OK! Magazine Interview

Published On: 2013-11-11

Author: unknown

Media Link:

OK! Magazine Interview



Typed by: Khadija 

Scans: Himanshi 



It is hard to imagine that anyone can ignore Hrithik Roshan; harder still to believe that Hrithik might find this amusing. But that’s the script when he plays the part of real life dad to his two doting little boys, Hrehaan and Hridaan. “My son told me he was ignoring me and I was blown away by that. I burst out laughing,” said Hrithik, who has been voted India’s Sexiest Dad by OK! As the story unfolds, the decidedly dishy Mr. Roshan takes us through diaper duties and lists daddy’s dreams for the future. He even offers insights into his childhood; from the relationship worth his own father –“he pushed me so much, that sometimes I felt like he didn’t love me.” – To his remarkable, evolving worldview. From body piercings and tattoos to issues of sexuality, Hrithik is unafraid to approach any topic when it comes to his two little tots. You can almost picture him delivering the birds and the bees speech and it takes the edge off the chiselled, perfectly-proportioned superstar endearing him to us as a man and, more so, as a father.



What does being voted India’s Sexiest Dad mean to you? 


It feels fabulous! It is a great compliment, more so because it breaks a certain stereotype. It proves that you can be a dad and be sexy at the same time — getting older is not an excuse to stop taking care of yourself. Titles like this, for parents, are great. You should have more of them! Someday my sons, Hrehaan and Hridaan, will feel proud of the fact that their father was India’s Sexiest Dad at one point. 



Is it too hard to play dad, given all the other roles you have to play? 


So far, I haven’t had any trouble with that. Besides, I don’t believe in over-indulgence. My boys are already quite independent. Being three-and-a-half and one, they sleep on their own. If Hrehaan wants to watch a movie, he opens the drawer selects the DVD that he wants to see, very cautiously takes it out of the box and puts it in the DVD player. He knows how to get to the menu and select play; he knows how to switch on the TV. [Smiles] sometimes when we’ve leave Hrehaan sleeping, and check in on him later, he’s up watching a film all by himself. 



Do you feel your boys are growing up really fast? 


No, but I think they are independent because of the way Sussanne and I have treated them. We’ve never told them not to do stuff – like operate the DVD player because they are too young and may spoil it. When they use to bang things, we talked to them about what these things are and how they work. 



What do you bond with your sons over? 


These days we are role playing — pretending to be in a jungle or playing superheroes like Spiderman, Krrish or Batman. We haven’t really got around to playing outdoor sports yet, but I am planning to take Hrehaan snowboarding in Dubai soon. I took hardly any time to pick it up and, if it is in the genes [smiles], I think he will learn quickly too. 



Is it hard to do outdoorsy things here, given you can hardly go any-where without being recognized and possibly mobbed? 


I used to invariably catch myself complaining about not being able to take my kids out like other parents do, until one day, I just said “why not ?” and I picked them up went to mall . I took them to a toy store all by myself – one child in each arm. I think the moment you stop projecting yourself as a star and just behave like a normal person, people accept you for what you are. Of course I have to admit I didn’t just saunter through the mall in full glory… you have to hide a little bit 



Does that mean wearing a cap and sunglasses for instance? 


I think making a quick entry and exit is important, but once you are in a store, you can spend as long as you like. It’s just that with two toddlers, things can get a little dangerous at the entry and exit point. If you are careful though, you can do almost everything in this city. Besides, I have no right to complain, because if I really want to treat my boys, I can take them to Disney land or Disney world. 



Do you find either of the boys imitating you in any way? 


Not really. So far I have only seen Hrehaan imitating Krrish and Spiderman and he does both really well! He wears the costume and when I say “Action !” he strikes a pose. He does Spider man with the [makes the noise of a web shooting out] wrist thing, in full glory. 



With two boys, are you longing for a little girl? 


I have my hands full at the moment and we’re satisfied. After Hrehaan, I had hoped that I would have the experience of being a father to a girl, but I don’t miss that now. Giving equal attention to two children is more than enough and anyway, who knows the future. We will have to see how it goes. 



We are a nation largely obsessed with the boy child, so wanting a daughter makes you an exception to the norm…. 


[Smiles] I’ve always had the vision of making my daughter a rock star because that isn’t something you see much of [in India]. I’ve always complained about the way we bring up our daughters in this country- conditioned to be subdued, to look after the house and the husband. I wanted to break the mindset. Think of it as my act of rebellion. 



Which of your personality traits have your sons have inherited? 


The one that really stands out is them being stubborn. They are both really stubborn. Which is fantastic… 



Fantastic for whom? I’m sure your wife is complaining! 


Eventually they will become firm about their beliefs. So being stubborn is a good thing, according to me. Whenever they are being stubborn, I look at Sussanne and tell her, “It’s a good thing that they are being stubborn. Don’t stop them.” 



So how do they take to discipline? 


