Hrithik Roshan is ecstatic at the box office response to his latest sci-fi action drama Krrish and says he wants to take Indian cinema to new levels on the international arena.
"I am hoping, not just for me and my father and family but for Indian cinema, that Krrish succeeds so we can envision an even bigger extravaganza. We want to afford that freedom to take our cinema higher. I believe we are very close now to getting noticed on a world platform.
"My main aim as an actor is to take our cinema to the next level. And that's where Koi ... Mil Gaya took a small step, though we projected it as a big Indian sci-fi flick. But Krrish is a giant leap," Hrithik said in an interview.
We are very close now to getting noticed on a world platform, says Hrithik
Hrithik prefers to stick to his own conviction and culture in his cinematic endeavours, rather wooing the West by aping their filmmaking formula.
"One mistake that we always make is to ape the West. We attempt films that we think they will like. The true crossover films are Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Life Is Beautiful where the director goes entirely by his conviction, culture, community and conditioning. Our beliefs so far allow us to be convincing only if we have a 'mukut' (crown), arrow and bow. We go a step further and put on mask and cape in Krrish," said Hrithik.
Excerpts of the interview:
So gutsy of you to stay out of sight
Almost two years! And it's got nothing to do with guts. I got involved with the scripting of Krrish and nothing seemed to excite me at that point of time. But now I am doing three back-to-back films. That's the most work I have done together in a long time. That should put an end to my reputation of being over-choosy.
I don't sit in judgment over the entire industry's scripts, please! I choose instinctively. I react with my heart. Your level of excitement determines how much of yourself you put in a role. There's no point in doing something you are not excited about because it finally shows in your work.
You always seem audacious in your selections?
That's the thing about life. It's always about facing bigger challenges and choosing the highest summits to climb. How else would you find the thresholds of your potentials? Might as well choose the riskiest and face your fears.
Would you say you are antithetical to Koi...Mil Gaya in Krrish?
Rohit in Koi... was incapable of doing normal things. As opposed to him, Krishna (Krrish) can do abnormal things. Neither are normal human beings but they are at two ends of the spectrum. But Krrish isn't aware of his powers. That's what makes him so endearing.
It's another character that connects with kids.
Both Koi...Mil Gaya and Krrish appealed to the child within me. I don't make conscious efforts to appeal to any particular section of viewers. My main aim as an actor is to take our cinema to the next level.
And that's where Koi...Mil Gaya took a small step, though we projected it as big Indian sci-fi flick. But Krrish is a giant leap. But we could take this big leap only after taking that small step earlier.
Is Krrish bigger in budget or vision?
In every way possible! I am hoping, not just for me and my father and family, but for Indian cinema that Krrish would succeed, so we can envision an even bigger extravaganza. We want to afford that freedom to take our cinema higher. I believe we are very close now to getting noticed on a world platform.
What are the steps you have taken in Krrish to make sure you get noticed outside India?
One mistake we always make is to ape the West. We attempt films that we think they will like. The true crossover films are Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Life Is Beautiful where the director goes entirely by his conviction, culture, community and conditioning.
When you make something you believe in, everyone sits up and says, 'wow!' Our beliefs so far allow us to be convincing only if we have a 'mukut', arrow and bow. We go a step further and put on mask and cape in Krrish.
Is this the Superman ethos?
Krrish isn't derivative of anything you have ever seen. Though it has all the elements of a super-hero film, it isn't a super-hero film. My character ends up looking like a super-hero not because he makes any attempt to do anything consciously extra-heroic. It's what he does that makes him look like a super-hero.
So it's a leap into larger-than-life arena for you?
Krrish is completely contrary to what I have played in my last two films Koi...Mil Gaya and Lakshya. I have always been a sci-fi buff. So it was just matter of time before I jumped into it.
You have to see my jumps - sometimes you have to take calculated risks. As long as you have the passion to strive for perfection, you'll at least get closer to that ideal. It's all about finding that vortex of energy and revelling in that freedom of that flight. I have been literally flying around.
Is action acting as satisfying as drama?
Every form of acting depends on your concentration. For me action and drama are equally enjoyable. The physical training for Krrish and the stunts have been extremely rewarding because I know how hard I have worked for Krrish.
Will Dhoom 2 be the next action flick followed by a costume drama Jodhaa-Akbar?
Are you presuming that Jodhaa-Akbar will have no action? It will have war, horses and swords. I will be a very young and virile Akbar. It's a very very real drama, not theatrical at all. We start in August.
It is my first costume drama because I will wear a costume. But I have immense faith in Ashutosh Gowariker's abilities. His intelligent perspective during his narrative convinced me he could never make an actor look bad. He believes in the real and tries to capture the real. He never constraints the actor, lets them be natural on camera.
What about Zoya Akhtar's film?
That's meant to start at the end of the year.
You play an antagonist in Dhoom 2?
I am gonna make the bad look really good.
You have two new co-stars in Dhoom 2 and Krrish?
I have worked with Ash (Aishwarya Rai) just briefly. I must say she is looking stunning. She is beautiful, focused, unassuming, intelligent and very nice to chat with.
As for Priyanka... I haven't had a better experience working with any co-star. We didn't need time to hit it off. It happened from the word go. She has no airs, no hassles. And she is extremely talented. I think she has shown only 10 per cent of her talent so far.