I am branded a nut : Hrithik Roshan

Published On: 2012-11-28

Author: Rajeev Masand

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I am branded a nut : Hrithik Roshan



Source: CNN-IBN 

Date: September 3, 2006 

By: Rajeev Masand 



Rajeev Masand: He is one of the finest actors working in Bollywood today. He’s played some very interesting characters on screen – a mentally challenged boy, a terrorist, even a superhero. You may or may not have enjoyed all of his movies but it's difficult to find fault in his performances. No prizes for guessing who I am speaking about. It is ofcourse Hrithik Roshan. 


Hrithik, Thank you for coming on the show and talking to us. 

Hrithik Roshan: My pleasure. 



Rajeev Masand: It’s been a good year. It started off well. You had a baby five months ago, you’ve just become a dad, and you’ve also had a very big hit in Krrish, which also makes you India’s first Superhero. How do you look back at the first half of the year? 


Hrithik Roshan: Well, I'm happy it's all been worth it. A lot of effort has gone into the film. A lot of anticipation about the baby. And both have turned about to be the two most wonderful joys of my life. So it's been good. Great actually. 



Rajeev Masand: Has the fact that you have a baby and you’re a father affected your choice of movies? Do you find yourself drawn to a different kind of material? Do different things interest you, now that you’re in a different space as a father? 


Hrithik Roshan: Perhaps it might. But I haven’t been in a situation where I have had to choose a film because I haven’t signed any films post that. But it’s a possibility that I might not want to do films where I would not cater to the sentiments of the children. So that might be a thought in my mind. 



Rajeev Masand: What kind of a father are you? What are the changes that you’ve noticed in yourself apart from running home early from work? 


Hrithik Roshan: The only change I can perceive in me is that I feel a whole lot of love for everyone in the world wherever I go. It’s strange but it’s made me a bit fearless and a bit secure. I don’t know how but I just feel these emotions. 



Rajeev Masand: What’s the first film of yours that you would like to show your son? 


Hrithik Roshan: Well by the time he’s of age to watch a movie, hopefully there will be aKrrish series. So I think I will start with Koi Mil Gaya to Krrish because in more ways than one, I think Koi Mil Gaya marks a very special phase in my life. Not just as an actor but also in my career. It felt as if I was acting for the first time. 



Rajeev Masand: Why do you say that? 


Hrithik Roshan: Because pre-Koi Mil Gaya, like all the actors when they are growing up they watch other actors, they have a inbuilt, conditioned image and a mould of a hero and in most of my first few films I was just trying to play out in reference to those images. Like you may have seen an actor crying very well and you may want to project that kind of an emotion, you’ve seen an actor hold a gun in a particular way and you want to have that moment in your film so most of the stuff was played out in reference. 



Rajeev Masand: Until Koi Mil Gaya? 


Hrithik Roshan: Yes, until then. Because suddenly I had no reference points, I had no support. I had no one to turn to to find some kind of reference. I was left in the lurch and I was very scared and didn’t know what to do. 



Rajeev Masand: And this although I’m sure lots of your idols in Hollywood and in Bollywood have played mentally challenged roles. You did not use those as guiding points? 


Hrithik Roshan: I could not because in Koi Mil Gaya there was a very obvious merge of reality with fantasy. It is a commercial set up. If I had played Koi Mil Gaya like Rainman, it would have been a very straightforward, honest but dull film. Rohit of Koi Mil Gaya had to dance, he had to make you cry and laugh. He had so many more aspects to that character. I could not have stayed in that one particular mould and just follow that one particular path and say I can’t do anything else. 



Rajeev Masand: Is that then also the beauty of Bollywood that an actor does several things in the same character?


Hrithik Roshan: Absolutely. 



Rajeev Masand: Now an interesting thing is that what in the trade circles is being talked about as your first negative role in Dhoom 2. It’s interesting specially since you’re coming right off Krrish which was a Superhero film. The kids loved you and wanted to grow up to be like you. Did you think of how that would affect your image especially since you have a huge fan following among children? 


