Ever since Kaabil’s first trailer came out, people have felt that the role could be one of Hrithik Roshan’s toughest parts so far. But the actor says that this was the “easiest role” he has ever done. HT catches up with the Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (ZNMD; 2011) actor to talk about his new films, Krrish 4 and possible sequels.
Guzaarish (2010), Bang Bang (2014), Mohenjo Daro and now Kaabil. You seem to love taking up challenging parts.
I like it when people feel like that, because, for me, ZNMD was harder than any other films that I’ve done. First, it’s not an author-backed role, and the entire film is in a lighter vein. So, there is no drama or other such crutches. It’s like a soft breeze with which you just have to align yourself and let things flow.
I am glad that I got to experience that, because it’s another world of cinema that I love so much. I am also looking forward to doing more films similar to ZNMD, especially with someone like Zoya (Akhtar; director).
How is working on a film like ZNMD different from Kaabil?
I had an incredible time working on ZNMD. As for Kaabil, the film looks physically difficult, and I have worked very hard for it. But actually, it’s the easiest role I’ve done. I may have had to work 10 times harder on it than any other film, but when work comes from passion, and you are enthusiastic about what you’re doing, then it’s not work anymore.
It becomes fun, and I have had more fun working in this film than in any other. At the end of the day, nothing compares to the kind of creative satisfaction you get after toiling hard. I feel the creative satisfaction is higher when the challenge is harder.
Watch the title track from Kaabil
You recently said that being featured in lists of world’s sexiest men is just a compliment and not an achievement...
Yes, because beauty is not about your nose and where your jawline is. According to me, it’s all about how you express yourself. It’s how an actor comes across; his behaviour even in everyday life; how he speaks, and what you give away with your voice, tone and body language. Also, it’s about how good you make others feel. That’s what makes you good looking, not your facial structure.
Your father (Rakesh Roshan) has announced Krrish 4. Does that make you nervous?
I am not nervous. But I am happy about the fact that dad is excited to make it, because I think it [the franchise] deserves one more part. However, that’s going to be a long process. We still have to work on the script and chalk out the details.
There have been talks about a sequel to Zoya’s film, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara...
I am aware of that, but not many film-makers can make such movies. So, I have to call Zoya once more, and say, ‘Please write something, and if you think I am good enough, please cast me in your film (smiles)’. I guess I will have to beg her. But I think it [the sequel] will happen maybe three to four years from now.
When you work with your dad, do you feel free or constricted?
When I work with dad, I know I can be absolutely free to set a benchmark because I know the producer is behind me. I know that he will not stop me from doing whatever it takes to achieve the benchmark I have set in my head.
Once an actor or any creative person has that assurance from the producer, who backs all the actors and the technicians, then you feel liberated. They know that they can allow themselves to give their best and not compromise on anything.
So, in a way, you end up giving your best while working with your father?
When I work with my dad, my benchmark is at the highest level. It’s not like I don’t put in my best when I work outside, but when I work with somebody else, there is a tendency to negotiate. It’s a pleasurable negotiation, but still a negotiation. In that case, I know that I can push it [the negotiation] only to a certain point. Beyond that, I might be intruding.
Watch Kaabil trailer
In Kaabil, Sanjay Gupta directed you for the first time. He comes from a different school of film-making…
Yes, but it was a lot of fun to be influenced by a new mind, and to gain knowledge on the things that he has learnt in his life. You need to exchange your experiences and learnings to grow. There is no other director in the world, who could have made Kaabil apart from Sanjay. He is an emotional guy. He had narrated the script to me verbatim, and it impacted me a lot emotionally.
This film could have been made like an art film, and it would have become boring. But Sanjay has given it the edge, finesse and the technical brilliance that has made this film not just contemporary but something that is, hopefully, aspirational.