Hrithik Roshan Curated
Bollywood Actor and Dancer
CURATED BY :
Tea person or coffee addict?
Green tea in the morning. Double espresso through the day.
The first thing that you do when you get into work every morning?
Wish my kitchen team ‘A Happy Cooking day’
What makes a home beautiful according to you?
The people who live in it.
Your favourite kitchen tool?
My Japanese knife.
What is the one ingredient that your fridge is always stocked with?
Skinless chicken thighs.
The last city you visited for a holiday?
Melbourne, Australia where I am holidaying right now
One indulgence for the home that you don’t regret.
My KitchenAid stand mixer.
What is the last purchase that you made for your home?
A waffle machine.
What is the one thing that you never leave home without?
My phone charger.
What is your favourite part of your home?
A few films from the South are now being made to cater across the country. Can we expect you to star in one soon?
Yeah, why not? Just like I said, I am looking for good work, be it Hollywood or our industry and I am up for it even if it's from the South.
Thanks to Marvel and DC, the superhero genre has become quite the rage. With our homegrown brand, Krrish, confirmed for its fourth outing, could you talk about it?
We are working on it and that's as much as I can say right now. Hopefully, it will come together and we will be good to go. But right now, there's a lot of work left.
You have been signed up by one of Hollywood's largest talent agencies, Gersh. Is there a Hollywood film on the cards?
My idea is to look for good scripts. I am looking for good films to do irrespective of whether they are coming from Hollywood or our film industry. But yes, there's excitement inside me about doing a film in a new environment where I get to be a student again. If I find something good in Hollywood, I will welcome it.
It's been 20 years since your debut in Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai. How has the journey been?
The journey has been amazing. It has given back a lot. But I also gave it a lot. I think I got back exactly what I gave it, maybe a little bit more (laughs). It has been a wonderful experience. I have learned a lot of great things that I can teach my kids. I am thankful, and very fortunate for the good and the bad in my life. It's only through the bad, you get to learn the good. In good times, you can flourish because of what you have learnt. I was too abstract there (laughs again).
Talking about extremes, do you think Bollywood is opening up to experimenting with genres?
I think the audience is becoming more at ease with themselves as human beings and they are accepting better and more real characters on screen as well, which is the biggest change that has happened in our industry. Cinema should truly reflect reality and it's about time that as individuals, we accept our own reality and our grey shades. Today, the hero does have to be black or white. He is not just one but multidimensional. He's got all sides of a human and that's really a revelation. When you watch such a character, it teaches you something about yourself. I think it's a wonderful time and we, as artists, should keep pushing boundaries and dig deeper and deeper to get more nuanced characters and portrayals. I am hopeful that I keep getting to do what I do.
Last year, you had two releases -- Super 30 and War. While one was a biopic, the other was a commercial action entertainer. You have always oscillated between extremes when it comes to your filmography.
Yeah, I love doing that. I love extremes because I love to push boundaries -- whether it's on this side of the extreme or that. I love pushing both ends. I think I somehow have the skill to do that and I enjoy it. Super 30 seems like a film I could not have done because I had to pull off the role of a Bihari. But I enjoyed it so much because it helped me to do something that people thought I could not do.
Recently, Deepika Padukone said that she and Ranveer Singh couldn’t stop gushing over you while watching War. She also called you ‘death by chocolate.’ How do you take such statements/praises?
I really didn’t know how to react to that (smiles). It was quite flattering. Thanks to Deepika for the compliment. But I also think that it is the magic of the movies. And it is very encouraging, and of course special when people from your own fraternity compliment you.
There has been a lot of speculation about your next film...
There are a lot of scripts that I am reading right now. When I find the one that I cannot say no to, you will hear from me and that is going to be very soon.
Now, as we step into a new decade, do you have any particular target or plan in mind that you would want to achieve in the coming 10 years?
A decade is a long time and one’s thoughts and goals would either change or evolve during this time period. Having said that, an ideal target to achieve would always be to have a healthy balance between doing quality work and spending enough time with my family.
Interestingly, in 2020, you also complete 20 years as an actor since Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai. How do you look back at your successful journey till now?
Each year, and with every film, there has been so much of learning. But it is only in the last couple of years that I have started feeling more assured as an actor. Kaabil was that turning point for me and it was followed by Super 30 and War. There is some sort of composure now and I trust my instincts more than ever. I don’t feel the need to be as meticulous about what I’m going to do for a particular shot and rather just let it all flow. It is a different feeling altogether.
Your last two films were diametrically opposite to each other in terms of their worlds and characterisation. Does that give you a kick as an actor?
Absolutely! It gives me a kick to take up challenging roles and mould myself into different characters (for films), but doing it in the same year — within four months to be specific — was pretty excruciating. But it has its own high in terms of overcoming a tough challenge. I think, perhaps that’s the addiction (smiles).
Last year turned out to be special one for you with the success of Super 30 and War. Now, as we start 2020, how do you look back at 2019?
When I look back at 2019, my heart is filled with joy, relief and gratitude. There is a lot to be grateful for about the last year. I feel blessed for the opportunities, for all the love and support from my fans, and for being surrounded by people who inspire me on a daily basis. Having said that, I feel 2018 was a more important year for me when I was actually working on these two beautiful films — Super 30 and War.
Any special plans for the birthday this year?
For me, the best way to celebrate is to make my birthday a ‘gratitude day.’ I focus on my family, friends and my incredibly steadfast fans, who do not leave a single chance to make me feel special and loved. That’s why birthdays are always dedicated to them. So, for me, it’s about spending time and doing things for them. That’s all I am going to do this year as well.
To start with, would you call yourself a birthday person?
Not really. Usually, I realise quite late that it’s my birthday and then, I have to quickly decide on a plan, if at all, or not. Honestly, I am not someone who looks forward to having any extravagant celebration on this specific day (smiles).
There are talks about you being a part of several films including the Satte Pe Satta remake. True?
I know there are a lot of talks (smiles). To be honest, there are a few scripts, which I am considering. And one of them is Satte Pe Satta remake but I haven’t confirmed it yet. As soon as I decide on what I am doing next, I will announce it. But I am still contemplating. I still am going through 4-5 scripts. I will take a month more to decide on my next film. Unknowingly, the timing of it has been great. Having the teaser of War coming out close on the heels of Super 30, and people appreciating both the contrasting characters at the same time, is thrilling. I am getting a nice kick out of it.
And Super 30 also saw you team up with film-maker Sajid Nadiadwala for the first time…
Yes, and it was a pleasure working with Sajid on a project like Super 30. After all, he is one of our leading film producers and I am thankful to him for putting his faith in the film. I look forward to working with him again in the future.
Even before the dust settles, the newly-released teaser of War has become the talk of the town. It must be a special feeling?
