A vulnerable person

Published On: 2012-03-18

Author: Reena Thapar Kapoor

Media Link:

Under my flamboyant exterior, lies a vulnerable person!


Source: Reena Thapar Kapoor 

No one believed that this light-eyed hunk would hit big time! Hrithik Roshan’s sudden rise to fame left everyone stumped! This, kal ka bachcha, (pet-name: Duggu) who hung around in his Opel Astra, gifted by daddy dear Rakesh Roshan, has today, metamorphosed into a flamboyant star who travels in a plush black Mercedes Benz. Success has changed everything around him! But, his persona remains intact. The placid, hassle-free and humble guy that I knew before his much hyped success hit him, remains unfazed by it all! Hardly swayed by his new-found fame, Hrithik is, well, all right besides being, hot... you know! 

Beginning the new millennium by setting the box-office afire with Kaho Na... Pyar Hai, must’ve boosted your confidence in yourself? 

I’ve always believed that hard work pays off in the long run! Besides my father’s dedication and my hard work, it was the audiences’ affection which worked wonders for the film... and me. I’m fortunate to have recieved so much adulation from everyone. I’ve tasted success at an early stage of my career, and will now have to live up to its standards. It’s a challenging task. People always expect good work from someone they like. Their appreciation of, and confidence in, me has driven me to do better work. 

Does it embarrass you that everyone wants to catch a glimpse of you? 

It’s not just embarassing but a nerve-wracking experience! It also becomes disappointing when I’m unable to please all my fans and well-wishers considering that I go out of my way to please those who come to meet me. I also have my work. I take time off my hectic schedule to give a patient ear to directors who want to narrate their scripts to me. Giving attention to everyone around is not possible and I try my best not to be rude. But, I’m human. At times, all this ‘attention-giving’ and ‘pleasing everyone’ gets onto my nerves. The more time I give to this the less I get to devote to my work. I’m trying to strike a balance between the two. 


How far have you succeeded in doing so? 

Fans are easily hurt by a star’s arrogant behaviour and I don’t want to be like that. But there are times when I throw up my hands and exclaim, “Enough, no more autographs today! Let me focus on my work.” Only later do I realise that those people must’ve felt insulted. An actor’s high-handed public behaviour, shows him in a bad light. I don’t want anyone speaking ill of me. 

More than the youth, you’re more popular among the kids... 

I’m aware of that! I wish I could inspire them to be good human beings, obedient children... While signing autographs for children, I write brief messages like, ‘Study well’ or ‘Drink your milk everyday’. Kids are pure, they have no reason to hate anyone. Either they like you or they don’t. Their’s is unconditional love! 


You must be inundated with film offers? 

I listen to two scripts a day. I hate disappointing people and find it difficult to say no to producers who approach me. But, then, I can’t afford to take up more than I can manage. I’m booked up to the year 2002! 

From assisting papa Rakesh Roshan to being a successful actor, has the definition of acting changed for you? 

Acting is an art, not a business! It’s not calucations where we can stop for a while, when interrupted. Actors have to prepare themselves before facing the camera. I’m still a newcomer and it’s difficult for me to jump in and out of characters. 

Are you a director’s actor? 

Absolutely! I do exactly what I’m asked to by my director. But I keep space for my spontaneity to erupt. 

Apparently, your co-star Amisha Patel is miffed with the Roshan’s for giving her a raw deal in Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai? 

I’ve read the article where she said that! Personally, I feel that we’ve got equal prominence in the film. If there is anyone who should complain about being ignored, it’s me. Throughout the filming of Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, I kept telling dad that it wasn’t fair to give Amisha all the performance-oriented scenes while I was expected to just look good and dance well. Amisha kept confessing to me about how she was being given an opportunity to prove her acting prowess and how bad she felt for me! 


She even complained that she was the original choice for the whole lot of films you signed before KNPH? 

I’ve no clue what she’s talking about! Besides Vikram Bhatt’s film there wasn’t any other film that she signed opposite me. Karisma Kapoor was doing Khalid Mohammed’s Fiza from day one. Arjun Sablok’s film always had Esha Deol. Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Mission Kashmir had Preity Zinta, while Raj Kanwar and Rahul Rawail have not yet decided on their heroines. So, what is she talking about? 

