FHM Magazine Interview- EXCLUSIVE!

Published On: 2013-10-13

Author: Tushar A. Amin

Media Link:

FHM Magazine Interview



Date: July 2009 

Contributior: SS 

Typed by: Turima and Shoba 

Interviewer: Tushar A. Amin 



The final word in living “The Good Life” came from none other than the ultimate symbol of contemporary Indian masculinity – Hrithik Roshan. This mega star is the epitome of raw rugged appeal and old world sophistication. A long chat with Hrithik in his exquisite and awe inspiring home taught me the true meaning of good life is not collecting “things”. It is the ability to be true to oneself. One of the most luxurious, soul fulfilling experiences I’ve had, Hrithik ‘s interview is straight from the heart and is aimed at your soul…… Beyond the glitz and glamour and beyond the trappings of superstar image, Hrithik Roshan, the epitome of contemporary Indian masculinity talks of his quest for the truth and digs deeper for HIGHER GROUND 



You rocked Cannes recently. How was the experience? 


It was wonderful. The first time I went to Cannes was when I was 21 years od as an assistant to my grandfather J. Om Prakash, who was the President of the FFI at that time. So I got the layman’s perspective of how it is and what goes on. I saw people walk the red carpet and I thought to myself, maybe, someday I will walk it too. And this time I was on the red carpet and I felt as insignificant as I felt 14 years ago. 





(Looking at me in the eye) In fact, I felt even less significant than 14 years ago. I felt less because at that time when I was 21, I wasn’t greedy for attention. I was just a bystander at peace, happy watching people go by on the red carpet. This time when I was there, there was a sense of grabbing and wanting more attention. So, in that regard I felt even more insignificant. I felt lesser of myself. That’s how life is. It comes a full circle and makes you see your face in the mirror . You see yourself and say, damn! (Thinks for a few moments) It is about desires. The more you live your desires as opposed to your needs, the more unhappy you will be. 



It’s amazing that you can still keep your perspective despite all the glamour and glitz you are surrounded by…. 


For me, my career is my preoccupation. All our work that we do is actually a form of our preoccupation. When we are put on this earth, right from the beginning, our preoccupation started in the form of simply trying to survive. And now since we don’t have anything better to do, since we don’t have the answers that our soul is actually seeking and we have no way to find those answers, we have convinced ourselves that it’s futile to even attempt. So we just forget about that and say, okay, let’s live day to day. Let’s make our lives better by desiring and acquiring and filling up our life. Let’s keep busy by trying to be happy and trying to feel bigger and bigger by accumulating possessions and seeking attention. By craving acknowledgement from the world. And all that is just preoccupation. I like the fact that I am aware of that. So it keeps me grounded. 



You are playing so many roles day in day out…. How do you manage to be so true to each one? 


We all have a natural propensity to play roles. We are not the same person that we are with our parents as we are with our friends… they are all bits and parts of you but we are all actually playing roles. And it is very hard to break away from that and keep yourself centered. But if you do get there, then that is a place of immense peace and strength. 



Are you able to detach yourself from the demands made on you for being a superstar? 


As much as I fight trying to live up to an image, I often succumb to wanting to be that star. And it’s not a bad thing as it is part of my job. I wish I could do it in a more unafraid manner. I have a dilemma in my head which is that there is a grotesque difference between what the world thinks of me and what I think of myself. There is always a big leap I have to take before I appear as a star. And that takes work … Whether it is clothes, hair, make up. What should I wear? How should I walk? Would I be able to impress? All those stupid unnecessary thoughts still exist… 



So you take them as an occupational hazard …a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do type? 


There is a difference between what I do and what I need to project myself as. I love what I do. I love giving expression to a life and make it look real and convincing …to play a character. To maybe vent my own personal conflicts through celluloid. That kind of creativity somewhere sets your soul free. I love the process of acting. I love being in front of the camera. But the other side of the coin is projecting yourself as a star who wants to be the best, wants to be loved by all. That is where my problem arises. I wish I could just act and go home. And not worry about selling myself or trying to impress. But the one consistent thing that exists in life, I have realized is change. And I know that while I am expressing these thoughts right now, one day, I would look back and say, hey, it was so easy to do that. Why was I stressing so much? I could have just been myself and walked the red carpet the way I wanted to, not really give a damn about anything else, but just have a good time, just enjoy every step that I am there, just being there in the moment. Taking life as it is…. 



