Hrithik Roshan Curated
Bollywood Actor and Dancer
CURATED BY :
How have you been able to deal with the multiple challenges that life has thrown at you?
What is the most joyous part of making a movie, for you?
Are you able tell how good a film might be based on just viewing the first copy of it?
We see you in films, we see you in ads. You’ve done a few songs, events, award shows. People are leaping at you at airports to take pictures with you. Do you ever get exhausted? Or is this what you signed up for?
It has been said that many of the younger actors are afraid to make mistakes; they just want hit after hit, but that’s not how it works. Is this true? What are your views on this?
In the past few years when it has been somewhat tough for you, did you ever feel that the people would “want it back” from you? Did you ever feel that the love from the people was not there?
What is your fitness mantra? Do you usually train for a role or is fitness just a way of life?
What is your favourite workout music?
Is there a secret talent that you have which a lot of people aren’t aware of?
What motivates you to continue with your fitness regime?
There is so much emotion in you. How much of that emotion do you put into your movies? Does it drain you?
How important is it for an actor to be in the perfect place mentally and emotionally to give his best professionally?
It seems that a Hrithik Roshan film is always highly anticipated, and always does well at the box office. What is the formula for a good film and what do you look for in a script/role?
The formula for a successful film is simple: good script, good direction, a dedicated cast and a fantastic crew. If you have all of these elements then the rest will fall into place. More specifically, I look for the essence of a story and a human angle that I think audiences can relate to. I also look at how the dialogues flow in the film as a whole and between the characters, and most importantly I always consider what I can bring to the character from a creative point of view.
Speaking of your father, you’re quite a family man. How important is family and how has it factored into your success?
My family has been my biggest inspiration – they are true role models in my life and career and they always will be. My parents through to my grandparents have seen and experienced all shades of life, the good and the bad, and they always faced every situation fearlessly. We share a unified bond which I also instil in my own family and it is with all of this that I am able to go out and do good work.
We’ve seen you do a number of complex roles in very successful films such as ‘Lakhshya,’ ‘Guzaarish’ and ‘Jodhaa Akhbar.’ What attracts you to these complex characters and films?
My career means the world to me and it’s something I’m very proud of. We all work to succeed in whatever we choose to do in life, so every success only pushes me to do better and I am constantly trying to improve my craft as an actor. I’ve chosen films that are different compared to the conventional Bollywood films we all know and love. As professional actors, it’s our job to entertain our audiences while setting benchmarks for ourselves as well, creatively and intellectually. Films like ‘Lakhshya,’ ‘Guzaarish,’ ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ and many more are projects and experiences that pushed, shaped and defined me as a performer and this is why I chose to do them.
Much is being said about films that join the ‘100 Crore Club.’ Many of your films have achieved and in many cases surpassed this milestone, but what makes a film successful in your eyes?
For me, it’s the reactions from the audiences that are golden. If they enjoy it, then half the battle has been won. If my films do well or not, I am glad that the audiences appreciate my performance. Other than that, as an actor you do look for a certain amount of critical acclaim and recognition from your peers and the industry at large. When that recognition comes to you, it’s a special moment that you cherish and you always feel successful despite what the box office says.
A channel tweeted that you said that “Bang Bang!” is not a complete remake of “Knight and Day.”
Yes, the germ is the same, but everything else is different. I had seen “Knight and Day” on a flight and had thought that this could be made into a nice Hindi film because the script was like one of our movies. And if you watch “Bang Bang!” and do not know it’s an official adaptation you will not even dream that it is based on a Hollywood film! Then just a few weeks later, I got a call from Siddharth and it seemed as if some manifestation was happening and it was Destiny that had brought the film to me! I agreed to do the film on the phone, but told him that I would sign it only after the script was ready and I had read it. Also, after “Dhoom:2,” I had not done this kind of film and was into serious characters and films, so I wanted to do something like this — a fun film.
Your bad phases and problems — how much do they influence you as an actor, even when your character has nothing to do with those experiences?
First, the word “problems” is wrong — I would use the word “strengths,” because I have turned them around, channeled them and made use of them in a productive way. I have created out of them. And why talk about a character, even interpreting a single line only happens according to the life you have lived.
What was it like juggling Kabir and Anand Kumar in the same year?
I didn’t have to juggle at all, because I like to immerse myself in the character till one film is over. It was great to be a part of films that make me feel the best as I am a restless person and get bored easily. For me, it has always been a pattern of jumping from one extreme to the other. The fact that I can do a Kabir right after Anand Kumar ignites me.
Does the success of Super 30 give you the confidence to be more unconventional in your choice of roles?
The decision to do a film has little to do with the success of films in that zone but more to do with how I feel about the character. I only agree to do things I can’t say no to.
Many believe that you should be doing more action films than you have so far.
I am dependent on the kind of scripts and directors who approach me. After Kaabil, I was looking to do an action film. In fact, I met the entire industry and encouraged a lot of people to write an actioner for me. I waited for a year for something impactful in that space, but it was Super 30 that struck a chord. That decided my fate for the next one year. People think I am deciding these things, but they aren’t really in my control.
What do you look for in the script of an action film?
I look for intelligence; the general approach is important. The story cannot be just about bravado but also about a flawed character. There has to be a contrast because usually, action films are all about the hero being pitted against the villain and that’s not enough. I don’t mind doing an ensemble or a two-hero film, but it needs to be intelligently written. Blowing up cars and fist-fights aren’t action for me. It should emanate from the protagonist’s attitude.
