Rakesh Roshan’s rendezvous with Khalid Mohamed

Published On: 2015-03-26

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Rakesh Roshan’s rendezvous with Khalid Mohamed


Source: DNA
Date: June 4, 2006 

Director’s cut: If I was on Simi Garewal’s Rendezvous, it was only as Hrithik’s father, says Rakesh Roshan. 

In his gizmo-stacked office in Oshiwara, he can video scan the visitors. Right now, I shuffle in, glance at the abstract red-and-black paintings, the armload of jubilee trophies and award statuettes, gulp down ginger tea and ask Roshan Roshan:

You’re about to release Krrish, the 12th film you’ve directed, but how come you’ve never been considered a hotshot director? 

I’m still not. I guess I just don’t have the gift of the gab to be quoted every day in the newspapers and news channels. That’s okay because I have a loyal audience which comes to my movies ever since Karan Arjun – even on the first day’s 6 am show in towns like Amravati, Akola, Bhilai, Nagpur and Raipur. At that early hour, if there are 1,000 spectators inside the cinema hall, there are 2,000 outside, hoping to get a ticket somehow.
I’m not outgoing or outspoken. I don’t appear on television chat shows simply because they don’t call me. If I was on Simi Garewal’s Rendezvous, it was only as Hrithik Roshan’s father..and not as a director in my own right. And I haven’t been on Koffee with Karan simply because I haven’t been asked to.
In other words, you aren’t media savvy.
And I’d like to keep it that way. For me my film is more important, I know that I’ve grown as a director with every film, maybe it’s too early to say this but Krrish is my best film yet.

Did you feel a similar growth while acting in as many as 100 films?

I did and I stuck around doing the hero’s as well as parallel and negative roles. Frankly, I did feel frustrated because I never got an opportunity to work with the top directors. Although, I made a debut in Ghar Ghar ki Kahani under the B Nagi Reddy banner, and worked with J Om Prakash and Sohanlal Kanwar. 
I was never called by BR Chopra, Yash Chopra and Vijay Anand. I was a struggling hero despite my good performances in Khel Khel Mein, Kaamchor, Aakhir Kyon? and Khatta Meetha. 
I produced Aapke Deewane and Kaamchor which were extremely successful, but still it was no go. Jaya Prada went 10 steps ahead, while I was left behind. I just wasn’t pushy. Also luck wasn’t on my side.

Were you as fastidious as Hrithik about getting a shot perfectly right?

Not at all. On the contrary, I would be relieved when a shot was okayed. Hrithik does ask for another take occasionally – when he knows he can do it better and he always does.

Is it true that you didn’t want Hrithik to join the movies?


He was a B.Com graduate, he’d got a first division. I wanted him to study further in the US, after all the movie business can be extremely uncertain. My father (music composer Roshan) had passed away when I was in the first year of Pune’s Wadia College. I dropped out to assist HS Rawail on Sunghursh and then Mohan Kumar on Anjaana and Aap Aaye Bahar Aaye. 
That was because I had no formal education to fall back on, there wasn’t enough money to keep the house running. I got married at the age of 21 to Pinky who was just 17. And I’m glad I did because now Sunaina and Hrithik are like my friends, not my kids.

What about the trade’s belief that Hrithik is at his best only in your films?

(Laughs) They have to say that, because in my case Hrithik is working with the best director. 
Trade gup has it that you weren’t too keen for Hrithik to sign on Ashutosh Gowariker’s Jodha-Akbar.
Nonsense! I don’t interfere in his choices at all. He’s intelligent enough to make his own decisions. Unlike him, I had no options.Unlike me, Hrithik has worked with quite a few of the frontline directors..if their films didn’t succeed, there was little he could do.

Are you referring to Subhash Ghai’s Yaadein?

Hrithik signed Yaadein on the day of the release of Kaho Na Pyaar Hai. Now, audiences expected him to carry Yaadein on his shoulders but it wasn’t his story alone. 

Now you’re sitting in your wonderful office, but isn’t it essential to project yourself just a few weeks away from your film’s release?

Sorry but I don’t have the talent to shout from the rooftops. Although I can gauge kaun kitne paani mein hai, I keep my feelings to myself. I’m just not demonstrative. I’ve never kissed and hugged Hrithik in public. I haven’t even held my wife’s hand in public. If I did, she would feel there’s something very wrong with me.