilnani

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Up close with Hrithik Roshan


By: Rohit Khilnani 
Date:  October 4, 2000 

The whole of India seems to be reeling under the impact of the phenomena called Hrithik Roshan. Many mothers want to name their child Hrithik, children's school bags sag under the weight of Hrithik Roshan posters and postcards. Everyone seems to lavish praise on this sensation, who with just one movie has attained an enviable position that most actors would die for. Hrithik Roshan has old and young alike swooning over him. Now after the release of Fiza, he has proved to all that he is not a one-hit-wonder and is here to stay. 

How do you feel when you think of people's and the industry's response to Hrithik Roshan? 

I am amazed and scared at people's reaction to me, as I am just two films old. People's expectations from me are sky high. It is so difficult to go out now without getting mobbed by crowds. I am a quiet guy and so much adulation puts me on guard. Popularity can be humbling, as I have to live up to what the audience demand. I am still the same Hrithik and not used to being in the public eye. 

It is said that director Khalid Mohamed penned the role of Amaan keeping in mind your deep and expressive eyes? 

Yes, he had decided that only I could play Amaan convincingly. It was a dream role about a Muslim boy who gets lost after the Mumbai riots. I listened to the narration for five seconds and agreed to do the movie. It was a chance of a lifetime. The role gave me an opportunity to act on different levels and explore my potential. Khalid has spent a lot of time understanding filmmaking. He was always very understanding. He would just smile and tell us to do it the way he perceived it. I trusted his capabilities to evoke and project the best in us. 

You are winning laurels for your Tandav piece. How do you manage to maintain your Greek God physique? 

First of all it is not a Tandav. It's a four-minute training musical sequence, which is titled as Amaan's Fury in the audio. Actually, I'm very thin and my tight schedules do not give me enough time to work out regularly. I usually start working out a week before any shots which require me to have a good physique. Maybe that's why I look muscular in some scenes and look thin up front. 

How was it working with Jayaji and Karisma in Fiza? 

Jayaji is a great actress. She is like my mother and she did pamper me on the sets. In fact, she used to call me betu. She is very spontaneous and creative which is an excellent quality in an actor. I got to learn so much working with her. Karisma is a very sweet person. She helped me with my takes and my scenes. 


Has assisting your dad enabled you to be a better actor? 

I have helped my dad out in 7 movies including Khel, Karan Arjun and Koyla. Working with him was a great experience and has helped me immensely. I read the script as a director and am hence able to visualise and think whether I'll be able to play a particular character the way the director pictures it. Working with my dad gave me an insight on technical understanding and the creative details of a film.

Do you feel that you have to avoid getting stereotyped as a star?
Fiza traced Amaan's growth from a young teenager to a tough young adult who fights against the wrong. In Kaho Na Pyaar Hai I played an extrovert as well as a quiet guy. I am an actor and actors do not have any images. A good actor convinces his audience with a realistic portrayal of characters. Some people feel since I played Karisma's brother now we may never work as a romantic pair. But, I do hope that we get the opportunity to prove others wrong in this regard. It would be a real challenge.


You are reportedly keeping poor health; the industry got to you so soon? 

I was very insecure initially and I signed a lot of films during that phase. I was running all over the world shooting and was very upset at my overworked schedules. I was so strained that it soon began to show on my health. I often got fever and had back problems too. But now I am very choosy about the kind of films I do. I don't want to overwork and burn myself out in a short while. I can afford to relax a bit now and do quality work. 

Where do we see Hrithik Roshan some years from now? There are talks that you might turn to direction soon. 
I have just started acting. Right now I am looking forward to the release of Mission Kashmir. It's an excellent movie. As an actor I have a very long way to go and it will take some time. There are numerous characters I would like to play and a lot of people I'd like to work with. Give me that time to prove myself. People speculate if I'll turn to direction in the future like my dad. All I can say is its too soon to tell. I have just found my feet here, there is still time for encore.