Hrithik Roshan not only celebrates his birthday this month (January 10), but also completes 17 years in Bollywood on January 14. He made his debut with Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai (KNPH) in 2000. However, the actor feels like he is still “starting out”. HT catches up with the star to talk about his career, achievements and kids.
How was your holiday with kids, Hrehaan and Hridhaan, in Switzerland?
It was outstanding and amazing. We travelled like crazy. For my children, it’s (skiing on a higher level) a great achievement. At the age of eight and 10 they are already doing the black slope. Like in martial arts, there are levels in skiing – green, blue, red and then there is black. We have gone up to the red slope, and attempted half of black. We are going to conquer it the next time. I also went to a Bollywood-themed park in Dubai, where we went on the Krrish ride. I was so proud and amazed by what they have done.
How was the experience of riding on a roller coaster named after you?
The match of our names didn’t occur to me. I enjoyed the ride and complimented them. My kids, who, till date, have given me the highest score of about 7.5 to 8, gave the ride 10/10. They think it is world class.
How do you look back at your career now?
Although it has been 17 years now, I feel so much like how I felt when KNPH was coming out. I feel like I have come full circle and I am starting out again. I feel as rejuvenated, excited and hopeful as I was then. It’s strange how it’s reminding me of KNPH. In a lot of ways, I feel like I am just starting out. So, I am not looking back at all; I am looking forward.
Has it been a satisfying journey?
I look at it as a great and crazy adventure. I have had a lot of fun and learnt to hone my skills and my ability to be a better adventurer now. I think I have learnt how to enjoy the adventure. So I look forward to it.
You said recently that ‘love is an illusion…’
Not love, romance is an illusion. It’s beautiful because you will see and hear things that don’t exist. But it’s an illusion nonetheless. Love is real. Love is what remains when the romance subsides. Love is calm, relaxed and powerful. It’s at its best when it’s between two self-assured, secure and independent individuals. I love love (smiles).
One of your fans has decorated his car and bike with Kaabil posters. What do such gestures by fans mean to you?
I feel a sense of obligation, and that I owe something to this person in this particular case. I know it’s his love for me and it’s his way of communicating that emotion. Not just for me, but cinema as well. All I can do is thank him and continue to be encouraged and work hard. That’s the best way that I can thank someone.
Do you feel pressurised to live up to your fans’ expectations?
No. I feel that a strong person knows how to receive love and it takes a special talent to be able to reciprocate that love. Both receiving and giving require courage and a big heart. To receive with grace takes a lot of courage.
What, according to you, has been your biggest achievement?
It was my decision — the biggest one till date — to become an actor. Taking that plunge and that first step was huge. I was the most unlikely candidate for this [acting], which is why I regard it as my greatest achievement.
If given a chance, would you go back and change anything in your career?
I am so happy with where I am and who I am right now that if I change even a single thing; it would change the truth of who I am. So, I wouldn’t change anything. I am very happy and proud of every single experience I have had.
As Kaabil is set for release, are you feeling nervous?
I have a feeling that I will be feeling as nervous as I did when my first film was releasing. It hasn’t begun yet, but I know, it’s lurking around (smiles).
By now, are you not used to the ‘butterflies in the stomach’ part?
It doesn’t happen for every film, but I am sure it’s there [this time]. It’s [butterflies in the stomach] starting to happen for Kaabil.
Are you feeling extra pressure because you partner with your father (Rakesh Roshan) for the film and the partnership?
Yes, but it’s also due to the fact that we all felt a lot [of emotions] during the journey of Kaabil and whenever I have felt that while acting in a film, it has always had a similar effect on the audience, so I am nervous to know whether this time, I am right or wrong. Kaabil is a small film with a huge heart. That’s why I am so protective about it. I hope that our baby (Kaabil) stands tall when we give it to the world.
Talks have been rife about your Hollywood debut.
I am looking forward to a great script in Hollywood just as I do in Bollywood. For me, it’s all about the script. And if something comes up I will let everyone know.
Entertainment Desk (Hindustan Times)