What’s happening with Krrish 4
The film is underway but it’s best that I speak at the right time; once I begin work on the film.
Can we expect an update on the film next year?
What do you think has made Krrish a successful franchise?
It wasn’t a pretentious superhero film; the logics were right. The genesis of superhero films in India requires a prequel and then to be taken forward into the template. In my head, Krrish became a superhero in Krrish 3. Koi Mil Gaya was a backstory with Rohit; Krrish was a personal story though, by the end, you feel that the character could be a superhero but in Krrish 3, he became one. The three films have established a solid foundation for the franchise. Any such series needs that because we are building the character from scratch
It has been over two years since you announced a film. When can we expect one?
As soon as I find a script that I can’t say no to (smiles). I have never restricted myself to any genre, though the advice I get is to do more action films now. It’s not in my hands; it’s really about the script
Super 30 came a year-and-a-half after Kaabil, your last release. Are you looking to shorten that gap?
The number of films is irrelevant because if I get three exciting films in a year, I will do all of them but if I get one in two years, there will be just one release. I will never not do a film that I love
You have spoken about Hollywood offers in the past. Anything happening on that front?
Not really, but I am open to working there. I haven’t found anything, either in Bollywoodor Hollywood.
Would you explore a feel-good film in the Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara space again?
I’d love to. I hope someone will write something like that for me.
We don’t see you often at Bollywood parties anymore…
I love spending time with my kids (sons Hrehaan and Hridaan). Not that I don’t like being at parties, I enjoy being with friends, too. Perhaps I have been busy with films. It’s time to catch up with friends at their parties now.
Buzz is, you will be producing films, too, now...
Yes, my production house is actively looking for good content and my team and I have been reading a lot of scripts. I may not act in these films or maybe I’ll do a small part, but the idea is to produce content- driven films, triumph-of-life stories or something that can leave an impact on the audience
This was your 20th year in the industry. Did you expect your journey to lead to stardom?
It’s a gift that I am nothing but grateful for. I have realised that stardom is a huge responsibility that requires a lot of skill to bear, otherwise it becomes a burden. I feel I have gotten better at handling it with every year but it’s not easy. I think of myself as someone who is shy. I am here to act, so there is a bit of awkwardness while putting the star jacket on. I am getting used to it.
I don’t regret anything because everything happens for the best and has got me to the point where I am today. I worked in two films from different genres in the 20th year of my career, both of which are big successes. What more could I ask for?
Would you say Super 30, with its gritty and realistic theme, is the turning point in your career?
Taking up Super 30 was indeed a difficult decision for me. It’s not like I’ve had back-to-back blockbusters to take on a film like this, which is not in the commercial realm. It’s not a mainstream film. So, when I heard the script, it seemed a difficult call to take. It was a big risk. But I’m a curious soul. I wanted to take on this adventure and do something that pulled my heart strings. Mentally, the calculation didn’t seem to be a commercially viable one. But my heart wanted to do it. I wanted to find out what would happen if I did it. Doing the film, I learnt a lot of things. Like it’s important to follow your heart rather than box-office calculations. I felt strongly about this film. I was guided by my instincts. I’m extremely happy I took that call to do it.
Known for your Greek God looks, assuming a non-glamorous avatar must have been a challenge of another kind?
I don’t attach myself to any labels. Neither to my looks nor to my six- packs. These things are not relevant in the larger picture or in the long term. It’s just decoration. I don’t judge people by the way they look. Similarly, I don’t judge myself either by the way I look. I believe foremost in character; I believe in inspiring the world. I believe in staying inspired myself. Which is why I choose the kind of films I do. Being an actor, I had no reservations in taking on such a role. It gives me joy to experiment and change my appearance for a character. I’ve been doing that always… be it for Koi Mil Gaya, Guzaarish, Jodhaa Akbar… It’s actually liberating and a lot of fun. It’s not something that I’d want to be complimented for. It’s just my job.
The #MeToo allegations against director Vikas Bahl surfaced during the making of Super 30. How did you respond to that?
It was a script that I believed in immensely. I was inspired and enthusiastic every single day while shooting this film. When the news about Vikas broke, we all were shocked and extremely troubled. But I’m glad that I was probably one of the firsts, who took a hard stand and decided to stall the film, allowing law to take its course. We started again once that was done. Thankfully, it all worked out. The film was completed and released, another challenge which was accomplished.
What lessons have you imbibed from the highs and lows?
I believe your lows are more important. There’s a lot you can learn from your bad times. You gather wisdom from your lows. You search for answers and strive to understand. You build yourself during those times. In your good times, you have to be careful not to get too excited. (Smiles) Actually, there’s nothing that you can learn from the good times. You only learn from the bad times. I teach my kids (Hrehaan and Hridaan) to take each day as a fun day of solving problems that come your way. From that age itself, you start being on the front foot. Being the cause and not the effect. I come from that stream of thought. I look forward to solving new problems and learning from my old ones. It’s not something that I complain about.
What does the success of Super 30 mean to you at this point?
The success of Super 30 means validation. It means all that I learnt in my bad times has come of use. It has been reaffirmed in my heart and mind. That I must follow my instincts. The rest doesn’t matter. I’m grateful to have got an opportunity to do this film and take the risk.