A Kid- G magazine

Published On: 2012-04-16

Author: unknown

Media Link:


Source: Go Mag

”Suzanne brings out the child in me!"

He's done it! He's back.

Hrithik Roshan has risen above the flops and also-rans of the last three years, silenced his detractors, confounded his critics, and generally done everything that no one expected him to do.

Koi… Mil Gaya is the beginning of Act II in his career. Let's rewind!
He got the lion's share of the credit for the mega-success of his debut film, Kaho Naa…Pyaar Hai in 2000, diluting the achievement of Rakesh Roshan's astute script sense and direction. Ergo, as the new sensation, he was – inevitably – solely blamed for a film like Fiza and for box-office calamities like Yaadein, Mujhse Dosti Karoge?, Aap Mujhe Acche Lagne Lage and Na Tum Jaano Na Hum. Hrithik was also castigated for his over-the-top turn in his recent Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon while his male co-stars took away a major chunk of the credit in the success in Mission Kashmir and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.

But basking in the sunny success of Koi… Mil Gaya, Hrithik can afford to forget the dark clouds that had loomed over him for so long. The hurtful barbs about being a one-film wonder like Kumar Gaurav have stopped. But oddly enough, if the attempt on his dad Rakesh Roshan's life just after the release of Kaho Na… Pyar Hai prevented Hrithik from really enjoying the dizzy stardom that came instantaneously, this time it was his extended stay in Ladakh for the shooting of Farhan Akhtar's Lakshya – his only forthcoming assignment as of now – that kept him away from tasting firsthand the giddy aftermath of Koi… Mil Gaya's super-success.

On a crystal clear 'phone line from Ladakh, we talk about the weather for starters. It's rather cold out there, he informs me. But he knows that the heavy weather in his career has ended. At the box-office, the Hrithik season has dawned and it is hot once again!

Your detractors have gone silent. Victory – and revenge – is yours. How does it feel?
Great, man! Frankly, I have seen it all, so this long bad phase did not really bother me. I do not hold any grudges against those who attacked me, or wrote me off. Everyone has a job to do. They were earning their bread and butter and so I did not really mind what they wrote. I look back on that phase with a smile on my face because at the peak of the Kaho Na… mania it entertained me to find sadhus and sants coming to my house and looking at me as if I was an incarnation of some god. Then came the time when they pulled out the rug from under me and attacked me, saying that I was finished! That too was entertaining! And now, instead of becoming history, dad and I have created history – again!

I am overjoyed by the success of Koi… Mil Gaya. It's been overwhelming, beyond expectations. The industry, even more than at the time of Kaho Naa…Pyaar Hai, has gone out of the way to call up and shower praise on dad and me. Such uncommon appreciation and accolades are truly heart-warming. Personally, I am a much-relieved man, and I am very thankful to God. All this has reaffirmed my belief in hard work – I have realized again that an equation exists between hard work and success. If Koi…Mil Gaya had not worked I would not have found the motivation to excel in my future films. My philosophy has always been that the finest steel has to go through the most flaming fire. The fire that I went through has given rise to a finer, stronger human being.

Earlier, your dad would alternate one super-hit with an average success or a flop. This is the first time that he has had two mega-hits in a row. How do you analyze this – have you been the inspiring factor?
I think that we are great as a team. I understand dad. I bring to his seasoned craft the sensibilities of my generation. I feel that it is the combination of my youth and his experience and commercial genius that has done the magic.

Coming to the third Roshan – your uncle Rajesh – he has once again delivered a hit music score. But hadn't you expressed displeasure
about his music for two films that you did outside banners, Aap Mujhe Acche Lagne Lage and Na Tum Jaano Na Hum?

I certainly did not! I am one of my uncle's greatest fans and there is always something that touches me in his music even if it may not
click with the masses. Na Tum Jaano Na Hum had such soulful music. I still keep listening to `Tum' and `Jaa sanam'.

Can you put the record straight about the conflicting reports of how Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon has fared at the box-office?
I have to accept the fact that it did not do well. I think that the audience for that genre of film has diminished. Six years back it would have created history.

You too have been panned for your performance.

Yeah, that was the first time that the media and people did not like my performance, otherwise no one had ever criticized my work in any of the other films that did not do well. What many people did not understand was the character. My brief was to play a guy, Prem, with a fake happy exterior. He was an orphan, with no one in this world, and had seen only pain and no love. So one day, he decides to be very happy. To play the character to the hilt, I had to overact a bit. The film was entirely written from the point of view of the girl and so no one realized that I had to be loud.

Do you regret having done the film?
No way! Working with Mr Sooraj Barjatya was a joy by itself. He is simply one of the finest human beings you can ever meet. For him I would do 10 more Main Prem…'s!

But luckily for you, Koi… Mil Gaya came along.
Yeah. The role of Rohit was a perfect foil to that of Prem. Subtlety and underplaying was needed, which could have gone haywire, especially because I had to work in tandem with six kids.