I have been quite overwhelmed with the kind of reactions I have got. Unknowingly, the timing of it has been great. Having the teaser of War coming out close on the heels of Super 30, and people appreciating both the contrasting characters at the same time, is thrilling. I am getting a nice kick out of it (smiles).
Also, there were quite a few challenges and controversies right before film’s release, which you navigated through…
I am grateful to god that inside me, he has empowered an infallible belief of the universe. I feel the kind of person you are and your character will ultimately manifest itself — one way or the other — on to the outside world. So, people may say wrong things about you, but you know your truth and it will manifest — be it good or bad — and you will be surprised how it will happen. That’s the universe. So, I don’t have to worry. I just have to keep going towards my goals and aims. It makes me composed and doesn’t make me react to people. It helps me navigate my life easily, too. Otherwise, the noise in the world can distract you easily.
Not just audiences, the film also got great reactions from the Vice President of India and various chief ministers [who made it tax free in their respective states]. You must be thrilled?
To start with, I feel very positive that my instincts were right. It also makes me feel that I have been proven right. I have realised that from within, all of us are the same. We all react to the same good things. When a film like this gets support from people who are in a position to bring change, people high up in our government who are our nation-builders, I feel it has hit the mark as the film talks about that only, that if you are in a position to empower, give hope and cause change, then you must do that. Through Super 30, Anand [Kumar; mathematician] sir is also doing exactly that — inspiring the hopeless. But when somebody like the Vice President of India or the chief ministers — who are responsible for bringing a change in the society — support the film, I feel the film has done its job.
In hindsight, did you have any apprehensions about the film?
Of course (smiles)! There were days when I thought this film would never work and that maybe others were right while I had gone wrong. But at the same time, I was charged that I have felt a germ in the film, and I won’t let go of that. One word that I attach myself with a lot is resilience. So, when things aren’t going right and there are disappointments, I get even more resilient and instinctively stronger. So, yes, there were days when I was like, ‘yeh picture toh gayi’. But in such cases, I get even more resilient and keep building on that.
When a film like Super 30 does well — critically and commercially, what does it do to you as an artiste?
It does the most important thing to an artiste — reaffirms your instincts and processes. When that happens, you feel satisfied, and feel, ‘ki yaar main sahi hoon. There’s also a feeling of vindication. Actually, success does a lot of things. It is not just about box-office numbers, the appreciation, and encouragement that the actor inside me is getting makes me feel that I was right and my instincts worked. And that’s a very important emotion.
If you were a real-life Superhero, which Bollywood actor would you want as your side-kick?
Who was your first Celeb Crush?
Tell us about your first Pay Cheque?
What comes to your mind about your first day of shooting?
Money or Fame, one of these that you can't live without?
One thing you are not Kaabil(Capable) of?
Have you cried on reading something about yourself?
After going through so much in life, it must be difficult for you to be pained or cheated? When was the last time you felt cheated?
But in this industry there are many people who say something without actually meaning it, how do you deal with it?
About 2 to 3 years ago, you had to undergo a brain surgery, what about that and how is it?
It is said that every man needs a woman in his life and there is a space for a woman in your life, so are you looking out for someone now?
Since when have you been fond of dancing?
But you must have decided by then that you wanted to join films?
You used to stay in Juhu where most of the Film actors and their families reside, so did you and the other star kids discuss films more when you were young and study less?
So, were you a silent sufferer?
But who was the person that you confided in when you needed to confide?
You had just mentioned that you were fearful, so, how did you come out of this?
Did you have a girlfriend in School or College?
Did the idea of becoming an actor develop from your school days because you used to be a very good looking child?
Are you in films because you come from a Film Family?
How easy is it for you to accept a box office failure?
This must require a lot of confidence in oneself?
Have you never been scared of failing?
And how is Mr. Rakesh Roshan doing right now?
Are you doing the Satte Pe Satta remake for Farah Khan?
The Promo of War has been loved by many people, I think that it is going to be a great news for your fans to get to see another of your movie.
Tiger Shroff is a huge admirer of yours and has high regards for you, how do you respond to such devotion from a co-star?
How important is it to maintain dignity and positivity in personal lives?
This film also tells about forgetting the class barrier and not make anyone aware of their class.
What is the best compliment that you have received from your fraternity?
How important is it for you to get love and respect from your peers in the industry?
How important is it for you to have competing actors?
When the promo of Super 30 released, there were certain criticisms about the accent and the skin tone which didn't last for long after the movie released, so, do you at times take these kind of criticisms seriously?
As an actor, how important is body language for you as Anand Kumar because it is completely different from all the other characters that you have played onscreen?
You have really had an amazing supporting cast like for example Virendra Saxena, who plays the role of your father in the movie.
How do you feel when you get support from people who matter like Super 30 has been made Tax free in many states? People are taking notice of what Super 30 is trying to portray.
You are one of the actors who has built a credibility as an action star over the past 15 years, but in Super 30, we get to see very unorthodox action sequences where the children are fighting the goons, but the audience has still loved it because it is always expected that we would get to see something unique in your movies. Do you like to see this happening?
But while reading a new script, a pressure of box office performance must be there on Superstars like you who have delivered consistent hits?
What was your initial reaction when the script came to you for the first time?
You personally found it inspiring as well?
What do you like to do in your spare time?
What do you think about one of your most brilliant films Lakshya?
What makes you dislike to experience different kind of style and clothing?
How much have you changed in these twenty years of your career?
How impressed were you with Tiger's performance in War? Can we see you both working together for War 2?
So, are you looking forward to your Birthday Celebrations with your loved ones now?
Can we atleast expect a new movie announcement on your Birthday?
A Fan of yours from Kabul wants to know when to expect a new film release from you?
Can we see you sharing space, on-screen with Salman Khan?
When you played Anand Kumar in Super 30, what did you like the most about the Bihari Culture?
Would you like to do a film with Akshay Kumar?
You were recently spotted with Katrina Kaif in the house of Riteish Sidhwani, can we expect a sequel to Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara?
One of the most memorable characters that you have played on-screen was Akbar, how do you look at him now?
Since, you have been a teacher in the film, what do you think is the importance of students for the future of the Country?
How do you look at Super 30, a film that is very special to you at this moment?
How does it feel to be in the 300 Crore Club?
And, what is the latest news on Krish 4?
But Tiger has also said that he was in awe of you during the shoot but at the same time you were also competing.
What would you say to people saying that Tiger Shroff's performance has improved a lot due to your presence in the film?
So, is there going to be a sequel of War?
And the way how people reacted to your persona in War was unreal.
The year 2020 will bring in the twentieth year of your career.
Lots of people think that you and Deepika Padukone should do a movie together.
Are your sons into fitness?
What are your Son's favorite films that you have acted in?