Does projecting that star image still trouble you? 


No, no…It is far easier now. I am just giving you an overview of how it has been for me. Nowadays the remnants of that still exist. But I am far cooler. I am far more myself. But of course, there are those remnants, those devils which have to fight. We all have to… They always make a back door entry. You throw them out and just as you are about to step on stage, they sneak up on you. And then its too late to fight. But of course, I am still evolving. Still young. Have a lot of life to live, lot of time to attain my Nirvana. And one day, I will…. 





Actually, we all are seeking that. Some people are just a bit more preoccupied with what they are doing right now. But a time will come when they have to sit back and realize that whatever has gone by and whatever is to come – both are illusions. The only truth in life is where you are right now…your present moment. This present moment is your only access to peace. If you want to gain peace, do it right now and don’t wait for getting that house or getting that award to be at peace. Because that will never happen, and that is a bottomless pit. At this point right now, wherever you are, you have to look around and ask yourself “Do I have a problem? Do I have any problem right now?” And if you do, then ask yourself a second question, “Can I do something about it? And you will get an answer. Yes or no. If yes, do it. Get up and do it. If no, then accept that moment just the way it is. Because it has taken millions of years, millions of years that nature has been through to align itself to come to this moment. So resisting that moment is the most stupidest thing you can do. It is such a simple saying “Why cry over spilt milk?” but that is your access to salvation. You have to be in acceptance with what is. If you are not it acceptance with what is, you are the most idiotic person alive. Because you cannot fight what is. 



Hrithik, you are hardly 35..where does all this come from? 


It’s not about age. It is about how mature you are, what experiences you have been through. Experiences though are never good or bad. They are just access point t find out more about yourself. Every situation is only there for you to find out more and evolve more. There is no bad situation. Even death of a close one somewhere gets you closer to enlightenment. Suffering and unhappiness are actually pathways to achieving true peace in life, if you just learn from it the right way. To evolve, I think, that is your main mission in life. Without you even knowing it, you are always accumulating experiences and growing with them. 



Are you constantly watching yourself, conscious of this process? 


Just having the awareness is enough. Even in retrospect, if you become aware that I acted in a certain way because I was affected – either by the presence of somebody who is more powerful, or by the presence of somebody at a lower level. The ego takes control sometimes and makes you act superior. And if you can’t beat somebody who is better than you, then your ego would try and befriend that person so that you can get the acknowledgement that you want from that more powerful person. If you know that you cannot beat a person who is better than you in what you do, then you would want to be at least friends. You gain importance simply by association. But actually, you are seeking something that is not you and which is futile. Because ego is a bottomless pit. Your actions just show how incomplete you are because you are seeking to compete based on material or external things. 



When do you get time to think out all these things? Do you meditate? 


Well, I read a lot of books. And ya, I do meditate when I don’t feel centered enough. 



Are you religious? 


I respect the source of all religions. I think they were all meant to teach people to live in peace. All of them talk oneness. All of them talk of a better way to live. But I don’t believe in what religion has become. Religion now is people attaching themselves to a belief that they think they are in the sole possession of the truth. And if another religion says something else, they point a finger and say no, that’s wrong. And by implication, they are saying that they are right. Which gives them more power. So the basic significance of religion is lost. It’s become a belief system that empowers a certain section of people and with that they try and get more importance and make themselves feel more powerful by thinking that they are in sole possession of the truth and all other religions are wrong. That’s where wars come from. The point of religion is to teach people to love but it has become a tool to spread hatred. 



A leading choreographer once told me, “For someone with a muscular physique like Hrithik, dancing is one of the most difficult tasks. And yet there is so much grace and beauty in his movements, there is so much fluidity, it’s amazing. He is a delight to watch, an inspiration even for someone like me.” On a sub conscious level, what is your relationship to dance? 