You've always maintained that you never conducted any research for the role of the special child, Rohit, and just looked within yourself and fashioned the role from childhood memories. Looking at the film it looks improbable that you did not take outside help.
No, no. I never looked outside for Rohit – it wouldn't have worked that way. It's true, I looked inwards, within me, deep inside me. A child, like Rohit, exists or has existed in all of us. We have all experienced moments when we have felt horribly embarrassed or inadequate as kids, or have been made fun of and suffered. I booked a hotel room and locked myself in it for three days, with a copy of the script, and hunted within me for him. And a lot of Rohit has come from my childhood. I'd even say that he was an extension of my childhood and is very close to me. I too had been a loner, laughed at because I was an oddity too in my own way, with my six fingers, my tendency to stutter and my shyness. I never felt like a normal child. I had many heartbreaking moments of the kind Rohit did, and virtually never went to sleep without crying. The script and my ideas were then fine-tuned together. Since I was a sci-fi freak as well, my inputs were considerable even in the look of the spaceship and in the alien Jadoo. But the genius and hard work in the final product was mostly dad's.

One more Koi Mil Gaya…point. Jadoo, the alien, is said to be an animotronic body. But a leading daily interviewed a midget who said that he was inside the inanimate model. Comment.

Well, an animotronic body is fully computerized, as Jadoo was, or as E.T. was. Now, an animotron's facial expressions and limb movements can be done digitally, but he cannot move from place to place. There has to be a human body inside him to move. And this is true of even Spielberg's films.

Granted, but why was the Adnan Sami version of `Jadoo' dubbed?
I am a huge fan of Mr Adnan Sami and it was at my recommendation that we recorded the song with him. But it was hard to identify his heavy voice with my child-like character. When we realized that, we kept his song in the album and recorded the track with Udit Narayan.

You have learnt various lessons about your career from the last three and half years. What will be your strategy, now that expectations are once again gigantic?
Dad is planning something again. He is thinking all the time, and keeps dreaming of subjects to make. I think that we have to just be as honest as we have been. As for my approach as an actor, I have decided to do one film at a time. I have learnt my lessons.

But isn't that very risky? You have seen what happens when films flop. What if the only film you do, flops?
I don't agree. I think that the box-office prospects would be better if we did fewer films. Right now, we are giving 50-60 flops a year.
If everyone was quality-conscious, I think we could easily yield 12-15 blockbusters a year. I strongly believe that a good film works.
The bad times that the industry has faced and is facing is because we need to make big-screen entertainers that are intelligent enough to appeal to everyone. For that you have to make a film with your heart and with less calculation.

But even a fabulous film like Farhan Akhtar's Dil Chahta Hai was no blockbuster.
The kind of appreciation this film got was amazing. I think that today the yardstick of success is appreciation first. The business done is secondary. Let's face it – the industry is centered in and around Mumbai. Today, even if Dil Chahta Hai is a losing proposition in many centres, you'll have to accept the fact that any actor will jump at doing a Farhan Akhtar film. Now, wouldn't you call that real success?

You have already had the best filmmakers in your bag. What have they individually taught you?
That's not very easy to answer. It's obvious that every talent you come close to enhances your own talent. Just being with talents like Karan Johar, Sooraj R.Barjatya or Farhan Akhtar and being open to them and their work can teach and enrich you so much. I'm still learning and the process isn't over in any case.

Tell us something about Lakshya and Farhan.
Not so soon, I'm not supposed to say anything about the film! I play an army cadet. As for Farhan, he's extremely good and techno-savvy too. I co-star after K3G again with Mr Amitabh Bachchan, and there is so much you can learn from him too.

Like what?
First and foremost, he is the ultimate example of professionalism. In any case, right from childhood, there have been two major influences on me – Mr Raj Kapoor and Mr Amitabh Bachchan.

Why was there so much secrecy over your hair-cut in Lakshya. You even started wearing a cap to hide it?
No, no, I was not hiding it! It's just that since it was an authentic INA cut, the hair was shaved off above the ears and I wasn't very comfortable about it.

A relationship that's not been much highlighted is that with your grandmother, Ira Roshan.
Ahh, Dida! That's what I call her. She's Bengali and in Kolkata that's how we affectionately address a grandmother. You know, she's just incredible. At 70, she's still churning out songs as a composer! Apart from devotional songs she even did an amazing pop album with Anaida four years ago, and scored a hit with the song "Zaraa dheere chalo ji"!

Tell us something about life after marriage.
Oh, marriage is one of the best things that has happened in my life!
Right now, I can't understand how I could have lived without Suzanne. She's so inspiring too – and in so many ways that I can't really explain lucidly, Koi… would not have been possible without her. Suzanne brings out the child in me and we have so much fun together. It's crazy but when the two of us are alone in a room, she starts jumping around like mad and I join her too!


Hrithik Roshan's first director was maternal grandfather J. Om Prakash in Rakesh Roshan's Bhagwan Dada (`86) in which he was a child artiste.

His paternal grandfather was the late composer Roshan.

Except for Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon in which he was one of the two `Prem's, Hrithik on screen always had names beginning with `R', standing for Romance. In the two action dramas that he did, Fiza and Mission Kashmir, he was named from `A' standing for Action.

Kareena Kapoor has been his most frequent co-star and Udit Narayan his most frequent playback singer. Jaya Bachchan has played his screen mother in two films.

His name pertains to purification by a holy fire.