Published On: 2012-05-05

Author: unknown

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Source: Filmfare

Looks like he's suffering from jeet-lag. He's drenched from head to toe. And not just in success. As the richly deserved kudos for his performance in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham pour in from all sides, Hrithik has a more immediate downpour to worry about. Sooraj Barjatya is shooting a rain song with Hrithik and Kareena Kapoor at Mehboob Studios in Bandra. Lunch is given a skip as Kareena concentrates on looking like Prem ki deewani to Anu Malik's tune. Hrithik concentrates hard on seeming deewaana. Since perfection is his final goal, intensity comes easily to him. Flawless shot over, Hrithik concentrates on some serious mindspeak although at the end of the long interview he confesses, "I was so tired I just kept blanking out." It didn't show, though.

Where have you been hiding yourself lately?

Don't ask. I've been doing double shifts. I know, I know. I said I wouldn't. But I can't help it. Otherwise my current assignments will go on till 2003. This was the argument used to get me to do double shifts. So who am I to argue?

Everyone's talking about how well you've performed the emotional scenes in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.

Oh yeah? I didn't have any other kind of scenes. The rest was what you call the pouting and dancing... Oh God! I enjoy acting much more than dancing and singing. I hope I'm providing enough proof of that in my films. As far as K3G is concerned, I'm completely satisfied. I always knew the length of my role. In fact if I'd been given a choice of roles by Karan (Johar)--which I wasn't, ha ha--I'd have still picked mine. Because Rohan suited me the best. I'm very happy with my performance. Karan has presented me with class even though I'm not the hero of the film. He has made sure both my fans and I are satisfied.

This was one of the films you had signed before Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai.

Yeah, in a way I'm glad I signed K3G before the release of Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai. Later on I may not have been clear-headed enough to see the actual extent and impact of the role and performance. Being an actor is not about being the focal point of every film. I'd love to be part of something like Monsoon Wedding. I'd be at liberty to do anything. I won't have to bother about looking good and being the `hero'. Let someone come with a worthwhile offer like Monsoon Wedding. I'll grab even a small role in such a film.

Were you also happy with your performance in Yaadein?

Oh God! Yaadein. Mr Ghai conceived the film on a very spontaneous level. Until the day of the shoots, I didn't know what I was supposed to do. It was an experiment, I guess. He was Mr Ghai. I was a newcomer. So I just went along with it. I don't think I believe in spontaneous creativity any longer (grins). Yaadein reaffirmed my belief in the importance of a screenplay. I'm going to stick by a script from now on. In terms of creative satisfaction, K3G was immensely satisfying. I'd also rate Fiza very highly. I'm a supporting character in K3G. But since I was aware of this all along, there's no disappointment. The only performances of mine I was disappointed with was Yaadein and to an extent Mission Kashmir. I could've done much better in these films.

Everyone is talking about how good Kareena and you look together in the film.

Are they? K3G isn't our story. But I guess somewhere we worked well together. Compared with Yaadein, we are much more happening in this one. As for Sooraj Barjatya's Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon, you simply have to see us in that film. It's been such a major challenge for both of us. In fact, everyone is giving so much to the film, I have no choice but to push myself even harder.

That's what you do any way.

Yes, but sometimes the energy and creative level on a set is so high I feel I gotta do more, gotta give more. I play a very naughty, transparent happy-go-lucky fellow. I'm full of life and sunshine. I have a mischievous look in my eyes all the time. But I'm very respectful to elders.

As is usual in Sooraj's cinema.

Yes, but this one is full of youthful energy.

And have you delevoped a paunch to look well-fed after having devoured the goodies in Sooraj's film?

What? No way! I have to look my best in this film. The body language of my character is so important. My looks in any film are dictated by the character I play. I'll even look ugly if the role demands it. My fans won't be let down, because the role would be really intense and heartbreaking.

Wouldn't you love to do a period film, like Tarsem Singh's Hamlet?

I'd rather do something really Indian, like Asoka. But I'd have to really work hard to get into the character. Right now I don't have anything that requires intense preparation except my Dad's film Koi Mil Gaya. And speaking of ugly, I'm anything but a dashing dude in this film. I enter a completely different world when I come on the sets and get into my clothes. Just to make my character look convincing is tough. Koi Mil Gaya is the most challenging role I'm doing since Raj in Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai.

Why was Raj a challenge?

Because that wasn't me at all. It was a complete act. The characters that came the most easily to me were Amaan in Fiza and Rohit in the first-half of Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai. I could identify with both.

What's it like working with your dad?

It's great. There's so much time to prepare. But it isn't easy. Because he wants the best and so do I. And we get to that point even if we've to argue it out. The comfort level between us now is the same as during Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai. He was far more relaxed then, I'm far more relaxed now. So the balance on the set is still the same. Surprisingly, I was more eager to give suggestions and inputs during Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai. Even though I was a newcomer I knew exactly the end result that I wanted. Dad also knew exactly what he wanted. We both used to fight it out. In Koi Mil Gaya, the character I play requires a lot of spontaneity. I have to go with the flow. This is something I've never done. I still don't know whether I'm doing it right. I'm just trusting my instincts and Dad. That's why I call it a crossover film for me.

