Mission Possible

Published On: 2012-05-10

Author: unknown

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Mission possible!

By Farida Shaikh

His black cap hides a new hair-do. It’s a crew-cut for his next film, Lakshya, for which he leaves for Ladakh for a month-long shoot right after this interview. But Hrithik Roshan refuses to take off the cap to show his army-man look. “My contract does not allow it,” is all he will tell you.

He is seething because someone asked him a while ago if he considered himself a ‘one-film wonder’. “You know, they put me on the cover of a magazine with ‘Finished!’ written below. If I were not a big star, would I be put there in the first place? The entire issue was sold out because of me. How did I feel? Oh, I was thoroughly entertained!”

A little later he cools down. “My movies may have flopped but no one ever criticised my performance. So, how do I become responsible if my film does not do well? Look at it this way. How many people get to be where I am today? I am enjoying what I am doing right now.”

Which is the wrapping up of Sooraj Barjatya’s Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon (MPKDH) and father Rakesh Roshan’s Koi Mil Gaya. MPKDH is a love triangle with Kareena Kapoor and Abhishek Bachchan as his co-stars and is said to be inspired from the Amol Palekar-Zarina Wahab film, Chitchor. His character in the film, Prem, “is different from all the Prems you have ever seen so far,” he says. But it is Koi Mil Gaya which the industry says can save Hrithik’s sagging career. In this film, he plays a Forest Gump-like character who can communicate with extra-terrestrials.

It will be different from the frothy romances and action hero roles he has played so far. Mission Kashmir and Fiza (where he got to show off his muscles) and Mujhse Dosti Karoge (teeny-bopper tale) did not click with the audience. Both script-writer Honey Irani and co-star in Koi Mil Gaya Preity Zinta insist he is absolutely great in the film.

After a spate of flops (Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham was a multi-starrer), both the forthcoming films will either make or break his future in Bollywood and Hrithik knows that only too well. No, the success of Kaho Naa Pyar Hai never went to his head, he says. “I was not prepared for the blizzard of fans and flashbulbs that hit me… I just didn’t know what was happening. There were offers of posing with Prince Charles, Nelson Mandela and Madonna. But I refused to let the adulation affect me. I kept on telling myself ‘This is not real, it’s an illusion, let me focus’. Suzanne was always by my side. She has always been my friend,” he says of his wife.

Hrithik insists that marriage is the best thing that can happen to anyone. “Provided you get the right person. That’s the catch. I cannot imagine how I lived all those years when I was not married. Hey, I am not going to talk about this anymore because it is too precious. Touch wood!” he says, and touches all the cane furniture around him.

On a more serious note, he adds, marriage made him too content. “An actor needs to feel a little insecure. There should be a vacuum. Getting too comfortable is not a good sign.” He says he now looks forward to maintaining a ‘fifty-fifty balance’ between his personal and professional life.

With films doing so badly at the box-office, what does he think lies in store for Bollywood? “The future belongs to big screen entertainers. The kind of films you will not want to watch on television. Look at Spiderman, even the dubbed versions have done so well.” Where does MPKDH figure in this? “Main Prem… is a big entertainer in every sense – in its expanse, scale, music. Barjatya does everything uniquely,” he says.

The problem with Indian film-makers is that they are too apprehensive about the audience’s expectations, he says. “There is too much calculation and less heart. Koi Mil Gaya has been made with a lot of conviction. It will show how accepting the Indian audience is when you give them something different.” But that will be in August. Before that, MPKDH will decide whether he is still a contender for the heartthrob slot.

Role call

MPKDH: In this film by Sooraj Barjatya, Hrithik romances Kareena Kapoor. The film is a love triangle with Abhishek Bachchan as the third angle.

Koi Mil Gaya: Produced by dad Rakesh Roshan, this is a film in which he plays a Forrest Gump-like character who can communicate with ETs. Both films will make or break him.