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I Want My Story To Be The Greatest Ever – Hrithik Roshan

Once in a while comes along a movie that reaffirms your faith in the power of the medium. It compels you to look at its actors in a different light. Guzaarish does that for Hrithik Roshan. A lump the size of a hand grenade forms in your throat each time he's on screen. Whether he's turning the story with a tinge of humour or verbalising his anger against the system, he's simply magnetic.
Off screen he's no less potent. Talk to him and he engages your attention like no other. You lose all sense of time. "I'm very good at this," he chuckles. "My family and friends come to me whenever they need advice on anything." It's hard to find someone as unrelentingly affable as he is, just as it's hard to find someone who has ridden out career humps and detours as coolly as he has.
Presently, Guzaarish has put him on top of the world. Okay, as the movie hasn't scored at the box office. But he isn't worried. Praise and congratulations for his work are still pouring in. He's soaking it all up.
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So how do you look back at Guzaarish?
With a lot of gratitude that I was chosen as a medium to pass on Mr Bhansali's vision, that I could convey the thoughts and feelings of the people who've lived such tragedies. Any honest actor and a sensitive human being who'd spent the amount of time I did with them would've done an equally good job.

An actor lives for this kind of adulation, right?
Yes. In the past 10 years, I haven't seen this kind of adulation. I've seen people in the audience shout, throw coins and dance. But I hadn't experienced an entire theatre stand up in silence and clap. I hadn't experienced people hugging me, completely at a loss of words. They were struggling to say something. The kinds of words my seniors, my contemporaries have written to me are so touching. I'm planning to put all that down in a book for my kids to read one day. This kind of stuff happens once in a lifetime. And I wouldn't want it to happen again.

So the credit goes to Sanjay Leela Bhansali?
Absolutely. It's a courageous film for him to make after a commercially unsuccessful Saawariya. It shows his conviction. It's so easy to include an item song, to show biceps. I told him to let me jump or go bare on the beach in the flashback scenes. But he said no, that's not the film. His passion is something else.

But Guzaarish hasn't worked at the box office. Does that dampen your excitement?
Box office is important, but when the subject in question is a film like Guzaarish, then money has to bow down to art.

Salman Khan made digs at Guzaarish recently saying how even a mosquito hadn't gone to see the film. You were naturally hurt.
Salman only has love for me in his heart. We've spoken and have fixed up a day for our workout. He's going to watch my film. In times of stress and frustration, it's easy to get hurt. Sometimes humans do react instinctively. You only get hurt by people you love. Anyway, it's been sorted now.

It's not really been a good year for you Kites and Guzaarish both haven't done well.
On the contrary, I believe it's been more my year than any of the previous years. Both these films had my best performances. I've gone beyond anything that I've done in the past. Kites has been my most subtle work. After Guzaarish I am on a high. I didn't feel this way after Jodhaa Akbar or Koi… Mil Gaya or Krrish.

You seem to click in a big way only with your dad. You agree?
Still? After so many films? I've done three films with him. I have had Jodhaa Akbar, Dhoom and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham with outside banners, which have done well.

But none of these have equalled the business of your dad's movies.
It's unfair to compare other directors to my dad. Every director has his own reading of the market, the audience, his talent and vision. Not everyone can be like dad, who only thinks commercial.

So your dad or the other directors?
Both. I've always loved to bounce from one extreme to the other. I'm blessed to have directors coming to me with varied subjects. I want to explore. I want to go where others are afraid to go.

Why aren't you doing many films?
In fact, I'm doing quite a few films right now. I have Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Agneepath and Krissh 2 is starting in August. After that I have Choices. If it's dad's film, I want to be involved in everything.

So you're ready to play superhero once again?
I hope all my joints function properly. The physical effort is insane.

Do you agree with the concept of euthanasia?
Ethan is a lot like me. He's an entertainer. He's always been in control. Even after the accident he lives like a king for 14 years. He doesn't cry. I'd live like that because I'd want my story to be the greatest story ever in the world. What better way to do it than to have a tragic life like his and overcome it. But the moment the body starts to deteriorate, then that person who's always in control wants to also be in control of death. That's where Ethan comes from. It's not please kill me because it's too hard to bear but because I don't want to go bit by bit and deteriorate like a vegetable. His thought is give me the power to gallop towards my end.

Those close to you say you've child out and have come into your own. True?
It's true to a great extent. When I started off, I only had a mould in my head of the kind of hero I was supposed to be. I was trying to fit into it. But it started bothering me. The mould and I are different people. Slowly, I cracked that shell and stepped out. I grew up. I learnt to hold my own. It started bothering me less that I might make a fool of myself or that I wasn't always succeeding. You finally realise that we are all the same. We have the same fears, the same insecurities, the same desires and the same fantasies. I stopped being scared.

What insecurities can Hrithik Roshan have?
Yes, Hrithik Roshan the image cannot have insecurities. But I'm not Hrithik Roshan. I work for him. I'm the labourer.•


 
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