Fear is the Key - Hrithik prepares for Krrish!

Published On: 2012-09-13

Author: unknown

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Fear is the Key Hrithik Roshan prepares for Krrish

Source: Filmfare, November 2005

“I’m scared to think of what my dad will come up with next,” grins Hrithik Roshan. “Krrish is the riskiest and scariest film I’ve done so far. “You know, when Papa conceived Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, I was afraid but the challenge it held out was so exciting, it wasn’t difficult to sail through. The fear doubled when he gave me Koi... Mil Gaya. The role was scarier and the challenge twice as tough, but I managed that too. Now, with Krrish, the fear factor has gone through the roof. ’Coz my role in the film is three times more difficult than that in KNPH and twice as challenging as KMG.

“If you go by the graph Dad’s charted so far, he keeps going from level 1 to 10, then 20, then 30. He keeps upping the risk levels. What we’re in the middle of now, is entirely new territory, something that has never been seen in Indian cinema. It’s going to be a first in terms of action sequences and special effects for the Hindi film audience. So there are no parameters to give us any kind of inkling whether this film will run or not.”

You sound as edgy as you are confident, I tell him. Hrithik smiles, “Sometimes Dad will say, ‘Why can’t I make films in a comfort zone? Make my money and just enjoy it?’ But even before he can enjoy the money he’s made in his previous film, he puts it into the next film, which is even more risky,” says Hrithik. “So if we miss the mark, we will lose even more money.”

While Roshan Sr likes to take the monetary risks, Jr is game for the physical ones. While shooting for Krrish, Rakesh Roshan has told us, Hrithik got used to being suspended in mid-air on wires for eight and nine hours. Hrithik laughs, “Dad is okay with one take but I’m a little stubborn. I’ve grown up watching Batman and Spiderman and I look at my role from that perpsective. I want more body language and a particular kind too. So I invariably try to get that one perfect shot the way I want to see it. Besides, there’s also Tony Ching, the action director. It’s not easy to get an okay from him. He’s such a perfectionist.”

“It’s not easy,” would be an understatement. Hear this one: The Roshans, father and son, spent an entire day on one single action scene. The son narrates, “We were shooting at Film City on the circus set...” The circus set? “That’s the only detail I’m going to give you,” Hrithik chuckles as he pre-empts me, and continues, “We began filming the shot at 7 pm but at 9.30 pm we just hadn’t got the exact shot we wanted. So we started again around 10 pm and were at it till 5 am. But it was no go. So we switched off the cameras and for one entire shift we just kept practising. The next day when we started shooting, we got it in the third or fourth take.”

Obviously, all this has taken its toll on the body. “I’ve developed bursitis on my left elbow, torn my hamstring muscles and suffered too many cuts and bruises to talk about. I’ve been living with them for the past one year and they’ve become a part of me.” Surely it all begins to get dangerous after a point; are you oblivious to the fear or do you overcome it, I ask him. “I do get scared,” Hrithik confides, “but passion takes over. Thank God for that.”

Besides Krrish, Hrithik has signed three more films—Jodha Akbar, Dhoom II and Zoya Akhtar’s untitled venture. All three belong to very different genres. While Jodha Akbar is a period drama and Dhoom II is replete with stylised action, Zoya Akhtar’s project is still under wraps. The actor himself says, “I have discussed Jodha Akbar very superficially with Ashutosh (Gowariker). I loved the concept and I have tremendous faith in him; in fact, I’m a big fan of his and he’s one of my favorite directors. But I’ll enter the world of Jodha Akbar only after April 2006. So I still don’t have a perspective on it and it wouldn’t be right on my part to discuss the project at this point. At present I’m totally into Krrish and Dhoom II.”

