He began his journey as an actor 12 years ago. And since then, he’s grown from strength to strength. Known for his unwavering dedication and giving off his best in everything he does, Hrithik Roshan offers his point of view on film promotion and discusses his next release, Agneepath. In conversation with Vajir Singh…
Are you aware of the great buzz your upcoming film Agneepath has created?
I keep hearing…
What have you heard so far?
I hear that we have to do a lot more. We have to make the film hotter. Everybody knows that I don’t believe in promoting a film and doing the extras that other actors do. I have a belief system which has been built since Kaho Naa…Pyaar Hai.
Kaho Naa…Pyaar Hai released at a time when the Internet was not all that popular. So we didn’t have the same access to spread the word as we have now. At that time, when I needed to do a lot more but I didn’t. I didn’t face the camera or give any interviews.
But wasn’t that intentional? It was your debut film and you wanted to surprise the audience.
Yes, I had a plan. I didn’t want people to know what I looked like or how I spoke so that people would believe my character. But regardless of all that, the opening of the film was huge. I didn’t do anything for Koi…Mil Gaya or Krrishand they both took a huge opening too. For my father’s films, that belief system is still in place. But for films like Dhoom, again, I didn’t do anything except one day of promotions and, again, the film took a huge opening.
My instincts have been built on my own experiences, which tell me that the only thing that needs to be looked at is making a good film. Second, the promos have to be fantastic and they have to be delivered to every movie-goer in the country. If everyone who watches movies has watched the promos, you don’t need to do anything else as they have already decided if they want to watch your movie or not. They have also decided whether they want to watch it on the first day, second or third day. You need to go all out to market your film only if your film is not good and if the promos are not appealing.
But, today, the stakes are so high that you have to knock at everyone’s door and tell them about your movie.
I believe that for every film I have worked in, I don’t need to do much and that my work speaks for itself. Of course, provided the promos and teaser reaches every movie-goer in the country and the world. And that is my job.
After that, it doesn’t make a difference if I appear on a reality show and talk about how hot it was when we shot or how cold it was when we were filming on the sets. The audience doesn’t get impressed by these things. It’s not like the audience would feel, “Accha, itna hot tha wahan par, so hard work bahut kiya hai iss actor ne. Isliye main uski film ja ke dekhoonga.” They will not watch a film because you have worked on a particular film but for its content.
Is awareness the only tool that counts?
Awareness is very, very important. And awareness can only be gauged by how many movie-goers have watched your promo and have decided whether they will come to the cinemas to watch your film or not. According to me, that is important.
This is the fifth time you have worked with a new director.
Yes, Fiza, Mujhse Dosti Karoge, Na Tum Jaano Na Hum, Luck By Chance and now Agneepath. What is the difference between working with a debutant and an experienced director?
All the first-time directors I have worked with were very efficient. I have always felt that they have already directed more than just one film.
Since you started your own career as a director, how did you feel working with new directors?
Well, I noted that Karan Malhotra had an interesting mind. He always had interesting ideas and perspectives. People like me are not often surprised by people or ideas as we are already thinking ahead. But here was one mind that had better foresight than I did, while I was dubbing for the film Jodha Akbar, where he was the assistant.
He had ideas that even I had not thought of. And during the dubbing, he shared some of them and they surprised me. It made me feel that I should have had thought of those ideas. And that made me believe that his ideas were really good.
Then, when Karan Johar informed me about Karan Malhotra being the director of Agneepath, I was quite satisfied. I was eager to know how would he write the film, how he would make the film. I wanted to see how his mind would work now. Needless to say, when I heard the script, I was not disappointed at all. In fact, I was so excited that it took me only two minutes to say ‘yes’ to the film.
What was your reaction on knowing that Sanjay Dutt was cast as Kancha Cheena?
He is larger than life…The script was about an impossible task. In fact, the more impossible, the better it is. It was a more conscious decision not to tweak Vijay Chauhan as the hero but as the common man. A simple guy. And the larger-than-life character is Kancha. It becomes really interesting because, when the audience is introduced to Vijay, they say “That’s impossible. How will he ever take on Kancha?” That is what I liked about the film and that’s why I decided to do the film.
Looking at the all the promos and the look of Kancha Cheena, don’t you feel Sanjay Dutt may walk away with all the credit?
He should get all the credit as an actor. He is fantastic and I will get what I deserve. You should not be bothered by things over which you have no control.
You have done a total entertainer after a long time, a commercial and massy action film. What was that like?
It was tiring! (Laughs) The climax was the most tiring schedule of my life. The emotions you see on Vijay’s face at the end of the film are real. The exhaustion he felt during the fight sequences is exactly what I was going through. So there is no difference between Hrithik and Vijay in the climax.
Krrish 3 will release in 2013. So there will be a gap of almost two years before your next release.
That always happens with papa’s films. It always takes that much time. There has always been a gap of at least two years whenever I have acted in my father’s films. Krrish released after two years of Koi… Mil Gaya.
But don’t you think you should have at least one release a year?
I have no choice. What to do? I will finish shooting and then the post production begins. And I will be busy with that. But, hopefully, I will be able to start a film after its over and may be back up Krrish 3’s release with another film quickly after that.