If you analyse yourself, what are the qualities that you like about you?
And do you see the revolution happening of people becoming aware and getting healthy and fit?
How do you aim to motivate people to become healthy?
You talked about moments when you don't want to the Gym, did you ever face such moments in your life?
Tell us about Turning Up that you have mentioned in your Instagram Page.
Tell us about your association with Cultfit.
What would you in today's time advice a younger self?
What are the movies made in 2018-19, apart from your own that you have loved?
How do you maintain yourself differently for different roles like in Kaabil, Super 30 and War, we have seen you in three different versions?
Has your dance improved due to this fitness regimen?
What has this journey, like you said that you have arrived to your own customized style of fitness has taught you?
What do you like to indulge in on your cheat days?
Tell us more about your diet.
How does fitness change your mood?
What is unconventional form of exercise?
What, according to you, is the hallmark of handsomeness?
What makes you good looking is how you are expressing yourself and that comes from how you are interpreting life.
Incredibly you have beaten the myth that good looking people can’t act. Your comments?
Every single good actor has broken that myth. Mr Dilip Kumar, Mr Amitabh Bachchan, Marlon Brando and Brad Pitt are lookers and shakers. Being attractive in life is not something as static as a single frame in a picture.
How do you react to compliments about your looks?
I react to them like one should react to a compliment. I smile and say, thank you. Neither do I reject it, nor revel in it.
With your international looks, why are you not doing films in Hollywood?
I haven’t liked anything yet. It’s not about Hollywood, it’s always about a good script for me.
It is an incredible honour for our entertainment industry. Do you agree?
To be counted in the world’s top 10 of anything I guess gets eyeballs, so in that regard, yes. It’s good.
Good looks should never become a part of your internal character. To not care about how you look will make you look even more attractive.
What does it feel like to be chosen the third most handsome man in the world next only to Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and Robert Pattinson?
Well, handsome is as handsome does. I am honoured, of course. I told my sons to remember to always thank people for compliments. This is a compliment, not an achievement.
It also seems rather unique for a Hindi film to have non-Indian actors (Katrina Kaif and Kalki Koechlin) as its two lead heroines. Do you think this is a sign that opportunities in Bollywood are expanding for foreigners?
"Yes absolutely, and I would be extremely happy if there are international artists interested in Bollywood films. It's a very positive sign for the industry itself. The world is getting smaller and film industries more interconnected. It's definitely the way forward."
This is your first film with Katrina Kaif. Having starred opposite most of Hindi cinema's leading male stars, did you feel that Kaif's collaboration with you was long overdue?
"Katrina is a great artist and a wonderful human being. I guess it was a case of the right script presenting itself and she was certainly perfect for the role. We had a great time working together - as well as being a hugely talented and committed actor she is a very sweet person."
My social life is seriously impacted at the moment by your new TV show Just Dance. Are your Saturday nights spent on the sofa tuning in?
"Firstly, thank you so much for your kind words. Being part of Just Dance is simply just brilliant. I feel very awkward watching myself on TV but being part of the show has impacted my life tremendously. I was so touched to see the brightest dancing talents from across the globe performing on one global stage."
Knowing Zoya's film family background and her tribute to the industry in her debut release, I would suspect that ZNMD may contain references to earlier Indian cinema.
"You will just have to wait and watch the film!"
This is your second project with Zoya Akhtar. After receiving much critical acclaim but little box office return with her 2009 debut Luck By Chance, do you think ZNMD is an attempt at a more commercial film?
"As mentioned, as well as being a good friend, I really admire Zoya's work. She is certainly among the hugely talented new wave of Indian filmmakers, although she is already extremely accomplished and well respected. Luck By Chance whilst being avant-garde in certain senses was quite commercial in its appeal - ZNMD is in a similar vein."
Does Indian cinema attract the same level of recognition in Spain as it does in the UK or Germany, or did you find yourself ever in places where you were relatively anonymous?
"Indian cinema is reaching every corner of the globe and Spain is one of the places where Indian cinema is showing its magic. I have seen the interest grow over the last few years. As we were in very rural parts of Spain - the Spanish heartlands - we didn't interact much with the Asian Diaspora but instead the traditional Spaniards who didn't quite know who we were. It was a great feeling though to walk and explore in plain fields quite anonymously."
After Kites and ZNMD your Spanish must be excelente...
"Han aprendido el espaÃ±ol, pero no estoy seguro si estoy con fluidez. I hope you get this. (I have learnt Spanish, but I am not sure whether I am fluent.)"
The project was largely shot in Spain. Did you get much chance to explore the country, or were the rumours of you working 13-hour days on the production true?
"Unfortunately not, the schedule was so tight that we all were unable to explore this fabulous country, but we had a lot of fun on sets which made up for this. And when you have members like Farhan, Zoya, Katrina, Abhay and Kalki, you don't remember if you are in Spain or India - the company you are in is just far greater! They are loving people. We all were staying as a family."
We see you jumping out of planes, deep sea diving and running with the bulls. Which was the biggest buzz for you during the making of the film?
"Phew... Jumping out of a plane. An experience of a lifetime. Every time I see the clip I just ask one question, 'Did I actually do it?' I can't express the feelings that were going on inside of me at the time of the shoot."
What attracted you to the production?
"Everything about this film project appealed to me - the fact that I would be working alongside two dear, and hugely talented, friends of mine again (Zoya and Farhan), the script also was completely fresh and innovative for Indian cinema. I expected no less from Zoya - she is such an accomplished and respected director from the new wave of Indian filmmakers who are really changing the landscape of Indian cinema."
The promos of the film suggest road movie, romance and action sports. How would you define the genre of ZNMD?
"It's a completely fresh offering in terms of Indian cinema. It's a beautiful, humorous and extremely human road trip film which takes three male friends on the ultimate bachelor party trip across Barcelona. Unbeknownst to them on embarking on the trip, it ends up being a journey of self-discovery for each of them in different ways and forces them to re-evaluate their lives."
What are your plans for the immediate future?
Get better every day. At everything.
What are your plans for the immediate future?
Get better every day. At everything.
Can you tell us about HRX and the inspiration behind it?
HRX has been conceived and created to serve as a platform to bring like-minded people together and it stands on pillars of fashion, fitness and technology. It has a purpose to serve in the form of helping people become better versions of themselves with sustained effort and a strong belief. The name is a combination of HR and X. The letter X stands for “Extreme” which is borrowed from the brand philosophy of “Pushing your extreme to become the best version of yourself”.
Tell us about your fashion line.
Men’s athleisure is my star category. Tees, joggers and tracks lead the pack for me. The styles are in line with international trends, with graphic tees, infographics, shapes and forms and camouflage.
How do you push your limits at work, especially for stunt and action scenes?
If I can see it in my mind, I can do it. Then nothing can stop me.
