Hardworking not talented

Published On: 2012-04-11

Author: Avinash Kalla

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“I’m not talented, just hard-working”


The magic has worked again. Rakesh and Hrithik Roshan are gunning for the stars after the huge success of Koi Mil Gaya. Such has been the response that some critics are prophesising that the film will even surpass the popularity of Kaho Na Pyar Hai. In a relaxed and upbeat mood, Hrithik discusses his journey from the troughs of failure to the peak of success in a chat with Avinash Kalla.

How’s the mood after the success of Koi Mil Gaya?

I am satisfied and relieved, all the hard work, experimentation and the risks have paid off. I am glad that the audiences accepted me in the role of an autistic, which is by no stretch of imagination a regular hero role. This has confirmed my belief that cinemagoers appreciate a good film, irrespective of the fact that the story is offbeat.

There are predictions already that Koi Mil Gaya might even beat Kaho Na Pyar Hai in popular appeal. What’s the secret behind this success?

There are no secrets as such. All I can say is that dad gets the best out of me. Though he never treats me like a star, at the same time he never takes me for granted. Here he described the character to me and left it to me to give the right touches and nuances. Once I had understood the character I gave it my all. Dad knows that I am not a talented actor but a hard-working guy, that’s why he gives me complete freedom.

Does that mean that the other filmmakers don’t understand you well enough and this is the reason for the series of duds that you delivered after KNPH?

No, I never said that. In fact, things changed drastically after KNPH became such a huge hit. It altered the whole perspective filmmakers had about me. They thought my name could sell anything even if the storyline and direction were poor. A lot of my films flopped and I was labeled as a one-film wonder after KNPH. After Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, I became a two-film wonder. Now you guys are sure to call me a three-film wonder!


What went wrong after KNPH?

Let’s talk straight, film by film and I’ll tell you my side of the story. Fiza was released after KNPH and was successful. Fiza gave me the recognition as an actor. Then came Mission Kashmir which I signed the film before KNPH was released. After KNPH became a hit, my character was altered and I was made to do all those Matrix-kind of stunts. That affected the original concept of the film.

In Subhash Ghai’s Yaadien, we were all puppets on the sets and thus things didn’t work out. Then came Aap Mujhe Achhe Lagne Lage. It bombed as it was not a good film. K3G was a smash hit but it would be unfair to give the credit of its success to any single person. Na Tum Jano Na Hum was a very good subject, but I feel that it came 10 years too late. The next film, Mujh Se Dosti Karoge took the audiences for granted and we paid the price.

I wouldn’t call Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon a flop, as it is still in the theatres.


Which brings us to Koi Mil Gaya...

In Koi Mil Gaya, I feel I have given the best performance till date. The success of this film has opened a door for our filmmakers to experiment with newer and unexplored subjects. We have proved that if you do your work well with all sincerity then the audience will approve it.


You have seen it all in such a short time—-heady success and dismal failure. So what does success mean to you now?

I value both success and failure. I have learnt from mistakes I made and feel I am a better actor and a human being now.


Did success ever turn your head?

Frankly, I haven’t had the time to let success turn my head. The last few years have gone like a flash.


What was failure like and what kept you going during your rough phase?

During those days I would keep telling myself that I had the guts to face all kinds of adversity. There’s an old English saying that the finest of steel has to go through the hottest of fire. Now that I am through all that fire, I feel wonderful and absolutely on top of the world.


What about your next film Lakshya? 

Lakshya is still in the making and I am not in a position to reveal anything except that it’s the story of a young man Karan Shergill who is dubbed as a waster. But when he gets an opportunity his whole personality transforms. I am shooting in Ladakh for Lakshya till December. Then I seriously plan to take a break and go for a holiday, I haven’t taken a single holiday in the last five years. It’s been non-stop work. Now I want to re-charge my batteries. 


What’s your idea of recharging your batteries? 

Oh, it’s quite boring. I plan to go on a holiday and re-think all what I have done in these years and incorporate some new skills in myself as an actor. I’ll try to learn from the mistakes that I have made and come back a more mature actor. 


Surely that’s not your idea of a fun holiday? 

No, no. I have other things in mind. Maybe I’ll learn the guitar. I’ve been wanting to do that but haven’t had the time. Maybe this holiday I’ll do just that.