Interview By: ANKITA R. KANABAR

Handsome, disciplined, charming – all in one combined not just on-screen but off-screen too. Not to mention, he’s one of the biggest actors Hindi cinema has today clubbed with another level of stardom. Here’s Hrithik Roshan for you, as we catch up with him to speak about his latest blockbuster ‘War’. Calm, composed and extremely enriched with the passion for his craft – the actor chats with us about this film, his approach and much more….

Tell us about your thoughts on ‘War’ firstly.
I think we’ve put in our best and it shows we’ve put in our best and now it’s up to the audience. It’s a different kind of film, it’s a first of its kind because it’s not following the typical Hindi cinema language. The first half raises a lot of questions and the second half answers them. It’s kind of a puzzle which you keep solving through the film. It requires you to remember a lot of things. So, I believe people are getting and liking that vibe.

‘Super 30’ followed by ‘War’ – now that’s quite a treat for your audience. How happy are you about this sort of variety?
I shot for ‘Super 30’ first and then did the whole physical transformation for this one and then we started this film after two and a half months. But I’m enjoying the fact that I have these two dramatically opposite films coming out back-to-back. It’s a bit of an entertaining film for me as well. It wasn’t planned though but I feel happy.

What was the challenge quotient for this one?
It was just to do my best. That’s all I strive for. I don’t put a benchmark in my head with someone else’s work. I just know that there’s an extreme potential that I must discover inside myself and that’s what I go after. I want to discover things about myself which I didn’t know I have and to do that, sometimes you have to jump off the edge; strive for something and have faith that you can do something which you don’t expect from yourself as well.

While you have this ‘Greek God’ image – at some point, has it been a challenge for you to make people look beyond ‘Hrithik Roshan’ and believe in the character that you are? Because, somewhere, you’ve not limited yourself to just that image!
The way I see it, I don’t think I’m trying to make them look at something. I am just in love with my art and I’m an aspiring actor. As an actor there’s no place for vanity. You have to know your truths and if you are in touch with your truths then there is a plethora of people and mind-sets inside you that you can explore. We go through so many varied feelings. Sometimes, you want to kill someone when you’re angry; sometimes we feel vulnerable and hit rock-botton. Sometimes we feel really sexy, sometimes ugly. All of these are my fuel and I have to be aware of them. If I stick to my vanity and say that’s how I want to look because that’s what works – six pack abs, biceps – if that’s what I’m all about then it would really affect my potential as an actor or stop me from discovering myself as an actor?

Is there any emotion which you find slightly challenging to display as an actor? Or are you easily in touch with your vulnerable side?
No, once a character touches me, my job is done. And then, it’s just about expressing what I felt for that character. It becomes very simple after that. The tough job is for that character to hit me. Which is why I keep saying that I’m not a good actor because I can’t act what I don’t feel. Probably, good actors can do that and they’re supposed to do that.

Which must be making it important to choose roles that you relate to? But has there been a shift in that with time since one evolves with experience?
Not at all. The second film which I had done was ‘Fiza’ in which I was playing the brother and the film was titled ‘Fiza’ which was the sister. I had done this huge big blockbuster which was my first film and people were like, why are you doing this film where you’re playing a brother of this girl. But it really touched me and I had to follow my heart.

“think I get drawn to characters who have a really large growth arc”

You’ve never really shied away from playing this layered or slightly off-the-edge characters? Even ‘Mission Kashmir’ at that point was a tricky role.
Yes, I think I get drawn to characters who have a really large growth arc. If the character travels a lifetime in those two-three hours then it’s worth talking about.

Do you feel that now your kind of stardom is not easily seen amidst the new-age actors despite the fact that it is a great time for people to make their debuts?
That’s probably because now content is the king. Earlier there was this hero-worship. Heroes could actually get away with anything on-screen. Now, the crumbling of that has given opportunities to a lot of different kinds of films and actors to emerge and have their own audience, their own kind of stardom and it’s a good thing. Earlier there was this one model of a hero, now there are different kinds of heroes and they’re all stars in their own respect. So, it’s a good thing, it’s evolution.

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