Hrithik's new image spells success
In success, he is humility personified. Hrithik Roshan is now celebrating the success of "Koi... Mil Gaya". In this interview to ZIYA US SALAM, he takes a trip down his career graph.
With Preity Zinta in "Koi... Mil Gaya".
SINCE "KAHO Naa Pyar Hai" kissed the silver screen in the spring of 2000, Hrithik Roshan has not been able to steal a couple of days of leisure and pleasure for himself. Hopping from one studio to another, one shoot to next, he has been busy working for the likes of Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Subhash Ghai, Vikram Bhatt, Farhan Akhtar, not to forget papa Rakesh Roshan. Little wonder he has not had the time to celebrate the mega success of "Koi... Mil Gaya". Not even had an opportunity to speak to his father. It will continue this way. Then, it will all be "travelling, reading, more reading, more travelling".
"I am busy till December 18. I will take a break then. For the past five years, I have not had two days off. This time, I will earn my break to read, to travel. It is important for me to read now because whatever I had imbibed till now has all been used up. I need to read more to grow further."
Meet Hrithik Roshan, the "one-film wonder", who became a "two-film wonder" with "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham" and now a "three-film wonder" with "Koi... Mil Gaya". Little wonder considering the film is smashing all box office records, and Hrithik, who sneaked into Mumbai's Gaiety cinema hall to find out the audience response, and had to be helped out by the police as his fans mobbed him midway into this Indianised sci-fi drama.
With Amisha Patel in "Kaho Na Pyar Hai".
"When I entered it was all okay. But midway through, people came to shake hands, congratulate me. A huge crowd gathered, they tore my shirt, the security people cordoned off the area, the police had to be called. It was then I realised that the film had actually been a success," says Hrithik Roshan. In success he is humility personified. And insists that he "became a star before he became an actor". "I am not a very talented actor. I am a hard working actor. ``Koi... Mil Gaya'' has been the best performance of my career so far. Dad gets the best out of me because he never directs me! He knows about my hard work, has immense faith in me as an actor, and never takes me for granted. He had no idea of my make-up, my walk, and my mannerism for KMG. I locked myself up for three-four days before facing the camera for this role. But it was not a planned lock-up, it was a need-based thing, it was intuitive," says the young man who started with a bang with Rakesh Roshan's "Kaho Naa... " before his career tapered off with films like "Yaadein" and "Aap Mujhe Acche Lagne Lage".
Admits Hrithik, "I feel I can give my best to him. I don't know what is method acting, what is spontaneous acting. I am still learning. But I find Dad's films challenging though I had no reference point in working for these two films with him. It is not that we cannot fail. Dad has given flops too. He only tries to make good films. We share a good rapport. We balance each other out - I bring my generation's enthusiasm, he brings his experience."
What went wrong with his films post- "Kaho Na... " and pre-"Koi... Mil Gaya"?
"I signed all the wrong films. Also, some of the films which did well were either called flops or the success attributed to others," the young man says on a hurt note, and begins a recap of all his films.
"Khalid Mohamed's `Fiza' was successful everywhere. I got critical acclaim. After `Kaho Naa... ' everybody talked of my biceps, my dance, but nobody talked of my acting skills. After KNPH's success, my role was increased. It got me what I wanted," he says candidly. Just when your mind does a time switch to "Fiza", he reveals, "I am not a good dancer at all. I cannot go to a dance floor and be the best one there. I just observe others and try to get by."
He remembers every film vividly and admits he has been at fault. "Subhash Ghai's `Yaadein' was a learning experience. He thought of a new idea but there was not adequate homework. I did not know who was my father in the film. I did the film as a puppet.
This film reaffirmed my belief that films should not be made like this". "Then there was `Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham'. It was a historical hit. Somehow everybody forgets it. But after this some people called me a two-film wonder. Probably if I give 50 hits in 50 years, they would be calling me a 50-film wonder!"
This is a rare moment of indiscretion from a man enjoying the highest point of his "still nascent career".
He continues his trip down memory lane: "Vikram Bhatt's `Aap Mujhe... ' did not work because the audience could see that the film was only made as a commercial package". But there were no such problems with Arjun Sablok's "Na Tum Jaano Na Hum". It was just bad timing".
He is quite candid about the failure of "Mujhse Dosti Karoge".
"The failure of this film was a slap on all our faces. We forgot that the visual part in a film is always stronger than the written word.
One moment, my character was in England, next in Shimla, I did not know what was going on."
And what went right with "Koi... Mil Gaya"?
At a press conference for the new film `Koi Mil Gaya' with papa Rakesh Roshan.
"Rakesh Roshan did not want to make a very intelligent film. He wanted to make a simple film; he did not try to be too intelligent, which is smart. The film had the right dose of emotions. We must realise that our films are high on emotions and music".
Just when you think he is high on the success of "Koi... Mil Gaya", you have another thought coming. "I could not enjoy success after `Kaho Na... '.
People were praising me too much. I knew I did not deserve that. Failures bring you closer to truth.
After the failure of other films I wanted to know how brave I was, wanted to know if I could come out of it all," says the man who has "not received a single new film offer" after "Koi... " became a super hit. Probably people are too scared!
Surprisingly, after every flop he was inundated with new offers. "All those who thought I would not do their film approached me thinking that now that I had given a flop, I would agree to come down a notch or two and do those films."
All that is in the past. Now is the time to enjoy the success of "KMG" and prepare for Farhan Akhtar's "Lakshya" where he essays the role of a city boy with no aim who goes on to become a war hero.
"That is another film. I start from scratch again," the trademark humility makes yet another appearance as he gets into his sleek Estima car at Mumbai's The Tulip Star Hotel. The shirt - torn by the fans earlier - the goggles, the confidence, everything is in order.
Ah! To be in Hrithik Roshan's boots these days! With success as a companion, leisure can wait.
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