A Beautiful Mind

Published On: 2012-04-17

Author: unknown

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A beautiful mind: Freewheeling with Hrithik Roshan

By: Praveena Bharadwaj

On screen, he leads a metred existence. But right now, there’s no metre in Hrithik Roshan’s life. He eats, sleeps, and wakes at his own sweet will. He’s on a holiday. Away from the hurly-burly of the sets, he’s a much-relaxed person.

I catch him on a particularly lazy afternoon. And he’s game for a session of word-play.


Right from my teenage days, everyone has called me vain. I used to be obsessed with how I looked, how I walked, how I presented myself. Because even then, I knew my destination was films.

People fail to understand that for us actors, our faces and bodies are our products. Taking care of them is the equivalent of a soft drink maker or a car manufacturer finding the best way to present their products. I don’t think taking care of ourselves is being vain in the least. This is the way we make sure our product is appreciated.

I still spend a lot of time watching myself in the mirror because I was never considered good looking enough to make it in films. When I woke up in the morning, Dad used to say, “Shakal dekho, kaise lagta hai.” He used to call me a chooza (chicken).

I was very conscious of my shortcomings. I was also aware of the fact that good looks are very, very important in films. So I worked on myself. Now they say I look good, that I am one of the best looking heroes, they call me a perfectionist. But the truth is that I have a lot of flaws that I have to take care of. I manage to get appreciated but there are times when I still feel like a chooza.


I think self-control is a prerequisite for an actor. Self-control doesn’t mean that you stop yourself from doing things. It means having complete control over your senses and emotions. When you achieve that, your face radiates power. There are some faces—it could be Mr Amitabh Bachchan, it could be Mr Shah Rukh Khan—that just draw you towards them. You are completely taken by the focus in their eyes. That comes from self-control. I am still striving towards it, towards finding out and achieving the extent of my abilities. I have not even reached the half-way mark. But I’m getting there.


I owe a lot to fear. Without it, I wouldn’t have done anything in my life. The reason I got into films was to overcome my fear of not being able to make it as an actor. Fear of failure, in short.

Whenever I’ve felt fear, I have faced it, stood up to it and then fought it. When I overcome it, it’s a great feeling to know I haven’t let it bog me down.

That’s what courage is all about. Courage is not the absence of fear but the will to overcome it. Like a soldier, an actor also feels fear but that doesn’t stop him. That’s courage, that’s bravery.

I remember when I first told my Dad that I wanted to get into films, he was very wary. He said he didn’t want me to go through the ups and downs that he had seen.

I told him, “Dad, I’m your son. You’ve struggled for 20 years and I’m prepared for that too. Let me jump off the cliff and find out if I can fly. You’ve always protected me but now you have to stop trying to make it safe for me. If I have a safety net, I won’t find the power in my limbs. If I fall, maybe I’ll break to pieces. But I have to fly.” That’s when he agreed that I should do what I want to do.


When Kaho Na… Pyar Hai happened, everyone made me feel like the most successful actor in the world. But I also felt burdened and pressurised to do all the things I had to do. People were comparing me to the legends in the business but I was unsure of my standing. I was at the highest peak but was trying to hold on to every rock that I could find to cement my position there.

Where I stand now is not the peak and I understand that all this—the success and the failures—is just a journey. But it’s beautiful and I don’t mind the failures, even those waiting for me ahead. I’m not running, I’m not scrambling, I’m not confused or agitated. I understand the business and life so much better.

Now I am much calmer, I don’t get pressurised by too much praise or criticism. I’m not afraid any longer that I won’t be able to live up to expectations. People are saying I am a great actor after Koi… Mil Gaya. Earlier, that would have unnerved me. Now I can take it in my stride. I also know that tomorrow if a film of mine flops, they will say that I am not that good any more.