When's the film likely to be completed?

Not very soon. I wish I had the dates to complete Koi Mil Gaya in one four-month stretch. It's so hard to get into character. Each time a schedule ends, I wonder if I'll be able to do it again. You know, it's funny. Though I play a most non-filmi hero in Koi Mila Gaya, I identify with him the most. I'm not comfortable with the cool dude act. I wish could be as natural in all my films.

Koi Mil Gaya seems to be the softest film your dad has made.

Oh no, it isn't soft. This is the most stressful and the biggest film he has ever made. The highs in the film are higher than Karan Arjun or Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai. Koi Mil Gaya has got chase sequences, basketball matches, huge special effects. It's got aliens and speaceships. It's something else, man.

Why do you think films aren't doing too well these days?

Well, you have to make them honestly. If you make a film from your heart, it always works. If you give a 100 per cent of yourself to a film and still it doesn't work, maybe you needed to give 200 per cent.

Has the spate of supporting roles that followed Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai ended with K3G?

Yes, absolutely. It's goodbye to supporting roles in 2001. Starting with Vikram Bhatt's Aap Mujhe Achhe Lagne Lage and Arjun Sablok's Na Tum Jano Na Hum. They're going to be released in April and June. They're both complete entertainers. I haven't seen the finished products. But I've enjoyed working in them. If that's a criteria for entertainment value then, yes, I think both films are potential winners. Like Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai and K3G, Aap Mujhe Achhe Lagne Lage plays by all the rules and yet treats them in a new way. I guess mainstream cinema is all about treatment.

You're teamed with Amisha Patel once again in Aap Mujhe...

Yes, I presume that would create a certain excitement in the audience. But I also know it's the script and not the actors who sustain a film. Apart from an initial curiosity, a star pair doesn't benefit a film in any real way. A film has to carry itself.

Amisha Patel says Aap Mujhe... will be bigger than Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai.

(Laughs) Okay... Ooooh God! Let's see how it goes. It's an out-and-out commercial film. It's the second solo hero film of my career, so it's important that it work. Na Tum Jano Na Hum again has me in the central role. It's a very sensitive and intelligent film. It's not one of those manipulative mainstreamers. It's straight from the heart.

Have you signed anything new lately?

No way. In fact I'd like to cut down on my work. Other than my dad's and Sooraj's films, I only have Yashraj Films' Mujshe Dosti Karoge. These are the only films I've lined up for the coming year. I won't sign any film on a hunch. It's got to be a sure conviction, "Yes, this is the film I want to do". The script and director are all-important. I know every film can't be Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai. But I'm willing to wait for the perfect vehicles.

You assisted your dad during Karan Arjun and Koyla. Do you see yourself as a director some day?

People keep telling me so. But I really haven't thought about it. I know I can execute drama and other emotions on screen. But to understand how to write a screenplay needs lots of time. Something I don't have right now. But I do have an instinct for direction.

How has the last one year treated you?

Very, very well. I'm more comfortable with my work today. I'm ready to cross over to a new working style because I've begun to trust my abilities more. I no longer need too many rehearsals.

You're being seen in a lot of ads.

Not really lots. There are just three---Tamarind, Coke and Home Trade. Tamarind was supposed to be over by 2001 but it's spilled into 2002. Coke and a new campaign for Hero Honda are all I have. I'm with Coke till 2003.

You completed one year of married life in December. What's it been like?

It was the best year of my life. Being married is great. I've everything that I ever wanted. I'm living a perfect life right now. Touch wood. Of course the work-related challenges and fears are always there. But my will to excel also remains the same. I also know that nothing would be right if it wasn't for Susanne. I feel everything I have right now is because of her.

Does she complain about your schedules?

Oh yeah. When I told her I'd attend my own marriage anniversary party for just one-and-a-half hours she was really upset. I know I should've spent at least the whole evening by her side. But I had a very tough schedule the next day. I had to do really tough action sequences. I couldn't party till 4 a.m and wake up at 7 for my shoot. I needed a good night's rest.

Do you wish you could spend more time with your wife?

Sometimes I do. I wish I could take a few days off now and then to be with her. But hey, no complaints! Besides, we are together at all my outdoor shootings. We have a great time since she's the kind of person who gets along with everyone in the unit. Life becomes easier for me when she's around. People take to her instantly.

Usually opposites attract, but in your case there's plenty in common with your wife.

Yeah, our beliefs are the same. We like the same people. We seldom argue about anything except of course my lack of free time. Even then it's just a mild rebuke, nothing more. At these times I remind her of all her promises to stick by me through thick and thin and not complain.

That's really underhand.

No! (laughs). But we never expected success to happen so soon in my career. We had both braced ourselves for ten years of struggle. I keep reminding her that it's come easily to me. So we shouldn't sulk over small deprivations. When I think of Sussanne, I think I'm the luckiest man in the world. And I'm not saying this for effect.

Where do we see you at the popular awards this year?

I hope to get nominated for best supporting actor in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. My other performances during 2001 were absolutely not awards-worthy.

So when do we hear the pitter patter of little feet at the Roshans' residence?

I can't even think about fatherhood right now. I have to feel the need instinctively.