Hrithik is a little more forthcoming about Dhoom II. “I’d always wanted to do fast-paced, thrilling stylised action,” he says animatedly. “A pure popcorn flick, where you come in for the thrills, just to enjoy yourself. Such films don’t put too much stress on viewers. My character in Dhoom II behaves like the Raj I played in the second half of KNPH but perhaps a much younger version.” As is known, it will be Hrithik’s first negative character. Though he says mysteriously, “Yes, the character does have shades of grey but you know, sometimes doing bad things or doing things that may be looked upon as crimes could be considered good deeds. Sometimes even a villain can turn out to be a hero.” Make what you will of that, for that’s all you’ll get for the moment.

The film was scheduled to start in August but shooting has now been postponed. “The set they’d erected was destroyed in the July 26 flood,” confirms Hrithik. “Now they have to construct a new one.” But the story doing the rounds is completely different, I tell him. The buzz is that Aishwarya Rai had put on weight and she’d been asked to shed some kilos to match Hrithik’s fit frame. “I hope that’s true,” the actor smiles sarcastically. “Then I can make such demands too. Perhaps I can get the schedule further postponed by stating that I’ve lost weight and can’t shoot.”

Then, with some anger thrown in, he demands, “How can this be true? It’s impossible for an entire film to be postponed just because of a weight problem. And I’m sure Asihwarya wouldn’t be so unprofessional as to gain that kind of weight especially when she knows the script. I don’t think she would be so ignorant about the fact that she has to look good.”

What about him? There have been some heavy-duty preparations going on for Dhoom II. “Someone like me needs to prepare,” is the patient answer. “I don’t think I can operate without homework. Some actors perform better spontaneously and preparation becomes a mind block for them. They prefer to read their lines on the spot and perform. I wish I were in the spontaneous category but unfortunately I need to work a lot more to make it look natural.”

Producer Aditya Chopra is a man known to be particular about his homework too, so that makes two of them. In fact, Hrithik admits, “I’d wanted to do Dhoom II even before I read the script. As soon as I saw Dhoom. I knew Adi (Aditya Chopra) wanted to take it to the next level. Dhoom II will be the kick-start of something really big. I understood his vision and I knew where he wanted to go with Dhoom II. I won’t be surprised if there will be Dhoom III, IV, V, VI... It’s really exciting and I have tremendous faith in Adi.”

For those who came in late, Hrithik and Aditya Chopra have known each other since their childhood days. And Hrithik offers a rare glimpse of the reclusive Chopra as he leans back and chats about his family-friend turned producer. “His younger brother Uday and I are good friends,” begins Hrithik, “and Adi used to be our hero when we were kids. Now that I’m the hero in his film, Adi still commands as much respect as he used to when we were in school. All of us used to look up to Adi. We wanted to play cricket like him, wanted to get the grades he did and be as inspired about the movies. In those days he was a very strong influence on Uday and me as far as his passion for Hindi cinema is concerned. Whether I like it or not, a lot of that rubbed off on me.”

Chuckling at the memory, Hrithik continues, “Very few people know that Adi was a big bully then but now he’s forgiven because he is such a successful director. However, he’s the scariest person around when you’re working with him. Then it’s like being back in school. It’s a happy day for everyone when he praises something. You go home happy with the thought that teacher likes you.”

Laughing, Hrithik adds, “Jokes aside, he is a creative machine. He adds his vision and inspiration to every single thing he picks up. His mind is always ticking, he’s full of new ideas and new methods, he’s so passionately involved in what he’s doing that it’s a joy to work with him. He’s like a kid with his favourite toy when he’s working. The only thing is that now the toy costs Rs 10 crore, Rs 20 crore or Rs 50 crore and the playing field is the entire world. That’s Adi for you.” End of nostalgia. Back we descend into the present.

As a parting shot, I can’t resist the temptation to ask him to comment on Aamir Khan’s quote (Filmfare, August ’05),‘If Shah Rukh Khan is the badshah of Bollywood, then I’m the ikka, woh bhi hukum ka.’ So what does Hrithik Roshan think his position is in this pack of cards? He laughs, hesitates, then says bemusedly, “Hmmm.... I’m the five of hearts!”