Do you think pressure and stress are an important part of life?
Of course, they are. These are the precursors to growth. There can be no growth without uncertainty. Those times are like a gym for the mind.
How do you stay so disciplined? Can you give us some tips on how to stay disciplined and motivated?
It’s easy when you realise that discipline actually sets you free. Because I am disciplined, I can do what I feel like, eat what I want, binge when I want, wear what I want etc… because at all other times I am disciplined.
When you look back at your experiences in the film industry - what were some of the traits that kept you going?
Initiative and consistency.
Can you give us a few tips to stay healthy?
My five-point plan for staying healthy is: Set a goal, See it, Begin, Go insane, Then make a bigger goal.
What kind of diet do you follow? What are your favourite foods?
I am very particular about what, and how much, I eat. I know what is good for me. I am always on the lookout for ways to eat healthier. So, I make sure to eat the right foods at the right time. My meal plan includes six meals a day, which I eat after every two or two-and-a-half hours (depending on what time I wake up). I plan my meals according to my fitness goals from time to time. I also abide by the rule of not eating after 8 pm and always make sure that I finish the last meal before or by 8 pm.
How do you keep fit? What are some of your important fitness rituals?
Initiative and consistency are the key to having a good physique. For me, the rules are simple: explore, find out and be curious about how you would feel if you could truly be the best version of yourself! My fitness routine consists of morning cardio for an hour, followed by functional/weights training for an hour.
How important is fitness to you?
For me, fitness is synonymous with being happy, and feeling the joy of being functionally strong and agile. It is about being able to discover new skills with your body, being able to breathe deeply, and feel the life force and peace and excitement of just being.
Why launch a business when you are already so busy with acting?
HRX is my platform to give back to the people who have showered so much love and adulation on me for years. It is a way of reminding people that no one is born perfect, but with sustained effort and by constantly pushing your limits, you can become a better version of yourself. This is the essence of the brand, which has grown over the years because of consistency in quality, constant innovation and great affordability.
Are there films of yours you wish they hadn’t seen?
Yes, there are a lot of them. I wouldn’t want to name them, but there are about three or four (laughs).
Do your sons watch your films?
Yes, yes. They are looking forward to Kaabil. They liked Mohenjo Daro. Their favourite films are Bang Bang and Dhoom 2, because of the dances, and the characters are a bit more Tom Cruise and James Bond. They like those characters.
And how is single fatherhood treating you?
It’s beautiful. I don’t wish my life to be any other way. I could have never imagined it, say three years back. Like I said, I am such a curious soul. I will always go to the edge to have a peek. I will cross that mountain because I want to know what’s across it. That is what the magic of life is for me. I am at peace and in love with every single person who has been a part of my life.
You were married for a really long time and you got married pretty young, so you haven’t exactly enjoyed being single when you were younger. What does being single feel like now?
Well, I think every person should be adept at being single before they jump into a formal commitment. I think it is important for a man to know himself first, be independent, self-sufficient, selfreliant and build his own home first, so that you know the individual that you are. When two strong individuals, who understand themselves well, come together, it will lead to a stronger, healthier bond as a couple. After my separation, I discovered so many wonderful things about myself, and I am thankful for where I am.
Which of Sanjay Gupta’s (director of Kaabil) films do you love?
I love Sanjay Gupta as a person. When he narrated the entire script of Kaabil by heart, he took me through all the emotions and highs and lows, and I felt it all and I could see that he felt it all. It was all about trust and faith and I could see that if any film-maker could make this film, this guy is the best. Because this guy has absorbed the entire film. I was absolutely sure. His forte is that he is a humble and emotional person and technically he is absolutely brilliant. Every day he tries to do something edgy.
With the Kaabil-Raees clash, has there been pressure on you to deliver with this film?
I take the pressure on myself. The pressure also comes from having done good work. It is excitement and hope that I have poured my heart into this and there is an opportunity here for something great. Then a clash happens and you know that you have to make peace with a certain reduction in the victory, it will be split. I am hoping both films are good and do well.
You know it’s rare in our industry.
Again, I maintain my sadness about that. Specialisation and division of labour are the two aspects that define the success of any industry. The only thing we lack is specialisation. Whether it is technicians or actors, we need to inculcate that school of thought. We need to tell people that being cool should be a result of the hard work that you have done. Being cool is basically confidence. Confidence comes from achievements. Achievements come from building skills and actually accomplishing something. Do that. Don’t start off being cool because you are trying to emulate a star. That star has been through 20 or 30 years of hard work to be there.
Let’s talk about Kaabil now. You are doing something quite different in this film. What was your preparation process?
I really think it is not praiseworthy when you hear that an actor has “prepared” himself. That is the saddest thing I keep hearing. “Wow, he locked himself up for two days…”
Do you sometimes wish you were doing something else?
Not at all. I am enthusiastic about what I do. Being an actor is the best profession if you can do it right. It really pushes you in all departments. Every single aspect and value will be tested in so many ways.
If you were not famous for a day, what would you be?
I don’t feel famous on a normal day when I am at home. People greet me with that look in their eyes, but frankly, how many days in the year do I truly get to be a star? Out of 365 days, 300 days I am working. I am either in the hot sun, eating bland food, breaking bones, in pain all the time, I make sacrifices, I don’t party…300 days a year I am a worker, a labourer. In the remaining 65 days, I am on vacation with my family for 40 of them. So, 10-12 days in a year is when I get to realise that I am a star. Maybe I am at an airport or I am on stage. It’s only then that I get to feel like a star.
Did you always want to be famous?
No. I am not an ambitious person at all. “Famous” is something I never thought of. I had to survive and there was a lot of fear in me. I had a lot of barriers in front of me when I was thinking of becoming an actor. That fear is what drove me. The fear inspired me to fly higher than I could imagine. I am a very competitive person though. If you pit me against something or someone, that will drive me. A healthy competition is a gift because you get other people to push yourself harder. It keeps you from being complacent. Overall, where my thrust comes from is my curiosity. I am a very curious soul. I am very curious about the earth, and Mars and the universe. None of us know what the hell’s going on. We are rotating and revolving and still we are static and life is not what it seems. There is magic all around us.
Or, sometimes there’s a drought.
No, I mean, if talent finds its level then the need for putting in extra effort in appearance is self-awareness that I lack somewhere. I lack in that main department. You try and compensate then. The instinct might be coming from a sincere place, but when you continue on that level, you have to realise that compensation is what is distracting you from discovering yourself as an actor. Acting is actually liberating your soul.
When you look around yourself today, with new actors joining the industry, do you see the obsession with appearances overriding acting talent?
See, talent always finds its level. It’s like water. Like water always finds its level?
But you work hard on how you look.
