Still the boy next door

Published On: 2013-10-16

Author: Subhash K Jha

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Still the boy next door



In a candid interview to SUBHASH K. JHA, Hrithik Roshan discusses everything from marriage and career to awards and life itself. Read on... 


BARELY HAD he touched down in Mumbai from Switzerland after what he describes as a ``dream schedule'' of Yash Chopra's ``Mujhse Dosti Karoge'', when a thousand different people and duties attracted his attention. The scarcity of time has become the biggest problem of this millennium's mega-stars. Not that Hrithik is complaining. But he is longing for quality time with his (uncomplaining) wife Susanne. Catching up with Hrithik after some months I find nothing has changed. He is still the boy next door who cannot understand what the fuss is all about. 



What was it like shooting for Karan Johar's ``Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham'' in London for a month? 


(Face lighting up) Oh, we had a ball! I mean the work was tough. But when you work hard you don't feel guilty about playing hard. After shooting, we really let our hair down. My director Karan Johar's birthday fell during the schedule and we had a wonderful party. It was amazing. My wife was with me throughout the schedule. 



And how did you manage to lose your cellphone in London? 


Gosh, that was such a weird experience. My wife and I were at Pizza Hut. Suddenly these two cute little kids walked in with pamphlets . They gave one placard to me and another to Susanne. We began to read about how homeless and hungry they were. My wife and I being major softies, we gave the kids about eight pounds. That is a lot of money for beggars. After they left I turned my attention to my cellphone and it was missing. I called the waitress thinking it might have gone in the tray. Then I realised who took the phone. We called the manager who said other customers had a similar experience. We had became the target because ours was the table nearest to the main entrance. I tried to locate them. But no luck. 



Do such experiences shake your faith in human nature? 


Not really. I know that if someone comes to me with an innocent face I'd fall for it again. How much have those kids actually hurt me? I can afford another phone, can't I? What if they really needed the money? Should I become cynical for life on account of a mobile phone? When it really hurts I'll revise my opinion. 



Will you hit back if someone hurts you really badly? 


It depends on who is hurt. If it is caused to someone I love, I would retaliate immediately. Material things can be replaced. I don't think I'm much of a materialist. 



So the material girl Madonna won't like you. 


But I still like her very much. She's amazing. Isn't her new album fantastic? The sounds are so new. She always has something new to offer. I'm a fan of hers. I'm dying to meet her. 



You think she knows about me? 


I'm sure she does. She'll love you in ``Yaadein''. Let me see if everything that I've tried to do in the film has worked out right. What I can tell you is that working with Mr. Subhash Ghai has made me more spontaneous. He has helped me grow as an actor. For once, there was no need for me to rehearse. Everything I've done in ``Yaadein'' is completely off-the-cuff. This was a new way of working for me. Even the dialogue was sometimes written on the sets as and when Mr. Ghai got inspired. He leaves himself open to all sorts of experiences. A sunshiny day can inspire him to write the most beautiful lines. With a director like that, there's no need for any actor to prepare. I'm glad I got a chance to work in a new way. 



You once told me that ``Yaadein'' belongs completely to Jackie Shroff and Kareena. 


Going by the response of those who have seen the film that no longer seems true. It is indeed the life story of the character played by Jackie Shroff. But I've lots to do. 



And Kareena? 


I always have fun working with her. I love to work with actors who are spontaneous. Whether we click as a pair or not is up to the audience. It's not an out-and-out love story. It's about family ties, about being friends with your children. The message is, if you have a family to fall back on , nothing can break you. 



You believe that, don't you? 


Oh yeah yeah. My father and I aren't the best of friends. But, we're very close. 



And Suzanne? Has she adjusted well in your family? 


She had no adjustments to make. She was with me for six years before our marriage. The only basic difference is, instead of being in the home only during the day, she stays overnight also, and she gets to come with me for my outdoor shootings. But I do not spend much time with her. She, however, does not complain. Perhaps when you are older the two of you can buy identical rocking chairs and sit together. Yeah but we need to do that now. This is the time to enjoy each other's company when everything is so perfect for me. I'm trying not to work on Sundays. But that is not quite possible. 



Now the awards season is just over... 


Oh believe me, not yet. There are a couple more to come. One is coming up for ``Fiza'' in Kolkata. That is very prestigious. I believe we've collected a total of over a 100 awards for ``Kaho Na Pyar Hai''. It somehow takes away the importance and aura of the awards. 



In what way? 


Now I feel, bas itna sa kiya, and I got so many awards ? I don't think I deserve all these awards. I want to get awards for a performance that takes me by surprise. Or at least those who watch me should be surprised. I think I got all these awards because I was the most popular actor in 2000. Obviously the jury members thought you were not just popular but also good. I'd like to ask just one member of the jury to stand up and say in front of the whole world that he thinks Hrithik Roshan deserved the best actor award over and above Shah Rukh Khan in ``Mohabbatein,'' Anil Kapoor in ``Pukar'' and Sanjay Dutt in ``Mission Kashmir.'' As an actor I think all these performances were better. 



You're just being modest. 


No. I'm being honest. I know I was very good in ``Kaho Na Pyar Hai''. I know I deserved the award for best debut more than anyone else. And perhaps I also deserved the critics awards for ``Fiza,'' but not best actor. 



Do you think you'd be worthy of the best actor award for ``Yaadein''? 


It isn't an author-backed role. Some roles are designed for awards, not this one. But in ``Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham,'' I could possibly win the best supporting award.



Is your role in ``Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham'' pivotal? 


It is definitely very important. I'm as important as any other character. The two pillars of the film are Mr. Bachchan and Mr. Shah Rukh Khan. But I'm very happy with my role. It is something to be proud of. Karan is too good. He is unbelievable. He is the best. You've to see the kind of work he has done in ``Kabhi Khushi...'' He's gone way beyond ``Kuch Kuch Hota Hai''. 



After ``Yaadein'' and ``Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham'' what do you have coming up? 


There is Vikram Bhatt's ``Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage'' in January 2002. Sooraj Barjatya's ``Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon'' will probably be in January 2003. These apart I have only my dad's film ``Koi Mil Gaya'' and Ramesh Sippy's film. 



Is it hard to turn down film-makers who make you impossible offers? 


Not any more. I used to get nervous to say `no'. I think I've matured a bit now, so I can handle such situations much better. 



I think the film industry and marriage have made you wiser! 


Not really. We make acting and marriage sound like tough tasks that add lines to our face. The film industry is a wonderful place and marriage is great. In fact these things have made me more of a child. I'm always discovering new areas of excitement. 



So life couldn't be better? 


Life could always be better. It is human nature to be dissatisfied. I think of myself as extremely fortunate. 



So when are you going to be a father? 


Are you crazy? Let me grow up first. 



In that case you'll have to wait all your life. 


Yeah. I might as well let things be the way they are. I can't see myself as a father. Not for a long time. Meanwhile there's Shah Rukhs son Aryan to play with . He's the best kid in the world. I love the fact that he loves me so much.