I am sorry, but I will have to break your illusion. I don’t think muscles have anything to do with obstructing dance. You are either someone who has an ability to express emotions through your body in a way that the world considers good or you don’t. But everybody has the ability to express their emotions through their body. Everyone dances. The point of dance is to express yourself and to free yourself. Yes, if you want to build a career out of it, you need acknowledgement from the world that you are a good dancer. So let’s not destroy the concept of dance by saying that only if you dance perfectly can you be having fun. The point of dance, let’s not forget what dance actually means, and let me not be the symbol to signify that. That if you don’t dance like Hrithik Roshan then you are a bad dancer. That’s untrue. I say, when you dance and if you can look stupid when you dance then you are free. And that should be so much fun place to be. If you watch me dancing in a disco or when I am with friends, I can dance the most stupid the most absurd steps. Because I don’t concentrate on just doing a step. I concentrate on just expressing through my body the exhilaration that I am feeling in my mind because I am with my friends, I can be myself. So let’s not destroy the concept of dance. And let me not be the symbol to destroy the concept of dance in the minds of people. Dance is for fun and no matter how you dance, you should have fun. The more stupid you look, the more absurd you look, the more people will turn around and look at you, because you are in your element. The more crazy you go, the more people will turn to you and appreciate you but you have to let yourself go. Yes, it you want to make a career out of dance, then you need acknowledgement from the world. And for that I will tell you, the only way to magic is practice. When you practice enough you can create that magic 



And what about your physique and fitness? Do you love working out or is it just a part of your job? 


Working out is like meditation to me. And as hollow as it may sound, it is my truth and it makes me feel good. When I work out, I feel more empowered, more at peace. And there is a scientific and a biological truth to that as well. When you work out, all the toxins in body get an access to be excreted out of the body through sweat. All the nutrients are carried by the blood to the extremeties of your body, so your healing is better. All the tension and the knots in the body that have actually come from the mind, have a reverse effect on the mind. And when your body is stiff and knotted up, it works backwards on the mind. It’s a vicious cycle. The body causes mind to stress and the mind causes body to stress. So the only outlet is to pump your heart up which sends out blood to all the extremities, flushes out your toxins and releases endorphins into your brain. You actually feel happy right after workout 



Dance, fitness…another aspect of your life that spells magic is your relationship with your dad. It’s Father’s day this month. Can you share some thoughts on your fantastic bond with your dad? 


Well, what can I say! Whatever I have, whatever approach and drive I have to my work, comes from being my father’s son. I have watched him work, I have watched him struggle, I have watched him fail, I have watched him succeed. And I am still watching. It’s been a tireless journey for him. So much so, it is tiring for me to look at him. I wonder, “Is it never going to end? Will I feel the same drive when I am sixty” And then the question arises, “Is it just about working, just about passion and drive? Or is there something beyond that. Are these simply means to an end and what is that end?” I look at him and I get all these questions. On the work front, as everyone knows, we have done three films. And all three have been loved and appreciated. They have all been blockbusters. All the things about those films have gone right. And I think that is because, somewhere, when we work with each other, even if we have arguments, we maintain our individuality while working and at the same time, don’t oppose other person’s thoughts and suggestions. Because we are both working towards the same goal – to make a better film. So work wise we have complete understanding and there is a lot of respect and awe that I have for him. I have been watching him for so many years, and that respect and awe keeps growing with each passing day. 



But are you two like buddies? Or is it like traditional Indian families where a father is a father, and there is a line that cannot be crossed? 


You know, it’s all about the son finding his own individuality. And once that happens, then it is very easy to talk man to man. So of course we went through a stage where we couldn’t be friends. I wouldn’t say we are friends now, but we are two individuals, two men who have their own mind. And from that comes an incredible amount of freedom when it comes to communications and understanding. 



Coming to more material stuff, You are one of the most suave, sophisticated and stylish film personalities, both on an doff the screen. What are you the most comfortable wearing? 