Well, I do not have any rules or laws in the house. Instead I try to instil the logic behind things, even if they are not entirely ready for reasoning yet. Mostly I believe we are foolish when we think they will not understand something – because they are sharper than we think they are. I explain to my son why he is being asked to do things in a certain way eventually it starts to make sense to him. Like why he shouldn’t make noise when I am working. Now he understands that. Now when I am working or if I have a meeting at home, he will come and sit down and work with me. He pulls out his pens and drawing sheets and he will not disturb me until he is done. Then he will politely say, “excuse me,” and show me what he has drawn. If I tell him I have more work to do, he will get back to work again. 



What about things like bedtime and their chocolate intake, for instance – no rules about those? 


Yes, bedtime is fixed. [Smiles] You know when Hrehaan wants to have a chocolate; he looks at me very shyly, like you just know a question is going to be popped right now. Then he will come right up to my ear and whisper, “only one.” [Laughs] he’ll say the maid suggested it and then he will bargain with me, “only one. No. okay only half” it is impossible to say no. 



Between Sussanne and you, who is the stricter parent? 


Sussanne she is just more efficient when it comes to handling them. She does not give them a chance to throw a tantrum. If I’m around and someone throws a tantrum, I will just let them be. I will wait for them to come around. Sussanne will nip it in the bud, because she feels it’s wrong. [Smiles] so the boys are being influenced by two different parent approaches. 



And they will find their middle path. Are you very hands on as a dad? 


I am, but more so now, because, I was very busy when Hrehaan was born. Now, when we were in London, for instance, I have always allotted days when it’s just Hrehaan and me and Sussanne is doing her own thing. We hire a car, he tells me where he wants to go and I let him guide me through the day. If he wants to see a film, we do that. If he tires of it and wants ice-cream, we go and eat ice-cream. 



Have you had your shares of diaper duty and bathing too? 


[Smiles] Let’s just say I have done everything once. 



You’d hoped to have a little girl who’d become a rock star. Do you have any special dreams like that for your boys? 


I just want them to grow up with the belief that nothing is possible and that they need not fear anything. I want them to imbibe my approach to life. I want them to believe that we live in a world where we all have a magic wand – it’s unseen, but it gives you the power to create for yourself whatever life you want. You are the master of your own universe. If you want something badly enough, you make the universe get it to you. I think that belief is the most powerful tool you can have. If you follow your dream with true passion and true strength, you will achieve it. They should never be afraid of failure. From my example they will learn that it’s okay to fail, because that teaches you the true meaning of courage. Real courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to move forward despite the odds. 



So you would, essentially, support all their choices? 


Yes. I am open to anything. I don’t have an issue. I don’t have any restrictions. I don’t judge people, so I definitely will not judge my own sons. Even things like body piercing or tattoos or sexuality are not an issue. You have to have an open mind. Isn’t that what unconditional love is about? 



Children have this amazing ability to constantly surprise you. Is there one experience, above all, that stands out for you with your sons? 


[Smiles] Yes, as a matter of fact. Recently, Hrehaan was a little upset with me and I was trying to make up with him. I kept talking to him, but he wouldn’t respond to me. Finally I said “Hrehaan, what are you doing I’m talking to you!” and he said “I’m ignoring you.” I was just blown away by the word ‘ignore’.. Where did he learn that? How did he learn to use it in the right context – he wasn’t even three years old then! I burst out laughing. Oh, and the other day he did something that was really cool. He looked at my tattoo and he said “what is that?” I said “its mamma’s name.” So he says “why do you have it on your body?” and I said “because I love her”. So he says “when I become four years old, I want your tattoo, mamma’s tattoo and Hridaan’s tattoo. Because I love you, mamma and Hridaan.” I said “Okay, that’s cool” [Smiles] it was incredible. 



Do you allow your boys to watch your films? 


Of course. They have seen Krrish and Koi… mil gaya. They watch me dancing on TV sometimes. 



Has your elder one ever given you a specific feedback on something? 


[Smiles] He always has on opinion on my pictures. If he likes it he will say “this picture is good.” If he looks at it and then just goes back to doing whatever he was doing, it means he was unimpressed. 



Does he look for his daddy in the newspapers? 


Not consciously, but if he stumbles upon a picture of mine and if he likes it, he will show it to me. 



Do the boys realize that their mother and father are famous? 


[thinks for a moment] I don’t think so…. 



Do both you and Sussanne consciously keep them away from the media? 


Neither of us is very into this media thing. It doesn’t excite us. I don’t enjoy being a star as much as I enjoy being an actor. It’s not something that drives me. 



What has fatherhood changed about you? 


It’s made me a better actor for sure. There is more to life and my personality now. There is more strength in my stunts. I smile more. It’s easier to show happiness in front of the camera. Fatherhood has made life so much more exciting. 



You have a very strong bond with your own father. Does that influence the way you are bringing up your boys? 


