Hrithik Roshan in a candid conversation with Anita Britto and Titas Chowdhury shares how the success of Super 30 and now WAR has put him back in the spotlight, why he isn’t interested in doing a dance film despite those amazing moves, his preferred genres and what he learnt while working with Tiger Shroff
Anita Britto (AB): Congratulations on the success of Super 30. Were you expecting the kind of response the film received?
Hrithik Roshan (HR): I was hoping for it for sure because I felt very strongly about that film, in fact I felt the most for that film than any other film that I have done. So it was really important for me, for my instincts to be reaffirmed, it was a very important success. It would have further strengthened or broken my faith in my instincts because I have had such strong instincts about this character (Anand Kumar) and the film. A failure would have shaken me up, but gladly it did not and made me feel that my instincts were still at the right place. It was very powerful and encouraging.
AB: Do you think the success of Super 30 will reflect on WAR that released recently?
HR: I don’t know but it definitely has given me encouragement, it has strengthened my resolve a little bit more, so yeah it has definitely helped in many positive ways. How it will help in WAR, I don’t know. Maybe I will get a few extra compliments if people like the contrast between the Bihari mood and the Kabir mood. Apart from that, WAR will stand on its own two feet. If it’s a good film it will run, if not it won’t. We shall see.
Titas Chowdhury (TC): But, were you always confident about WAR considering it is in your comfort zone?
HR: My comfort zone… I think playing Anand sir in Super 30, playing that mentally challenged kid in Koi... Mil Gaya comes more naturally to me than this sexy guy. Playing a sexy guy requires a lot of effort, he is also there in me somewhere but he appears very seldom and on most days he disappears. I can’t find him.
AB: Tiger Shroff has always mentioned that you are his mentor and he looks up to you. So do you think WAR was the right film for you two to come together?
HR: There could not have been a better and more correct and appropriate film than this for someone like Tiger and me to come together. It was like tailor-made for us...
TC: Is it true that you stressed on having Tiger in the film?
HR: Yeah! I was insistent. I knew that this film would not be made if Tiger had said no to it. They might have had to go to another actor, but I probably wouldn’t have done the film.
AB: While shooting together did you see yourself in Tiger especially in the way he does action?
HR: The process that he applies, the hard work that he puts in reminded me of how hard I worked for my first film. It is commendable the way he has his discipline in place. The amount of work he puts in, it’s absolutely incredible. It is very inspiring for me to watch the way he works now, it reignited that same passion inside me as well. It’s been 19 years now that I have been doing this. When I did this film, I realised that somewhere I have become more relaxed with the things I do, which is also a good thing but being relaxed can slowly become lazy, complacent and also stagnant. Tiger has come into the environment of my work life at the right time because it has put me on my guard and that is a good thing.
AB: The audience has been eagerly waiting to see a dance-off between you and Tiger in WAR...
HR: It is not a dance-off. I don’t think I would have liked doing that because there is a celebration of dance; I wanted it to be that and not a dance-off. I don’t think that would have looked dignified or good from Tiger’s point of view or mine. We have enjoyed dancing to Jai jai Shivshankar, which is why even the audience is enjoying it so much. You can love both at the same time without resorting to comparison. Tiger is the easiest co-star to work with. He is a director’s actor and he is extremely professional. I don’t think there was even one day or one moment that he has arrived late or made me wait even for 30 seconds more, which of course he can’t say the same about me (laughs), but I think that much is allowed. He is an incredible delight to work with.
AB: Is it true that you directed him in a few scenes of the film?
HR: I think the kind of direction that we are talking about happens from actor to actor in every film I have been part of. I have been infused by a certain thought of another actor and I have loved it. This is what happened here. And it happens both ways.
TC: Your last film with Siddharth Anand was Bang Bang!, which also coincidentally released on October 2 and it is happened again this year, is it strategy or serendipity?
HR: It just so happens that we were looking for a date and October 2 is a date we already have an association with and it just happened to fall into place. Yeah, we had to rush a little bit but we made it to the date.
AB: How would you rate the action of WAR compared to your other films and how has Siddharth upped his game with this film?
HR: One thing I can be certain of is that in this film the action is of the kind that has not been seen before. And Siddharth has upped his game in every single way. Be it the background score of the film, the action, the pace of this film, the look, the feel, the color or the aesthetics of this film... Everything is greater and better than anything else.
AB: After quite some time you did two back-to-back films. Was it a conscious decision?
HR: Not really, it just looks like back-to-back projects but Super 30 got delayed by six months and that is why we are seeing it back-to-back. But, it’s good for me and my fans. They will complain less for a while now. (Laughs)
AB: But, do you think action is your comfort zone?
HR: Not really, it’s not my comfort zone but I think I have to admit that I look good when I do action so unfortunately, I have to keep doing it for my fans, they really enjoy it. The kind of feedback I get when I do an action film that has the aesthetics of people like Kabir in WAR or Aryan from Dhoom 2, it always works and I get instant feedback. So damn it I have to do more of this!
AB: Have you ever thought of doing an out-and-out dance film?
HR: Not really, I don’t think I am interested in that. I don’t consider myself a dancer or should I say, it is not my mainstream. I like playing with my emotions, so if a dance film comes along, which also has emotional content then I’ll consider it.
AB: When it’s a two-hero film, the actors normally promote the film together, but here we saw both you and Tiger promoting the film separately.
HR: This was a promotional strategy, I think Aditya (Chopra) wanted to make sure if the fans want to see us together, it should only be in the film. It’s a subconscious layer but he didn’t want to spoil that visual at all. If people want to see us together it should only be on the big screen, that was the thought.
AB: We have heard that you have signed the Satte Pe Satta remake, can you shed some light on that?
HR: I am going to decide about that as soon as I am done with WAR. I have not signed the film yet and if and when I do, I will announce it.
AB: What about Krrish 4?
HR: My dad is back to his best health and I think we are going to restart that very soon.