I work hard on my potential. I have a body so I will make sure I am healthy and will take care of it. I do my best to find out my potential in every aspect of life. And that is what matters. Everything else, your money, your fame, is a consequence of your growth and the challenges that you have taken and the skills that you have developed over time. All that is where beauty lies.
That is a little difficult to do when their role model is the third sexiest man in Asia.
I don’t think I am the third sexiest man in Asia, but if somebody has given that title to me… I didn’t sign up for this competition. I really, really don’t think it is about looks.
But that coming from you is heartbreaking for so many people.
t should actually relieve people, because they don’t have to manipulate and can relax into the people that they are. All they have to do is be themselves and be accepting of all their weaknesses.
Would you call yourself a narcissist? Someone who puts a lot of importance on their appearance.
I do put a lot of importance on my appearance for my characters. I don’t believe in looks. I think beauty is a sequence of self-expression. It is not one frame. It is not your nose, jaws or bone structure. For me, beauty is how a person perceives his world, how he articulates his interpretations of life, how he is interpreting his life experiences, and what he is able to radiate through his expressions. I regard the feeling that you get from a person as beauty. Beauty is as beauty does.
Also, then, don’t people see you for what you show them?
That’s what I am saying, true self expression is what beautiful is. So if on the exterior you are able to express yourself and your individuality correctly, you know for sure that people are praising you for who you are and are getting a sense of the person you are by the way you look. So, mirrors are a good thing.
And what do you mean by that?
It is important for someone to know how he feels on the inside while he is expressing himself on the outside. And one way to do that is to know how others are perceiving you, and you can only do that through your reflection. If your exterior is manifesting what you are inside, that makes life a little easier, because then people see you and know you for how you are on the inside, by perceiving you appropriately.
Do you like mirrors?
Yeah, I love mirrors. They are a very good guide, especially for actors. I mean, you get to see how others see you, and it helps to get your exterior in tune with your interior.
Are there any Dos and Don'ts for your Fans?
What went through your mind when your Father, Mr. Rakesh Roshan, was shot?
But did you not feel bad for the first time when you read all the negative stories written about you?
What about things like consecutive hits and then a series of flops?
What do you like the most about Suzzanne?
What would have you been if you were not an actor?
Which is your favorite Hindi Film?
What do you fear the most in life?
Coming to your kids and playing football, is that your favorite thing to do?
You have met with some terrible accidents while shooting, tell us about them.
Please tell us something about your movie Agneepath.
Did you receive 30,000 wedding proposals after Kaho Na.. Pyar Hai released?
You were such a good dancer in the movie.
Did you ever feel that this movie is going to become a Superhit after the first copy of the movie was out?
What was your first dialogue that you said in front of the camera?
How was your first day of shoot?
Tell us a bit about what we have heard, that Salman Khan was instrumental in your preparation to become a Hero.
How did Kaho Naa..Pyar Hai happen?
Did you go back and practice what you learnt from watching the actors?
Apart from being a Lead Actor in movies, you have also acted in side roles.
Who was your childhood crush?
Who was your favorite actor?
Did you always want to be an actor?
Did no one in your family know that you were seeing Suzzanne at that point of time when you were shooting for Kaho Naa.. Pyar Hai?
How did you and Suzzanne Khan meet for the first time?
What was your first thought when the makers approached you with 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara?
But you never felt that they would stop loving you.
In an interview you did with Simi Garewal right after Kaho Na.. Pyar Hai, when asked about introspecting the success, you said that the audience has paid you Rs. 100 for something that valued Rs.50, you have taken a half and kept aside the other in case they want it back someday. So, do you feel that this could ever happen that they might really want it back or the love would lessen?
If you ever try to find a sensible life partner in a traditional way, how difficult do you think it would be for someone as famous as you? We have once heard that you were looking for that person in Japan. Can you just go out on a date?
Do you feel the same as what Karan Johar has said and also mentioned in his Book 'An Unsuitable Boy' that young actors are very scared of making mistakes, they just only want hits but it does not work in this way?
You do so many things apart from movies like Commercials, Award Shows, people leap at you to take pictures with you, how do you feel about it? Do you ever get exhausted or do you like it?
Tiger Shroff had said in an interview few days back that he wouldn't accept a movie if it had been previously offered to someone else except for you, how do you feel when young actors talk in this way about you?
And are you correct usually?
But are you able to look at it and be assured that this is what you wanted?
What for you is the most joyous part in making a movie?
You have talked in interviews about how hard it was to do Kaabil, and Jamie Foxx once said that while shooting for the movie 'Ray' where he had played a similar character, he used to get panicked sometimes while shooting as his eyes remained glued together using prosthetics, how difficult was it for you to control your eyes during the shoot?
W hat do you do when let's suppose that one of your big film releases on a Friday and you can feel that it is not working?
Tell us about the experience at Cineworld Feltham, as you met your UK fans…
It was incredible, it was amazing, they gave us such a warm welcome and I even recognised a few faces from the last time I was here. So it was like kind of a reunion from a few of them. Some great reactions and the people are looking very excited. We spoke about the symbol of Krrish and I passed on my idea of Krrish and people really took to it and I was happy with the kind of appreciation and the acknowledgement about the symbol of Krrish.
What vision did you have for this sequel?
We have taken on a seemingly impossible challenge making a film like this in India, with a budget that is equivalent to one action sequence in Spiderman for example. To pull that off is going to be quite a revelation to the world. Maybe the budgets of Hollywood films might just come down, as they might point to us and say that they did that on such meagre budgets, we don’t need so much to create our movies. They might just outsource their SFX to India! If you go by the promos, we’ve pulled it off in less than 2% of the cost of a typical Hollywood superhero film.
Is this the finale to the trilogy?
Absolutely not. It’s just begun! This is just the birth of the superhero. The first part was a very intimate journey about the people in the family. This time, it’s a fully fledged superhero film, with a super villain and his gang of mutants, which is described very beautifully, very ingeniously, with a term called Maanvar, which is maanav (human) and jaanwar (animal). We introduce these mutants to our audience who so far have never experienced characters like that. We have Rhinoman, Antman, Frogman, Cheetahwoman and Scorpionwoman created by the antagonist, Kaal, played by Vivek [Oberoi]. It’s all very exciting, and of course Kangna [Raunaut] is playing the chameleon Kaya, so she can change her form and looks. In some ways, this screenplay explores many shades of many characters.
And the pain too, as that is part of the process…
The pain is inevitable, we’re all going to experience pain, but the suffering is a choice. You can choose to suffer or not. But pain is going to be a friend of yours throughout your life. I don’t say that in a dark way, as it is a catalyst that helps you grow and create. All the best creations in the world have come about from some kind of a personal experience that one has vented about. Pain is not a bad thing, it is a good thing and it eventually becomes the wind beneath your wings.