Hrithik Roshan: I think Dhoom 2 will take me one step further in that. Hopefully. It depends if the film does well. But there are some films, which are based on reality, which propagate some social values or have a very important social message or rely on the higher perspective of life. Dhoom 2 is a complete departure from all that. Some films need to be a departure from the serious and the real. Dhoom 2 is that. It's about sitting, strapping yourself in and enjoying the ride. And not having your mind stimulated enough to form perspectives on it or moral goods and bad. It’s all about the ride. That’s what Dhoom stands for, if you have seen the first part. It’s what I call a pop-conflict. You get in there, sit and munch your popcorn, enjoy the ride and get out of there. It’s a nice break from all your stresses. And this time around it’s definitely a bigger Dhoom 




Rajeev Masand: There was a Krrish doll a few months ago when Krrish was released, which ofcourse fans of the film bought. But now there is a doll of you. There is a company in London actually that has created four dolls, and the dolls are called Bollywood legends. There is Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Priyanka Chopra and you. There are selling it at £ 25 a piece. Have you seen the doll? Are you satisfied with the replication of yourself? 


Hrithik Roshan: Yes. I have seen the doll and I have to say they’ve done a great job. It’s a surreal feeling to have your own doll. It’s not a character from a film, it’s you. 



Rajeev Masand: Were you shy when they approached you? 


Hrithik Roshan: Yes. It’s almost embarrassing. My first reaction when they approached me was, 'Are saying you want to make a doll of me?' and they said ‘yes’ 



Rajeev Masand: So what did it take them to convince you? 


Hrithik Roshan: Not much actually. Apart from the fact that it is a compliment and it does go to show that something must warrant it if someone is going to put that kind of an investment in it. Apart from that I was in Dallas and I met these fans of mine who had constructed a doll of me. They had taken the head from one doll, the hands from some other doll and made that doll and they wanted me to sign it. I realised that this could make my fans happy and if my fans are happy then nothing else makes me happier. 



Rajeev Masand: We spoke about Dhoom II earlier. Now, tell me what was exciting for you to be a part of the sequel. What did you think you could bring to this franchise? 


Hrithik Roshan: Well, I was just happy that I was doing Dhoom 2. I was happy that I was getting an opportunity to explore that aspect of my character. If you compare the kind of work that went into Krrish to what went into Dhoom 2, it’s almost three times as much. Because I had to develop skills in different sports, which I had never, tried before. So there is sandboarding, snowboarding, rollerboarding, skydiving, all these sorts of things and pretty mad. 



Rajeev Masand: So was it fun? 


Hrithik Roshan: Absolutely fantastic. 



Rajeev Masand: You like doings these things? You like putting your life there? 


Hrithik Roshan: I never realised till Krrish or Dhoom 2 how big a sucker I am for all these things. 



Rajeev Masand: But does your family, you wife tell you ‘what are you doin?’ You do your own stunts. You almost hurt yourself during Krrish. 


Hrithik Roshan: There is a stupid way of doing it and there is the intelligent way of doing the same thing. It’s not just about learning the sport. It’s also about learning how to manage yourself if something goes wrong. 



Rajeev Masand: So what goes through your mind those thirty seconds before you make that dive or you do that big dangerous stunt? 


Hrithik Roshan: What goes through my mind is sitting in the theatre with the audience and watching that shot played out in a certain way. And that just fills my body with excitement. There is an image in the mind and that’s exactly how I want it to look. It’s not just doing it because you do it and look at the shot and if it’s not played out the way your mind saw it and you want to go back and do it again. 



Rajeev Masand: And then everyone says, ‘Are you nuts? What are you thinking?’ 


Hrithik Roshan: Yes. Most of the time. 



Rajeev Masand: And you do it again? 


Hrithik Roshan: I am branded as a nut where all this is concerned. Because my Dad looks at me in disbelief and says ‘you want to go up there and do it again? It’s fine. It’s just a jump. What else can you do with it?’ 



Rajeev Masand: Do you find that that annoys some directors – the need for perfection, the need for doing it again and again to get it just perfect? 


Hrithik Roshan: Sometimes I think I have pissed off a few directors in that regard but they are always happy by the end of it. As long as your perception of yourself is in sync with your talent, it’s fine. Sometimes what happens is that you might think you can do it better, but you really can’t so you keep going and going and going. 



