Hrithik, the great!

Published On: 2016-07-14

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Hrithik, the great



Source: Deccan Herald 

Date: January 27, 2008 



Shaheen Raaj finds out all about Hrithik Roshan's historical journey in 'Jodhaa Akbar' . Hrithik Roshan has finally ventured out, once again, of the Filmkraft home turf. The die was cast with Sanjay Gadvi’s Dhoom 2 and now he is eating, drinking, walking, sleeping and breathing nothing else but Ashutosh Gowarikar’s magnum opus Jodhaa Akbar. 



Excerpts from an interview: Your journey from Kaho Na Pyar Hai to Dhoom 2 had just 14 stopovers? Don’t you think it was below average? 


En route I have also done seven other movies, six as a child artiste and one special appearance in Farah Khan’s Om Shanti Om. So you can say that my tinselville tour was of two decades (1987–2007) and not just seven years. The milestone journey was layered with so many sweet experiences that it has totally enriched me in the long run, not just as an actor but also as an assistant director. And very soon I am planning to wield the megaphone. I have always wanted to be behind the camera and not in front of it. Yet no regrets! I think I am more prepared and experienced now to do full justice to my passion of directing a movie all on my own. 



From a super hero in Krissh you are all set to turn into a historical heartthrob with Jodhaa Akbar... 


Well! I think after the release of Jodhaa Akbar, it will be Ash who will become the ‘Queen of Hearts’. But allow me to be very modest that it’s not just a heroine-oriented movie. We both have done our best. We both have a title role. 



How different is Ashutosh Gowarikar's on-screen adaptation from the textbook version? 


The textbook version has always been like hearsay evidence. But Ashutosh with his long-standing research on the actual lives of Queen Jodhaa and King Akbar has gone many steps further by penetrating deeper into their personal relationship in lieu with the effect their romantic liaison had in a society of those times. First of all, the religious divide had to be delved into carefully and then the finer nuances, the entire gamut of their romance also had to be projected in its proper perspective. And I think Ashutosh has done a par excellence job.



How difficult was it to get into the many layered skin of King Akbar’s character? 


First of all Ashutosh had strictly advised me to relay only on the partly fictionalised script and not to make my own research by digging my head into the actual historical accounts. No Sir! I was not allowed to burn midnight oil at all. I think my director has succeeded in bringing out the best in me as King Akbar. Yet the most challenging aspect was the horse riding and the sword fighting sequences. I was thrown off the horse many a time and even the sword bruises have taken their toll on me. Last, but not the least, apart from Ashutosh’s careful narration of the script and the subsequent guidance on the sets it was Neeta Lulla’s well-designed and well-researched costumes, the looks and hair style, the wigs and the turbaned crowns and above all the dialogues of Haider Ali which also helped me get into the character of King Akbar. It also helped when I just concentrated on Jodhaa Akbar and shot at a stretch in Karjat which had also become like my second home during the entire filming and dubbing of Jodhaa Akbar.






The queen of the world



Source: Deccan Herald 

Date: January 27, 2008



 'I enjoyed shooting with Hrithik Roshan for Jodhaa Akbar before marriage, during marriage preparations and even after marriage', says Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. One actress who really turns the tide and still reigns supreme bagging the choicest heroine-oriented, author-backed roles in Bollywood it is Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Give any character to her and she fits into it like a glove. Then be it the ‘Parvati’ a.k.a ‘Paro’ of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas, ‘Umrao Jaan’ of J P Dutta’s Umrao Jaan or now ‘Jodhaa’ in Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Jodhaa Akbar. In fact, enacting the historical character in period costume dramas seems to be her forte. 



Here she speaks at length about her character: There are many myths enveloping the characters of Queen Jodhaa and King Akbar. Are you aware of it? 


Not really! I think my director Ashutosh Gowarikar will be the right person to answer that. In a way the answer to your roundabout query will be that no, I have done no homework, no research for my character of Queen Jodhaa in Jodhaa Akbar. But of course I took training in horse riding and sword fighting. I had taken a similar training for Doug Lefler’s The Last Legion and to some extent for Harald Zwart’s The Pink Panther Deux. Coming back to Jodhaa Akbar, I have relied totally on my director’s script and his instructions on how to take care of the body language of a woman, especially one belonging to a princely family of that era. 



