The Super Hero Hrithik Roshan

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Hrithik Roshan, the pin-up Bollywood actor had one of the biggest debuts with Kaho Na Pyaar Hai. Unfortunately, most films that followed fared badly over his seven years long stint.

But things could change drastically for Hrithik on June 23 when the sci-fi enterprise, Krrish, produced at a cost of Rs. 49 crore, hits the big screen. Krrish is said to be one of the most expensive ventures in the history of Indian cinema, and is packed with some breathtaking action sequences and astonishing special effects. A sequel to Koi…Mil Gaya, the film has a blend of Western technology and Eastern medley of music, dance and emotions. The movie has been given a ‘U’ certificate by the Censor Board of Film Certification.

Hrithik Roshan plays a superhero while Priyanka Chopra in the female lead essays the role of a television reporter. Krrish will be Hrithik’s twelfth release. The star was nowhere on the screen after Lakshya. Krrish will be his first film after two years.

Will the audience remember him… To this, Hrithik quickly defends, “I don’t think I was out of sight for people, as I was doing commercials. I did ads for John Players clothing and Hide and Seek biscuits. Earlier he had done a Coke ad for a staggering sum of Rs. 3 crore. This time (minus films) he might have been laughing his way to the bank. Hrithik grims sheepishly and evades the question.

Speaking about Krrish, Hrithik says it is important to note that the film is not about a superhero saving the world. Krrish is an attempt to lay the foundations of a superhero in Indian cinema. This genre was non-existent till date. “He further adds that his superhero character is nothing got to do with Spiderman, Superman, Batman or Zorro, but it is the story of an ordinary boy who has been endowed with super powers. He is not out there to save the world. Krrish further is an attempt to open new boundaries and cater to the vast international market. When we were making Koi…Mil Gaya on aliens, all were laughing. But we made history. This time too we are making it on super power. But the alien ‘Jadoo’ is missing in this film. Hrithik further reveals that when he was a kid, he wanted to fly like a Superman. With Krrish, his dream seems fulfilled.

To the question, sequels have never been lucky at the box-office…he replied, “Yes, it is risky. But if you want to create a record, risk has to be taken. Look at the Olympic games, where every time a new record is made.”

Hrithik sports three hairstyles… Krrish begins from where Koi…Mil Gaya ends. Krishna is the son of Rohit and Nisha. They die in an accident. His grandmother played by Rekha brings him up. Having inherited super powers from his father Krishna does some rescue acts. Krishna, shifts to Singapore, where he transforms himself to Krrish. There are various transformations and the look has to be done likewise…, illuminates Hrithik.

But isn’t it true that the music of the film being a big disappointment? Answering the question Hrithik points out that the unique selling point is the story and script. “The film does have great songs, but the story is set in a village before it moves on. I think the music will catch up, once the film is released.”

Transition from an Indian hamlet to a foreign location – Singapore… Krrish will showcase locations in Singapore including the world renowned Singapore Zoo, state of the art concert venue The Esplanade, a heritage pier built in 1933, the cultural repository of Chinatown, the bustling lifestyle districts along Singapore River and one of Singapore’s rustic islands, Pulau Ubin.

Did he have to do the dare devil stunts himself…. “My father had hired the services of Tony Ching Siu from Hong Kong. He has more than 30 years of experience and has risen from scratch. He and his team are experts, especially in cable wires (for safety) used during the jumping sequences. There are many scenes which needed me to jump. The fighters could not portray as Krrish. Krrish is the superhero who does not speak. He does not have dialogue. But he had to portray it in his body language. That is where I choose to do the stunts myself. It was not easy though, but I did practice a lot and had confidence in Tony Ching, the fight master,” discloses Hrithik.

Is Krrish intended to be a children’s film? “The Filmkraft banner has never made films with children in their mind. But the children loved me and my films. Be it Kaho Na… Pyaar Hai, Koi…Mil Gaya, it was the children who have shed their unbiased love. They are the best judge. Today you cannot influence them with foolish cartoon characters,” replies Hrithik.

Why is it that Hrithik Roshan is only successful under the guidance of his father? “It’s simple logic. Good films run, bad films don’t. There should be an egoless communication between the director and the actor. My father gives me the liberty to act. He has confidence in the actor – Hrithik. For an actor the script is the boundary. Every second step there is two perspectives between us. I always work with passion and get into the skin of my character. My father has a different perception. When I go in front of the camera, I act as to what I feel about the character. My dad allows me to do that. Between an actor and director there should always be a father-son relationship,” summarises Hrithik.

Krrish happens to be the biggest film from the Filmkraft banner. For the first time in the history of Indian cinema the film will be released world-wide with 800 prints. Adding a feather to its cap is it will be simultaneously releasing dubbed versions of the film in Tamil and Telugu with around 250 prints. The film too has tie-ups with Star Plus and has hordes of merchandising too. To this Hrithik meekly adds, the business and other marketing strategy are all handled by his papa.

Hrithik’s first on screen experience was in 1980 when he made a small appearance in Aap Ke Deewane where he received Rs. 500/- as his fees. Though he was supposed to make his debut in Shekhar Kapur’s Ta Ra Rum Pum opposite Preity Zinta, which was left in the back burner, his father Rakesh Roshan took the initiative of launching his son. The senior Roshan gave him four months to groom up before the launch. Even his five years experience in assisting papa Roshan did give him a lot of confidence, recalls Hrithik. Except for Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, Koi… Mil Gaya and sharing the platform with Amitabh and Shah Rukh Khan in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, the rest of his films failed at the box-office. He was quick to add that Mission Kashmir earned its money; while Fiza had one of the biggest openings.

The problems was Hrithik had four flops in a row like Yaadein, Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon, Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage and Mujhse Dosti Karoge and this had prompted the media to write negative things written about him.

The biggest change has been on his personal front. Hrithik Roshan is a proud father of two-month son, Reehan. What his infant has taught him? “Time management”, he says. He is thankful for his wife Sussanne who has contributed a lot and organized everything for him. Whenever he gets free time, he likes to be in the company of his family.

How he feels his son would react after seeing Krrish after he grows. Hrithik is not sure. Technology is changing fast and by that time he will find it to be outdated by his standards.

On why he is taking career risks by playing a negative role in Dhoom 2 and as Emperor Akbar in Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Jodha-Akbar, he replied, “There has to be versatility in acting and excitement too. By exploring other things in life, helps an actor to grow. I am also doing a film with Zoya Akhtar too. Dhoom 2 has Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra, Aishwarya Rai and Bipasha Basu as his co-stars and is slated for 20th October 2006 release all over. The other two will release next year.”

What about Hrithik the actor? “The actor has to grow and I have to take risks. I am sure people will love me in these roles. I am putting in a tremendous effort playing them. I love to do one film at a time.”

On the Fanaa episode… The media has misquoted me. I stand-by the Aamir Khan. In a democratic country, we have the freedom of expression. It’s an attempt by some unscrupulous elements to threaten Aamir and the film fraternity.