Rajeev Masand: So does that happen as well? 


Hrithik Roshan: Once or twice. But then you come to terms with your level of talent and say ‘I’m not as good as that’. But most of the time I’m happy it’s a success. 



Rajeev Masand: That every next take improves on the last. 


Hrithik Roshan: If at all there is a shot where you’re trying to achieve something that is very important to be perfect. 



Rajeev Masand: The kind of preparation that has gone into films like Krrish and Dhoom 2, is much of a physical preparation. I know you trained in martial arts, like you said in different kinds of sports. What is the kind of preparation that goes into a film like Jodha Akbar, the film that you’re going to start with Ashutosh Gowarikar shortly. That I’m guessing does not require so much a physical preparation. Ofcourse the look and the whole body language are important but it’s different era, it’s a different film. 


Hrithik Roshan: Yes. I wish you were right. But unfortunately you’re not. There is a lot of physical training that I will have to undergo for Akbar as well. But I know what you’re saying. It always depends on the amount of distance between the person you are and the person that you are going to portray. If they are really far apart, then it’s how much more work you’ll have to do to get closer. 



Rajeev Masand: I’m guessing the difference between you and Akbar is many many centuries. 


Hrithik Roshan: Yes. It is a period film. We are already separated by time and that’s going to need a lot of study. I haven’t started on the preparation but wherever I start from is always a platform. Being full of insecurity and fear is always my starting point. And like they say fear gives you wings so then I fly around and gather all my information and start to feel more secure from what I have and work on it from then on. It’s also the physical look of the character that helps a lot. And I’ve realised that with myself that once I get the hair right, the hair is always something that puts me at ease and once that is right, the impetus that it gives me towards the character is a huge one. So may be I’ll start with the hair. 



Rajeev Masand: So have you all figured that out? 


Hrithik Roshan: No. We haven’t started the prep work for the film. 



Rajeev Masand: Do you think Akbar will wear a moustache? 


Hrithik Roshan: Well. I think it definitely will be tried on and ascertained whether it’s going the right way or not. 



Rajeev Masand: Now, You’ve signed up with a professional entertainment company to handle your brands. Tell me how do you see that as a benefit as against doing it yourself. What’s the brief that you give your company? 


Hrithik Roshan: First of all the ad world and the film world is very separate in the way they work. There is a certain protocol. Apart from that also the fact that I’m not very conservant with the requirement and the things they need from time to time, date management. I have my hands full so to speak and the company is handling my endorsements and all public dealings with different companies which have hired me. It’s always nice to have someone who is professional who has had the experience of working with the ad world and know about certain aspects of their approach to work. It’s also because ads for me are a consequence of being in the movies. So my primary concern is films. I think it’s the right time to take the steps that would earlier be perceived as risks. This is the time to go into that area because you can do it now. You can play a negative role, you can play an interesting part in a film, just experiment, explore and this is the right time because the audience will be far far more receptive now. 



Rajeev Masand: And is that why you’ve chosen to work within Bollywood and make the kind of movies that you want to make and do the roles that are now coming your way rather than head towards the West because lots of your peers are looking for work outside. I know there has been interest for you from outside. 


Hrithik Roshan: I won’t say that if I’m offered a very very big film from Hollywood, by a great director, I won’t do it. I might. But sitting here right now, I’m not inclined towards doing an English film because I see that as a strange kind of betrayal. I want to be here. I want to be here and take our cinema to a world platform where it is accepted by the world audience. That’s what I want to do. That’s the big dream now. And doing an English film is not really crossing over. Your cinema remains where it was. You’ve just been hired as an Indian actor in an English film so that’s not what a crossover means. A crossover is what Life is Beautiful is. Where you make the films that you’re convinced about, in your language, it’s about your culture and then it becomes intriguing for the entire world. The curiosity and ofcourse the final exhilaration after seeing the film is unanimous, all over the world. And that’s the kind of films that we should aim at making. Films that can survive the test of that. So that’s what the big dream is now. 



Rajeev Masand: Well, best of luck. Let’s hope you achieve this big dream. Lets hope you will continue to entertain us like you have over the years. Thank you so much for talking to us. 


Hrithik Roshan: Will try. Thank You.