"I almost didn't make it for Kites" : Hrithik

Published On: 2017-03-17

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"I almost didn't make it for Kites" : Hrithik



Source: Times of India 

By: Meena Iyer 

Date: February 10, 2010 



When Karan Johar’s My Name is Khan opens tomorrow, audiences worldwide will also be treated to the first look of Rakesh Roshan’s love saga Kites The film, directed by Anurag Basu, has the most-awaited contemporary screen pair — Bollywood’s Hrithik Roshan wooing Mexican beauty Barbara Mori. But it is a film that Hrithik almost never made. Years of strenuous dancing and doing breath-taking action for films like Krrish, Dhoom 2 and Jodhaa Akbar, that got the superstar every award worth its metal, also left Hrithik with excruciating knee pain. And just before he was to start work on his home production, the actor found himself on crutches! “I hadn’t okayed a single script after Jodhaa Akbar,’’ says Hrithik. “I was sitting free with a bad knee which had crippled me for about six months. But the script of Kites got my adrenaline going. I was in no condition to accept this film. And I was travelling around the world to find a solution to my knee problem. Finland, Singapore, LA, New York and China, I went for alternative therapies, medicines and physiotherapy... but nothing worked.’’ 


Two weeks before shooting began for Kites, Hrithik went to Santa Fe. He couldn’t even bend his knee because the cartilage was so badly damaged. So he told Anurag Basu and Rakesh Roshan that he wanted to pull out. “I told them that there are two actors who speak English well and would fit into this character, and they are friends. I offered to assist and be involved in the creative side. But Anurag and dad were adamant. They said they would use duplicates in scenes where I was required to run. I was broken, because I’m an athlete, a superhero, and to think of using duplicates just broke my spirit,’’ continues Hrithik. Then a miracle happened. On the first day of the shoot, Hrithik’s pain came down by 50 per cent; after the first week it was down to 10 per cent. Then it was gone. “I thought all the things I did to heal my knee had converged together. Or my prayers had been answered,’’ he says. “That’s when I heard that Santa Fe is surrounded by magnetic mountains and people from over the world come there to get healed. It was destiny that we chose Santa Fe to begin Kites.’’ 


His pain was gone, but Hrithik’s woes continued. When he realised that he had to bare his torso in the film, he panicked. “Because of my knee, I hadn’t been doing cardio and had gained weight,’’ says the actor famous for his ripped body. “And if I was to appear bare-chested, my audience would expect nothing but perfection from me. So, I devised new ways to shed the fat. Not being able to run, jump or skip, I used to just pick up a five pound dumbbell and do arm curves for 45 minutes. That became my cardio workout. I used to try and keep my heart rate up as much as I could. At times I used to just spin my hands like a windmill for half hour. Ab workouts were not a problem. And there was my diet. Living on egg whites, almonds and peanuts worked.’’ 


Relieved that he could get the actor he most wanted in Kites, Rakesh Roshan says, “I kept giving Hrithik confidence and I was sure things would work out for the better. During Krrish, Hrithik’s knee had given problems but he came out of it. I was praying for that miracle this time, too. But, honestly, I was mentally prepared to just pack up the entire schedule and return home if things didn’t work out...”