Tell us about the injuries you've suffered on this film and others
It’s always tough, nothing comes easy. If something has to be of a certain worth, it better be tough, because if it’s easy, it’s not going to end up being of any worth at all. Yes it was tough but the tougher the better. I look forward to challenges and I enjoy them and I think that’s the only way to feel that you’ve accomplished something. Accomplishing leads to being happy, so if you want to be happy, look forward to your challenges and difficulties and overcome them. With the right perspective and attitude, you can surpass and overcome anything in life.
How does this follow on from the previous films, in terms of characterisation?
The vulnerable Rohit drives this film and is the most important character in this film, mores than Krishna whose alter ego is of course Krrish. So essentially, I play 2 and a half parts. Rohit is the hero of this film. He just radiates and fills up the frame with all the emotional feelings that one needs to feel while you watch a film. He’s full of love, he’s very sweet and giving and he’s one bright ball of brightness. It’s a beautiful character.
Your chemistry with Katrina is being talked about a lot. Katrina and you have teamed up after the successful Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. How was it working with her?
I’m really happy that our pairing has been accepted by the audiences and that they are liking what we have done in Bang Bang. It was great working with her as usual. She is a fantastic co-worker. She is extremely professional, very hard-working and has great work ethics. If you see her career graph, these are the values that has made her one the most successful actors that she is today. Katrina is fun to work with and I hope people love the work that we have done in Bang Bang.
Everyone is going ga-ga about your MJ moves in the Bang bang title track.
Yes, the reaction to the song has been incredible and I thank everyone for the love that they have showered on me and Bang Bang. When Sid first told me about the concept, I wasn’t sure as no one can do what MJ did. But then I thought MJ was an inspiration to me and now that I’m getting a chance to give a tribute to him why should I not. I have given the God of dancing my humble tribute in my own style. I’m very happy that people are liking that. I have not tried to copy because you can’t copy MJ so I danced his moves in my own way and I had a blast. I love the title track. It’s subtle and a really cool dance number. And I danced with all my heart and so did Katrina. She is an outstanding dancer and we had a great time dancing to this song.
You said Bang Bang has everything but how would you describe the movie?
Bang Bang has everything for everyone. It is a masala movie, a complete family entertainer. I know people are calling it an action film but to me it’s a romantic film at its core. Yes, there is action and incredible never-seen-before action but it revolves around a simple, beautiful love story between my character and Katrina’s. That’s the differentiator of the film. I loved the film when I read it and it was the love story in the middle of the thrill and action that attracted me a lot.
You have done some death-defying stunts in the film. Why take the risk?
I love the adrenaline rush. I’m an extreme guy and I love doing the action myself. It gives me a high. I have never shot such action sequences in my life – it is definitely a first in Bollywood and I thoroughly enjoyed doing them. We had an incredible crew who took care of me when I was jumping of rooftops or driving a bike or the F1 car and water skiing while attached to a sea-plane or doing the incredible stunt with the fly board that people are really loving. I mean I had a great time doing these extreme action stunts. The risk involved is the high but when you have a team that looks after you and makes sure that you are safe, there is nothing to worry. I trusted them with my eyes closed.
Why did you decide to do Bang Bang?
I always look to do something that is challenging and Bang Bang excited me right from the word go. It is a very special film for me, in fact, it is one of best films to date. Bang Bang has everything – action, romance, music, fun, adventure. It is a total entertainer and I enjoyed everything about this movie. It has been an honour to work with Siddharth Anand who has made this incredible movie and Katrina Kaif who I think is one of the most professional actors that I have worked with. Her dedication is unparalleled and that is why she is where she is today.
Do you regret not doing Farhan Akhtar's Dil Chahta Hai?
I do, but when Farhan approached me to do the film, I was already neck-deep with work in Kaho Na..Pyar Hai. So, in spite of wanting to work with him at that stage, I couldn't do the film. But I would definitely look forward to working with Farhan, but no, I can categorically say, that he hasn't approached me yet, nor have I signed his next film.
Apparently, Amisha and you have done a sensuous dance number for the film. Were you comfortable doing the number?
The script demands the dance. It's a mood-oriented and passionate number. If you share good vibes with your co-star, it's easier to do such a number. And the chemistry is visible on screen. And at that time when you are doing the number what really matters is that whether you are looking good, whether your expressions are good and you lips are synchronising. So when these things are on your minds there is no way you will feel affected and uncomfortable.
It seems you have sung a few lines in the movie. Is that true?
(Laughs). Well I have not sung a song. Its just that I have sung a few lines of a shloka before it breaks into a song. One thing I cant do is sing.
You are working with Amisha in Aap Mujhe Aache Lagne Lage. Will the two of you be able to create the same magic as you did in your debut film Kaho No….?
Well that you have to wait and watch. We have put in our best and now it is for the audience to decide.
There was a lot of talk about tension between Shah Rukh Khan and you.
What nonsense. There was no tension between us. It was all created by the media. Shah Rukh Khan will always be a friend, an elder brother whom I'll look up to. He's seen me grow up. I was my dad's assistant during Karan Arjun and Koyla. So there's no question of any feeling of rivalry between us. I know for sure he likes me.
What do you have to say about K3G the film?
I was overawed when I saw the film I had tears in my eyes. While shooting for the film, I didn't realize the magnitude of the magnificence of the production. It's overwhelming to see oneself in the same frame as such stalwarts like Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. My character in the film is so similar to my own nature that I could identify with it very easily and infact fell in love with the character the moment Karan (Johar) narrated it to me.
Apparently, your success has gone to your dad's head. True?
False. He's my father. Naturally, he's proud of me. Which parent isn't proud of his child? Obviously, he's happy for me. Yeah, he's affected by my success. If your son becomes a star overnight, wouldn't you react similarly? It's natural. My father has seen both success and failure. He is not the sort to get carried away by either.
So what's the film about? As is reported is the story line is a mixture of Forrest Gump and ET.
I think these rumours are baseless. Yes, there's this storyline of a kid and his encounter with life from another world, but that doesn't mean its ET or Forrest Gump. It's a very, very big budget movie. We've hired Marc Colbe, who did the special effects for Jurassic Park, Independence Day and Swordfish and a stunt director from Australia. People are flying down to Mumbai for every schedule. You can imagine how big this film is from the fact that dad will go into a loss while making this film. But he's making something he feels so strongly about. I wish I could say more about the film, but at this point in time, I can't speak anything more than this.
So how does it feel to be working once again with your dad after Kaho Na Pyar Hai?
Well its great. But I have continued working with him after Kaho Na too. Have shot three ad films for the coke commercials. So its not that I have not worked with him. And its great working with him. We have come very close and there are so many things that I have to learn from him. On the sets he is the director and I am the actor. Its fun working with Dad and chacha (Rajesh Roshan).