For success to truly work, it has to be interspersed with failure. After KNPH, somewhere along the way, I started losing myself in a lot of ways. I stopped enjoying so many things that I used to take pleasure in earlier. I thought I was pushing too hard. Whether it was my dance, my appearance or my poses in photo-shoots, I was always trying to be what I was not. I started to become the Hrithik Roshan that I was supposed to be, the person people perceived me to be. I was not me.

After the failures of my next four films, I retreated into my past mentally and tried to find myself again. That’s when I realised how much I used to enjoy my dance, my acting and my work. When I got back to working with Dad in Koi... Mil Gaya, I remembered how things used to be. And then slowly, I reset myself back to normal.

Failure is important in a person’s life because it brings you closer to the truth. It filters the peripherals, it makes you realise what is important and defines your priorities.


I am very short-tempered. But only with myself and with people I am very close to. I get most angry when confronted with stupidity, whether it’s mine or somebody else’s. When I put my foot in my mouth or when something turns out very embarrassing, I get really angry with myself. For three days after that I just want to kill myself. And then I try to deal with it. But till it fades away, I am really angry with myself.

However, I never get angry with people who try to instigate or provoke me, who say bad things about me, or use abusive language. I always believe that if the truth is on your side, you should not react. For instance, if someone tells me I don’t have a left hand, why should I react?

Also, I never go by what is hearsay. Sometimes words can be put in your mouth, they can be misinterpreted and that happens in our industry all too often. So if someone tells me something nasty, I make a note of it, but I don’t believe it. That way, there is no bitterness and anger against anyone pent up inside me. I don’t think I’ve ever hit anyone in anger.


I am a little confused here. I know what it means but I don’t know when it crosses the line from love to desire to lust. I don’t think I have ever felt pure lust. It’s always a mixture of all three—love, desire and lust. It’s an animal instinct in all of us and sometimes it is good, sometimes it is bad. That’s where self-control makes sense.


I romanticise everything in life, whether it is my work, films, or a walk on the beach. Romance, I think, is the most beautiful side of growing up.

I fantasize about being alone on an island with Suzzanne with no one else around. We should have everything we need. We would sail on a yacht or we’d watch the sun set on the horizon, do our own thing. I have lots of romantic fantasies and I want to fulfill all of them.

I still remember going down on my knees and proposing to Suzzanne on Juhu beach. It was at night and we were not so famous then, so nobody took any notice of us. I wrote a poem for her, sang a song for her and then went down on my knees to propose.

Before I became an actor, I had a lot of time to be romantic. But the maximum I do now is bring Suzzanne African daisies (she loves them) or maybe a bar of 5-star chocolate. That was the first gift I gave her when we first started going around. After we started courting, I used to write her a poem on every birthday of hers, but I haven’t done that for the last three years now. So there are three poems pending.


Oh, I can speak volumes about women. They are the source of all the motivation on this planet. The whole world revolves around women and they don’t know it.

My life is supported by three very important women—my mother, my wife and my sister. Without them, the family would not work. I think that’s true of all women and all families.

For me, a woman is most beautiful when she is unaware of her charm; it’s a free soul that turns me on. I like a woman to let loose, to not be afraid, to connect with people.


It is the best thing in the world. I think everyone should try it at least once. I can’t remember what my life was like before love and marriage happened, I don’t know how I survived all these years without having Suzzanne by my side. It’s all about finding the right person.

Some people feel I married in haste. But I never mix my personal and professional lives; one never determines the other. I always wanted to marry Suzzanne but decided I would only when I could stand on my own feet. When KNPH became a hit, half my happiness was because I could then marry her.


It is the consequence and by-product of the hard work that you have put in. But it’s never in your hands. Very few people are chosen and picked for fame. I can’t say I am famous because of what I have done. It is the consequence of the fact that I am one of the chosen few because there are far better actors than me who are less famous than me.

I don’t know what I would do if I was not famous. I can also say, what the hell, after it goes away, I may not miss it. Life will go on with just the memories of being famous. But I hope I am famous till the day I die. I’ll will make sure of it because if I am not famous, I will die.