I'm just out to excel : Hrithik

Published On: 2014-06-22

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Hrithik Roshan : I’m Just Out to ‘Excel’



Source: IndiaWest.com 

Date: July 8, 2011 



He’s been through a rough professional patch of late — Hrithik Roshan’s last real hits were his father’s “Krissh” and Aditya Chopra’s “Dhoom:2” half a decade back. After that, “Luck By Chance” (with a major cameo) was a flop and “Jodhaa Akbar” an also-ran that was touted as a major hit. “Krazzy 4” had his item song appearance, and “Kites” (both these were home productions) and “Guzaarish” were non-starters, though Hrithik was hugely applauded for his bravura turn. But films are in his bloodline — from both his father’s and mother’s side, and the actor is all set for his new film releasing July 15, “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara,” one of the very few films he has done with a multi-hero set-up. India-West chats up the superstar (yes, he’s never lost his sheen as one of our saleable stars) via an e-mail interview. His frenzied time-table makes him take over three weeks to answer, but the wait is worth it as he gives detailed, well thought-out and grammatically meticulous replies. And we only wish he had answered the query on lip-synch songs more specifically. Still, in the larger picture, though we have missed out the pleasure of his company, this is yet another self-portrait of a grounded star who’s a lovable human being. Excerpts from an interview



: Q: “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” is your third film with Excel Entertainment after “Lakshya” and “Luck By Chance” and you are the only common point between the first and second films of Zoya Akhtar. How would y ou say your relationship with the Akhtars — Farhan and Zoya — has grown and evolved? 


A: Farhan and Zoya have been friends since childhood. I’m likely to be deeply subjective with regard to both of them as they are equally very dear to me. On a professional level, both of them are exceptionally talented as well and it is always a pleasure working with them. Obviously, when you are working with friends, things could go disastrously wrong, or you could take your relationship to a higher level. I can thankfully say the latter applies here. 



Q: Would you at this point of time or otherwise, sign a film purely out of friendship/gratitude/relationships with anyone, regardless of the script and set-up, the way your father's generation did? 


A: I wouldn’t go into a project blindly. There would always be a number of factors I would look at in totality beforehand. Having said that, I would certainly be aware of my responsibilities within the context of a relationship, friendship or debt of gratitude, but I never feel pressured to be involved in a project I didn’t believe in wholeheartedly. 



Q: How would you look at “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” and your role in it as a contributor to your growth as an actor? 


A: It is a very natural, close-to-life film. Zoya is among the new generation of filmmakers who likes to portray real-life characters and situations. Hopefully it will create more of a connect with audiences. There is a challenge in presenting a realistic character portrayal and someone who is not exaggerated or larger-than-life. There is a certain type of pressure involved in playing a very true-to-life character with authenticity and for audiences to really believe in that character. So to carry off such a role is always challenging for an actor. 



Q: How much do career calculation and strategy play in your career/growth as an actor? What makes you accept a film? Is there anything that has been changed/modified in this after “Kites” and “Guzaarish” did not work with the audiences? 


A: As an artist, it is extremely important to challenge myself with every film project I sign and to push my boundaries. Of course, it is always audience approval that I have in mind from the outset. I will only sign a project wholeheartedly and duly give it 110 percent commitment. Obviously, we sometimes get it wrong, in terms of a film we feel that will win audience approval, and the outcome contradicts that. There is always that risk element involved, not only on my part, but on the part of the filmmakers and all those people with a vested interest in a film. I think it is about trying to create that balance between exploring something new and giving audiences what they want. 



Q: What kind of growth are you now looking at? Could you enumerate your forthcoming assignments and their expected release dates? 


A: Like I mentioned, it’s about challenging myself as an artist and to take on roles that will hopefully take me to the next level of my career journey. This means that the roles I sign require my full commitment and focus at any one time, in contrast to simultaneously working on several projects. As a result, my next release (“Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”) is scheduled for July 15, with my following release (“Agneepath”) for which I am still filming, currently slated for towards the end of the year. 