But is there a mention of these myths in the script? 


I can’t say much about the script as I have not gone through it in totality but concentrated only on my characterisation and my lines. But of course I have read the Moghul history earlier so I am aware of the so-called myths concerning their first meeting and regarding their names. And I think Ashutosh has stayed as close to the factual details as possible barring their romantic overtures, which have been partly fictionalised. 



So what other special preparations have you undertaken to lend a touch of finesse to your role in the film? 


I first took care of the basics like costumes in lieu with Neeta Lulla, the hair style with my hairdresser, the make up with my make up dada et al. Then I read the script thoroughly especially concerning my part a number of times with total dedication. I even rehearsed for many days, that is, whenever I could with the entire cast and the crew. Besides my director Ashu really helped me a lot in interpreting the role to a tee. He carefully narrated the exact nuances of the character. This is for the first time that I have shot for a film in one long schedule, in one location of Karjat studio. The concentration was undivided even during the dubbing sessions. Needless to say that unlike all the other directors that I have worked with till this date even Ashu is a class apart, a perfectionist in his own right. You should have seen him on the sets taking care of each and every minute detail of the 16th century era of the Moghul period. 



Did you face any difficulties while shooting? 


Oh! A lot that I can’t even mention. First of all the heavy costumes and jewellry... every time I used to change one from the other I used to get tired. Then the long patient wait during the set lighting sessions. And I couldn’t relax in between the shots as I felt I would lose touch with the emotions of the character. 



Pencil in, a brief narration of your role in tandem with the exact relationship with the main plot of Jodhaa Akbar? 


As we all know, it recounts the love story of a Muslim Moghul emperor Jallalludin a.k.a Akbar with a Hindu woman Hira Kunwari a.k.a Jodhabai. A woman who after the inter-caste marriage was named Marium Uz Zamani for the rest of her life. But of course, they were more popularly known as Queen Jodhaa and Akbar hence the title Jodhaa Akbar. I can’t reveal more. 



Was there any tension when you met Hrithik Roshan post marriage and the Dhoom 2 kissing controversy, on the sets of ‘Jodha Akbar’? 


No! Not at all! The Dhoom 2 kissing controversy has been beaten to death, so let’s forget about it. And thanks to Ashu, our on screen chemistry was recreated. No! I don’t think we felt any discomfort during the entire schedule. I enjoyed shooting with Hrithik Roshan for Jodhaa Akbar before marriage, during marriage preparations and even after marriage. 



What next Mrs Bachchan? 


I am waiting with baited breath for the release of Jodhaa Akbar, Sarkar Raj, The Last Legion and The Pink Panther Deux.







Excerpts From Rajeev Masand's Interview with Aishwarya



Source: IBN 



Rajeev Masand: Its been more than a year since your last Hindi film was released and hence you can understand the excitement around your next release, which is Jodha Akbar, which is just a few weeks away from release. What was it about the story that drew you, when it was first offered to you? 


Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: I think it was the same intrigue and curiosity which you would have. The very obvious reason that this is a love story, which is untold. It has not been documented or registered or recorded. And it was so wonderful of Ashutosh that he was telling a story of a boy and a girl or be it an emperor and a princess in such a simple way. At the end of the day, in that era and time, they came together. Although it purely looked like a political move and alliance, it was, however, a most beautiful relationship of a marriage. 


Rajeev Masand: Was it a very physically exhausting film to make? Apart from being a love story, there is a fair amount of action that you are doing in it. Did the training in Last Legion help? 


Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: Yes. However, due to the time constraint during Last Legion, I was unable to join them weeks in advance for heavy training. But the fight masters there pointed out that because I had dancing in my training background and if enjoyed it so much, that it was easy for me to take to the choreography of action and I seemed to enjoy that as much. I love action and I thoroughly enjoyed it and I wish Ashutosh gave me more opportunity for sword fighting. But we had to remain true to the script. I confess I love action.