I just pick up a t-shirt and a pair of jeans…. 



Are there any particular brands you are biased towards? 


All I tell my designers and Sussanne is that I just need the clothes to fit well and I need to feel good in t hem. I don’t care if they come from Fashion Street or Dolce and Gabbana or Armani. But on a more practical level, I find that clothes made by Armani very suited to the body structure I have. My favorite in that regard are Armani, Diesel for jeans and Dolce and Gabbana 



So Sussanne does your shopping? You never go with her…. 


I try sometimes. But after a while, it makes me giddy. I can’t focus and concentrate. After a while, I want to sit down somewhere 



You and Sussanne are a perfect couple. What is the secret of a happy relationship according to you? 


I don’t have the only answer to that. There is not one answer to that. It’s like the theory of life. Empty what’s full, fill what’s empty. Scratch where it itches. Do whatever you have to do. But on a more pragmatic level, some relationships are about dependency and needs And that’s construed as love. Some truly have the capability to be two individuals and to voice themselves. And be themselves, have their own minds and then what comes out is a beautiful friendship. I think, love without friendship is not love. If each one is trying to live up to the image that the other one has, then he or she is not being your individual self. And that in time will break. Because it is not the truth. So if you can live in truth and accept each other, then it’s the most beautiful kind of love that ever existed. 



What advice would you give to men out there when it comes to relationships? 


There is no other side of love. If in your relationship there is hostility, anger and temper to a point where it transforms into physical fights, then it is not love. You are just trying to mould each other into what you want the other to be. It’s very important that when you actually love, you have to love the whole person the way he or she is, in entirety. That’s love. That’s where and when it becomes unconditional. Because the moment one person has not lived up to the image that the spouse has of him or her, that creates animosity. That’s not love. It you are two individuals and you respect and love each other, then you have arguments and disagreements but it would never turn into a bad relationship 



How has fatherhood changed you? 


I am not sure what the answer to that is because I am not sure how it would be interpreted. My premise in life was that having children and bringing a life on this earth was a very selfish thought. Because it was again, a need to satisfy your own wants, a need to love, a need to fill your empty life. And the thought of having another life go through what I have gone through was not appealing to me. But that was just my growing years, and now when I can look back and connect the dots, I realize that I had to go through what I had to go through to be where I am right now. So there’s always hope and there are no tragedies. And that sort of brought me to a point. In fact, this was after my first son was born. I realized the bigger truth that life eventually finds a way, if you just don’t lose hope and keep on fighting. There are such exhilarations and victories waiting for you that life will seem worth it. And that gives me great joy in bringing up my kids. Because I know they will go through hardships I know they will go through heartbreaks, I know they that they will also, if I teach them right be able to connect the dots and look forward to that victory. And that gives me a lot of peace and happiness. 



And how do you and Sussanne approach parenting? Do you play good cop bad cop with kids? 


No, we have not come to that stage. I don’t think it’s going on that path at all because there is just love all around. I am not over protective. I am teaching my kids from a very small age that the only thing you can do when you fall just to get up again. And that is something my elder kids teaches his friends at school If someone falls, he tells the guy, “Cry fast and then getup and run again.” AT home also, when he falls and gets hurt and is crying, he is actually trying cry faster so that he can prove to me that he is over the pain and run again. And he is three years old. Sometimes I ask him, “Hrehaan, why are you crying?” and he replies, “Dad, because after I cry, I can stand up again.” So he is crying because he wants to finish it off so that he can stand up again. So he is on the right track. 



Don’t you wish you had a daughter? 


(Laughs) I never wanted a son. Again, at that point of time, I was very worried about what he will have to go through because of what I went through. I was projecting my struggle onto my child’s future. And of course, me saying that I struggled doesn’t sound like much, but we all have our own personal battles to fight. And I did. It was a bad one. So I wanted a daughter because I thought I will have less pressure, I will make her a superstar. But now that I have these two, I cannot even think of what could have been. It’s a waste of time, I am so content.