Do you thing its petty of her to crib about the past? 

If Ameesha says she has got a raw deal, she’ll only realise later that in our male-dominated films, a heroine is nothing more than a mannequin. I feel, there was more justice done to her, than to me, in Kaho Naa... Her insecurity is justified because she dosen’t hail from a filmi family. I’d have also behaved in a similar manner had my co-star walked away with the accolades. Dad didn’t want to sideline her. The publicity hoardings are proof of that. Look, I’m a star son, launched by my father. He could’ve had my solo posters pasted around town. Unlike Aamir Khan, Bobby Deol, Akshaye Khanna, Fardeen Khan... I was not introduced like a stud by my father. It was teamwork. Both, Ameesha and I, were making our debut, so it was very important for us to create an impact together. Ameesha should’ve acknowledged that! 

History repeats itself! Each time a star son is launched, his co-star always complains about being sidelined... 

Not always! I remember Juhi Chawla’s interview after the release of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. She was asked questions like, ‘Do you think you got a raw deal in your debut film?’ and ‘How does it feel not getting your due?’ Considering that Aamir’s career took off immediately after QSQT, she had no complaints at all! 

Which character do you identify with in KNPH, Raj or Rohit? 

At heart I’m Rohit but there’s a lot of Raj in me! When I’m under the spotlight, being watched by thousands of people, I’m Raj. My flamboyancy is my sheild, under that lies a vulnerable person. 

How do you react when people say that you’ve raced past the numero uno Shah Rukh Khan? 

The media had been irresponsible by overhyping me. I’m nowhere close to him and he still rules the roost! There’s no replacement for an actor of Shah Rukh Khan’s calibre. It’s difficult to reach the top in a career spanning 10 years. Hat’s off to him! Following him are seniors like Aamir Khan, Salman Khan... I’m only a strong contender, nothing more. Tomorrow, if I give three flops in a row, my obituary will be written before I’m even given a chance to bounce back. Success is transitory, there’s no point in letting it rule you. I’m happy that I’ve succeeded in my first attempt, but I was also prepared for the worst. 

Has the Coke-Pepsi fiasco triggered off a war between Shah Rukh Khan and you? 

I’ve no problems with Shah Rukh! I learnt that Pepsi had produced an ad, featuring clones of my dad and me. I wouldn’t mind a take-off on me but I won’t spare anyone ridiculing my father. They should’ve, at least, respected my father’s seniority. I wrote a letter to the authorities at Pepsi asking them to withdraw the nasty ad. A copy was sent to director Pralad Thakkar and Shah Rukh Khan. 



After recieving my letter, Shah Rukh called me up and told me that dad’s portion had been eliminated and mine cut down from 30 to 10 seconds. The Pepsi ad that everyone is watching today, is the tamer version of that controversial original. In the entire affair, Pepsi and Coke benifitted by the publicity. Newspapers were getting free mileage out of it. That’s when dad put his foot down and wrote a letter to the newspapers saying, “This war is between Coke and Pepsi and we don’t want to get involved in it anymore.” 

Whom do you blame for this controversy...? 

Pepsi! They’re the ones who concieved the idea. 


How would you describe your relationship with Suzanne Khan? 

I knew I’d fall in love only once! Suzanne is my first and last girlfriend. 


It’s rumoured that she’s making a documentary on you? 

Not Suzanne! Her sister Farah is making a two-hour documentary titled, ‘Hrithik Mania’. I wouldn’t know the details. My project with Suzanne’s father Sanjay Khan — hrithikworld.com — is stalled at the moment. You’ll know more about it as and when it happens. 


Do you miss spending quality time with your family? 

Last month, I was doing two shifts. That was the time when I hadn’t seen my mom for three days. During those days, she would call me on my mobile to check if I’d eaten my food and generally inquire about my health. When I went home and asked for her, the servants told me that she was in Delhi. Despite living in the same house I didn’t know where my mom was. Sad, isn’t it? 


What about your friends? 

I’d have lost touch with them if I hadn’t made an effort to meet them once a month. I invite them over and that’s the time we chill out. I feel guilty for not going out with them, but can’t help it. That the price a celebrity has to pay!