Q: How does it feel to do a multi-hero film (this is your first since “Dhoom:2”) again after five years? What are the pros and cons of doing multi-hero and solo-hero films? 


A: Multi-hero films are great because you can be working with some exceptional co-stars. It’s great to observe and share working techniques and it can certainly enrich a film. With regard to solo films, there is obviously more pressure to deliver well and the onus lies more heavily on yourself as an individual. Whether I’m working in a multi-hero or solo-hero film, it is paramount that I do my very best and perform according to the standards that I set for myself. 



Q: Could we have your individual takes on Katrina Kaif, Abhay Deol and Kalki? 


A: Katrina is a beautiful human being both inwardly and outwardly. She is gentle and demure, yet strong and self-assured. She is also a through-and-through professional who has really proved her mettle in the industry and gone from strength to strength. Abhay is an exceptional asset to our industry. He is a fine actor, a total professional and a larger-than-life character contrary to his real performances on screen. He has a wonderful sense of humor with an abundance of charm and charisma. As for Kalki, she’s a talented, disaffected, warm and receptive girl, totally willing and open to learn and absorb, and is a wonderful new addition to our industry. 



Q: Lip-synch songs are something most younger generation directors are apologetic/condescending about, though they are the USP of Indian cinema, not just Hindi films. They had all but disappeared after 2007 but are now largely back for the wrong reasons: stars need songs/their own songs to perform on stage and make money. How do you look at this entire phenomenon as the heir of a triple musical legacy (grandfather Roshan, grandmother Ira Roshan and uncle Rajesh Roshan) and the grandson of one of our most musical filmmakers, J. Om Prakash, besides your dad’s music sense? 


A: Music is such an intrinsic part of Indian cinema’s rich cultural heritage. It forms a part of the bigger tapestry of colorful components that together comprise the art form that is Indian cinema. Music in Indian films also serves to carry the narrative along, as well as provide a respite, sometimes, from a potentially intense script, so there is always a purpose to it. It is these reasons that override any kind of commercial motivation. 



Q: Could you talk a bit about the song you have done here? 


A: Well I sang a song for my film “Kites.” It was a beautiful piece of music — the lyrics, the melody, etc. It was totally enchanting and when the opportunity of singing this song “Senorita” came along, I couldn’t miss out on it. Again, it was part of my continued intention to challenge myself as an artist and explore my different facets and abilities. 



Q: Your first appearances as a kid were in “Aasha” and “Aap Ke Deewane.” Were you passionate about cinema even then, or was it a spare-time fun activity? 


A: Yes, I was certainly passionate about cinema as I had been exposed to it from a young age. I found the film world mesmerizing and hypnotic and was extremely lucky to experience it at first-hand, thanks to family members being so involved in the industry. The opportunities I had as a child were awesome for me, but they were for during my spare time, as at that age, school and my education came first and foremost. I also acted in “Bhagwan Dada,” which my father produced and my grandfather directed. 



Q: Eleven years after “Kaho Naa...Pyaar Hai,” how would you say that a film “making” has changed, for better and worse? Is there any wish-list of filmmakers you have to work with, and who you would really have loved to work among legends no longer around or active? A: Since my debut in the industry, filmmaking has certainly evolved for the better — in terms of content, subject matter, stylistics, etc. Filmmakers are becoming more fearless, and willing to explore new territories. I think this is also a reflection of changing audience tastes and expectations, which is a great thing for us as artists, as well as for the growth of our industry. 


There has also been the continued growth and success of parallel, or independent, Indian cinema, which is a fantastic phenomenon — showcasing some amazing talent, both in front of and behind the camera. And, of course, you have the continued collaborations with the West, which is also proving a significant contributor to the evolution of Indian cinema. There is certainly a substantial list of filmmakers I would like to work with — it would be unfair for me to single out any particular filmmaker — but it all depends on the right project presenting itself. Again, there are countless filmmakers no longer around or active, with whom I would have loved to have had the opportunity of working with. A few names that come to mind are Raj Kapoor, Kamal Amrohi, Manmohan Desai, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Satyajit Ray.