A few films from the South are now being made to cater across the country. Can we expect you to star in one soon?
Yeah, why not? Just like I said, I am looking for good work, be it Hollywood or our industry and I am up for it even if it’s from the South.
Thanks to Marvel and DC, the superhero genre has become quite the rage. With our homegrown brand, Krrish, confirmed for its fourth outing, could you talk about it?
We are working on it and that’s as much as I can say right now. Hopefully, it will come together and we will be good to go. But right now, there’s a lot of work left.
You have been signed up by one of Hollywood’s largest talent agencies, Gersh. Is there a Hollywood film on the cards?
My idea is to look for good scripts. I am looking for good films to do irrespective of whether they are coming from Hollywood or our film industry. But yes, there’s excitement inside me about doing a film in a new environment where I get to be a student again. If I find something good in Hollywood, I will welcome it.
It’s been 20 years since your debut in Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai. How has the journey been?
The journey has been amazing. It has given back a lot. But I also gave it a lot. I think I got back exactly what I gave it, maybe a little bit more (laughs). It has been a wonderful experience. I have learnt a lot of great things that I can teach my kids. I am thankful, and very fortunate for the good and the bad in my life. It’s only through the bad, you get to learn the good. In good times, you can flourish because of what you have learnt. I was too abstract there (laughs again).
Talking about extremes, do you think Bollywood is opening up to experimenting with genres?
I think the audience is becoming more at ease with themselves as human beings and they are accepting better and more real characters on screen as well, which is the biggest change that has happened in our industry. Cinema should truly reflect reality and it’s about time that as individuals, we accept our own reality and our grey shades. Today, the hero does have to be black or white. He is not just one but multidimensional. He’s got all sides of a human and that’s really a revelation. When you watch such a character, it teaches you something about yourself. I think it’s a wonderful time and we, as artists, should keep pushing boundaries and dig deeper and deeper to get more nuanced characters and portrayals. I am hopeful that I keep getting to do what I do.
Last year, you had two releases – Super 30 and War. While one was a biopic, the other was a commercial action entertainer. You have always oscillated between extremes, when it comes to your filmography.
Yeah, I love doing that. I love extremes because I love to push boundaries – whether it’s on this side of the extreme or that. I love pushing both ends. I think I somehow have the skill to do that and I enjoy it. Super 30 seems like a film I could not have done because I had to pull off the role of a Bihari. But I enjoyed it so much because it helped me to do something that people thought I could not do.
Is there anyone in particular who you could regard as your biggest emotional anchor through the past rough years?
I haven’t ever felt the need for an emotional anchor. But I have been blessed with a support system that exists in the form of my family and a few close friends. One doesn’t need more.
You and your ex-wife, Sussanne, have set quite an example of sensible parenting in the face of divorce. In the process, have you lent maturity too soon to your sons, Hrehaan (13) and Hridhaan (11)?
I feel absolutely secure. It is a very good parenting team that I have with Sussanne. And it comes from a place of mutual understanding of what we want the boys to grow up to be. I talk to my kids about everything that happens in the real world. I don’t want them to ever be bewildered when they step outside of the secure walls of their house. For me, they are nothing but little humans who understand everything. I also allow them to express. They have already learned to express themselves so well. I am extremely proud to be their father. Even at their age when they cry, they don’t cry like victims. There are tears, but no grimace on the face. And when they cry, it takes a lot of strength for me to not jump out to cuddle them. I try and create a comfortable space where they can express their tears and have a conversation about things troubling them.
Recently, your sister, Sunaina, hit headlines for rebelling against your parents and you for allegedly prohibiting her from dating a Muslim guy. Where do things stand now?
This is an internal, private and sensitive matter for me and my family. In didi’s current state, it would not be correct of me to speak about her. It is an unfortunate situation that probably many families are going through and are as helpless as we are, owing to stigmas and an incredibly weak medical infrastructure in this country for such cases. Also, religion is not even a thing in my family. It has never been discussed or been given importance whatsoever in my entire life. And I would like to believe that it is obvious to the world by now.
Your father, Rakesh Roshan, has been remarkably strong during his ongoing battle with cancer. Has this crisis made you discover newer strengths as a family?
In my father’s generation, a man was taught that masculinity meant being a rock. That a father is someone who is very strong and never expresses his vulnerability. Tears, we were taught, are feminine. But being a student of life, I have learned that strength does not mean the absence of tears. I realised that my dad had held way too much inside of him and I felt it was unhealthy. Having been through all that he has, one day I pushed him to express what he has been feeling. And I could see how impossible it was for him to let go of that strength. But eventually one day, he broke down completely. I hugged him and we both let the tears flow. Ironically, even at that time he was switching between breaking down on my shoulder and consoling me as a strong father. We all felt so much stronger after that release. We must learn to express ourselves as human beings openly. Not just the popular emotions, but all emotions.
Actor Kangana Ranaut has not left an opportunity to take digs at you, and now at some other film stars as well. How do you manage to not give in to the provocation to respond? What’s the status of your legal case with Kangana?
I have come to realise that bullies have to be treated with a certain amount of patience, and not be engaged with. It is upon the civil society and those who claim to be just and fair to see and observe if there is harassment. Also, being who I am, if I choose to confront as per laws, I become the aggressor. If I withdraw from a film-clash that I know has been pre designed, then I become a weakling penning a sob story. I have learned to not get affected by either. Although, to be honest, my only grouse is with those supposedly ‘enlightened’ people who praise and often cheer this behaviour in the name of ‘new’ and ‘refreshing audacity’, without any desire to be rational or truthful. They are the enablers who have allowed this circus to continue for six years. There is no legal case that I directly have with the lady (Kangana), and the reason I cannot have one is because apparently a guy cannot be stalked in India.
The film has seen a fair share of controversies — right from sexual harassment allegations against director, Vikas Bahl, to cheating allegations against Anand Kumar. How did you manage to sail through?
Yes, the journey of Super 30 has been tough, but I would like to believe that it is worth it. When the #MeToo movement broke out and Vikas’ name cropped up, I was perhaps the first one to take a rather tough stand. I completely support this movement and I sincerely believe that exploitative attitude towards women must stop. Also, if you think that this movement is the last step in achieving equality, then perhaps you are wrong. The pendulum of biases and injustice on both sides is going to swing back and forth quite a few times before it centres and comes to a standstill. Also, it’s important that we don’t make this process independent of law, and purely based on social media/conventional media hearsay. Let not the rhetoric become the mantra. Like everything else, this movement also has to follow the law of the land. Charges have to be pressed and substantiated in the proper manner. I may feel strongly about something, but we cannot take the law in our hands and dole out mob justice. Since a designated ICC committee has exonerated Vikas, we are not in a position to take away his credit. As for the PIL filed against Anand Kumar, that is part and parcel of being relevant and making a difference. Again, only a court can decide the veracity of such claims. Not you or I. Also, there are always two sides to every story.