[Smiles] My dad has been the best dad ever. If I can be half the dad that he has been to me, I will be happy. They say by the time you realize your father was right; you have a son who thinks you’re wrong. I know the pressure now is nothing compared to what I will feel when the boys are 18 and 19 years old. I just hope that I evolve with time, so I can be their friend forever. 



Is there anything that you did with your father as a child that you make a conscious effort to do with your kids? 


Everything I do, subconsciously, comes from how my dad has been with me. He helped me discover myself. When I was 11 or 12, he really used to push me. He pushed me so much, that sometimes I felt like he didn’t love me. He would never stop himself from criticizing me or telling me that I wasn’t good enough. He is the reason I am driven. He would tell me “this is not your car, this is not your DVD player, this is not your house. You have to have your own.” And then at some point you realize, he is truly on your side. He cares and he just wants what’s best for you. I know the consequences of his actions on my life. I learnt that I couldn’t rest on the laurels of my father. I hope to teach my children the same. 



Are you particular about how much access they have to money, because it would be easy for them not to realize the value of things? 


[Smiles] That kind of control still needs to be put into practice. You see, we are such a big family that even if, Sussanne and I put the brakes on getting them toys, someone else indulges them. They are constantly stormed with gifts…. But I think being exposed to the kind of parents that they have, they will understand the value of money. 



When was the last time that you read something about yourself that wasn’t true and does that sort of reportage bother you? 


It was during Koi.. mil gaya that I stopped tracking the media, because I began to see that there is something very wrong in the way our media ‘reports’ the news. Our TV channels, in particular, are detrimental to our social existence and I am scared to open up that world to my children. We do not report. We fabricate things or we cloak the news in drama, so much so that the essence of truth is lost. We allow our biases to percolate into our reportage. The media instigates and provokes. It creates heroes and villains and causes more harm than good. It takes away the peace. I do not read the newspapers and am not ashamed to say so. I don’t need that angst to filter through my day. 



What other things cause you worry? 


There’s a view that if you worry enough and think about something recurrently, you will subconsciously fix the problem. One day I realized that just doesn’t happen. Now I ask myself one question: is there something I can do about this problem right now? If there is then I must battle laziness, fear or worry, and tackle it immediately. However hard it is, that is the only way. And if there is nothing I can do to remedy things, there is no point in worrying about it. 



That seems like a fairly straightforward approach…. 


I used to write poems about life and death when I was like 10 and 11. [Laughs] I guess I’m hardwired like that. 



Do you still write poems? 


I think I wrote my last one about eight or nine months ago… 



What do you write about? 


[Laughs] they are mostly about love and mostly for Sussanne… 



Perhaps this is an urban legend, but it is said that you never miss a single day’s workout? 


Biggest misconception about me. That I am some sort of a hunk with a fantastic body [laughs]… 



That doesn’t quite answer the question… 


[Smiles] You see, the misconception is so strong that even I can’t prove it wrong. [Laughing] No, of course I do miss workouts! But if I am working towards a sequence in a film that requires me to look a certain way, then I don’t mess with my exercise schedule. Then I am like a soldier – everything is precise. 



Whether you agree with them or not, millions of people view you as a “hunk with a fantastic body.” Does the adulation – the female adulation in particular – ever get inappropriate? 


I don’t think I project myself as someone who is available. I don’t give the impression of being somebody you can take inappropriate liberties with. All the shrieking and all the noise about how you look – all the superficial stuff…. You can take it and bloat your ego with it, but that’s a bottomless pit. A compliment is just a compliment, that’s how I view it. And I won’t lie to you: of course I enjoy the female adulation. The honest truth is that getting the attention from the opposite sex is exciting. That’s how it is for everyone. But you can’t get your head in a tangle over it. 



Do you ever see yourself in the mirror and say: “Boy am I sexy?” 


I say it a lot. Sometimes it amazes me how good I can look. But I say this because I’m shocked. Because the person I see in the mirror isn’t really me. It is the person created by the hairstylist, the designer, the makeup man, the photographer. If I thought I was born fantastic, I’d be like, “Okay”. But no, I’m always shocked. 



Is there some part of your body or face that you aren’t really comfortable with? 


No. the moment you feel uncomfortable about your profile, for instance, that makes it a bad profile. If you are comfortable with it, it will turn into a good profile. 



Do you still have Friday jitters after all these years? 


Of course! If you are not scared it means you don’t care enough. For me that’s judgment day. I equate my success in the world to my success as a human being. 



What do you call your father? 





Do your kids call you that as well? 


I can never be ‘Papa’. That’s just scary. That’s my father. My kids call me “dad.” That’s cool. It’s me. 



What is your advice to all the other young men out there, who are determined to be just like you? 


Don’t get obsessed with the false exterior. If you truly want to become something in life, fill yourself with love. Try and accept people for what they are. Be tolerant towards other people’s opinions. There is no truth: there is just your opinion and someone else’s opinion. Stop fighting that you are in sole possession of the truth