How would you describe Super 30 in a sentence, and why do you think the audience will relate to Anand Kumar’s journey?
For me, Super 30, Anand Kumar’s journey, is a beautiful and inspiring story that tells the children of the world to dream the impossible. It is also a film that will show us why India is on its way to becoming a superpower.
There’s tremendous buzz around Super 30. Does it make you anxious about how the film will be received?
When I heard the script for the first time, it was a beautiful experience for me. I was extremely touched by it and it took me into a different world. Right from the first dialogue of Anand (Kumar; the protagonist), I could see myself doing the film and saying those lines. That character on paper was an extension of myself. I could see him in my head. All that was left now was to manifest that vision physically. And that became quite easy, actually. As for feeling anxious about how the film will be received, that is something every person involved in the filmmaking process will go through, even for their 100th film. But I’m also very excited, as with Super 30, I have stepped into a new territory, essaying a real life character from India’s heartland.
How did you feel when you saw yourself for the first time on the cover of India Today magazine?
How did you process this journey from being a Superstar to being not so important and then again getting yourself back on the track?
But you seem to have been a bit confused because you just said that you wanted to go to Switzerland to do Hotel Management and then you went to a Polytechnic College to check out some special effects courses, what was that about?
But you were nurturing your dreams to become an actor for a long time, you did your first photo shoot in the year 1994 with Dabboo Ratnani, so then why did you not say to your father, who was a very successful filmmaker at that time that you wanted to act?
But at that time, you must have been confused and didn't have the clarity that you have now? You worked as an Assistant Director with your Father in films like Karan Arjun, Koyla, etc. How did being an Assistant Director shape you as an actor?
But at that time your father was struggling to establish himself as an actor, your family had to go through a lot of difficulties, so, what were your first impressions of the Actor life? Did the experiences scar you or were you enamored?
Are you a better father or a better son?
Who is your favorite Hindi Film Heroine?
Who is your favorite Indian actor?
Where do you keep all these things?
What are you doing at present after this movie did so well and got praised for it?
You know, you are so spiritual in your conversation and communication, I want to know if there is any Guru from whom you learn these things.
So, is Anand now out of your system or is there a residue left behind?
What is happening with the other states after Super 30 has got a tax exemption in Mumbai?
Does it ever happen that after you have gone to the set and suddenly you have lost the connection to the character that you are playing? In that case how do you rebuild that connection?
What happens to the process after the heart says go ahead? How do you build your character, do you talk to the writer or the director or to a friend, how do you do this? Ashutosh Gowariker once said that you get to the character on your own and then you form a relationship with everything around you on the sets, just like how you did in the Elephant scene in Jodha Akbar.
When you were working on Super 30, did you feel any anxieties or worries that you have made a mistake or the experiment is not worthwhile?
Please tell us something about a boatman that you had posted in your Instagram page during shooting for Super 30, you wanted to inculcate the same in your children. What was that about?
Where do you get this philosophy? Is there any strong influence around you from books, from your personal experiences, from reading or introspecting?
But don't you ever get scared if you are not able to make everything alright? Don't you panic?
You try to stay away from negativity to protect the Actor in you or you try to protect yourself as an individual?
You and Sussanne Khan have been setting goals in how to be amicably together with the children even after a divorce. Has it been easy?
It’s sad that my equation with Sussanne is looked upon as rare when it should be common practice to strive towards peace and happiness, especially for our children. Even now, some people ask me why I am so good to my ex, and I explain to them that as a father, I am bringing up two men, and they need to know that their mother is loved and respected. They need to learn that two people can be separated but still stand united as a family.
Any plans of turning director?
Right now, I am enjoying doing different characters on screen as an actor so this thought hasn’t come to my mind but perhaps sometime in the future. Why not!
There is news about you doing a film with Sara Ali Khan and Dhanush in Aanand L Rai’s next...
That’s not true. I haven’t got any call from anyone as of now. But I am a huge fan of Aanand sir’s work.
What is the status on Krrish 4?
It is in the final stages of scripting right now. We are sure that if this film is being made, then we have to take it to a much higher level.
If you were to do another biopic who would you like to play on screen?
I am not particularly looking forward to doing a biopic. What’s important for me is the script. If that is powerful, then I will do it. The same thing happened with Super 30. I did not do it because I wanted to do a biopic. I happened to like a script which was a biopic. It did not take me more than 30 seconds to say yes to the script. Because it moved me, made me happy and feel various emotions.
Horror comedies are now a trend in Bollywood. How open are you to doing one?
I am open to doing absolutely any genre if the script excites me enough. Because if I don’t feel the emotions while reading or hearing a script, then even the audience won’t.
A Super 30 followed by War, is that a deliberate attempt to balance between larger-than-life roles and playing a common man?
Honestly, I did not plan it like this. But in hindsight, I think it’s a good thing. Because both the characters are very different from each other. Also, for me even the Super 30 character is larger-than-life. The costume or the exterior doesn’t make any character larger-than-life, it’s the journey that does. Anand Kumar isn’t a common man in that sense, he’s a special man.
You will be completing two decades in the industry soon. Do you see a vast difference in the scripts or the content of the film?
The definition of a hero on screen is changing. It is no more a guy with the guitar and a smirk on his face. That’s also because the audience is evolving and are accepting only a different kind of content now.
What drives you to choose a film? Have the criteria changed over the years?
My criteria for choosing a film hasn’t changed much. I have always picked up scripts depending on my gut feeling and instincts. What could have changed over the years is that the instincts come from a place of more experience. Another important thing while choosing a film is the entertainment value it carries. My father (Rakesh Roshan) always says that if you make films, they ought to be entertaining.
With the success of Super 30, do you feel that lately, actors who do rooted films connect more with the audiences?
Being someone who has made his debut in 2000, the new millennium, I have seen some really good changes in Indian cinema. The biggest change, however, is that the narrative is becoming more and more inclusive. We have opened ourselves to various experiences and influences, which I believe is working. Super 30 is that tale of inclusion that the audiences have connected to.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
Can we expect an update on the film next year?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How important is it for an actor to be in the perfect place mentally and emotionally to give his best professionally?
There is so much emotion in you. How much of that emotion do you put into your movies? Does it drain you?
What motivates you to continue with your fitness regime?
Is there a secret talent that you have which a lot of people aren’t aware of?
What is your favourite workout music?
What is your fitness mantra? Do you usually train for a role or is fitness just a way of life?
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?
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?
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?
Are you able tell how good a film might be based on just viewing the first copy of it?
What is the most joyous part of making a movie, for you?
How have you been able to deal with the multiple challenges that life has thrown at you?