In a room full of people, it is difficult to spot Hrithik Roshan, the star. He is humble with no starry tantrums and has no qualms to be the first one to share the greetings and get a conversation started.
On a visit to Hyderabad, Hrithik recalls the fond memories of the city. “I spent a lot of my childhood in Hyderabad. My friends and I would travel from Mumbai to Hyderabad for summer and winter vacations and meet our friend Pinky Reddy, who would host us,” says Hrithik, adding, “I love the city. I had come here two years ago for Bang Bang, and it’s good to be back.”
Two years has also been the time he stayed away from the silver screen. After Bang Bang, he will be seen in Ashutosh Gowariker’s upcoming period movie Mohenjo Daro. “I told Ashutosh that he should try and make Mohenjo Daro in 80 days and he said he will make it in 95 days. And the shooting took 200 days to complete. How much do I push him? Sometimes the vision is so big that you have to leave it to the filmmaker’s satisfaction,” says Hrithik.
So what made him say yes to Mohenjo Daro? “I said yes because somebody was trying to do something different. It is not a run-of-the mill contemporary love story or an action film. It takes people back to the ancient civilisation. Who makes films like these, on a huge scale! We are all running around the same subjects and music — be it Dhoom or Krrish; those are also great films, but films like Mohenjo Daro also need to be made. Our cinema should have a representation of different stories from our culture and history. Our ancestors intrigued me. I want to see how people from this age look at those from that era who were very simple and had no technology or fast-paced romance,” he says.
The actor also disagrees with historians who blame Ashutosh for not portraying facts. “Fans don’t react. These are a set of historians who have pointed out that this could not have been or that could not have been true, but even that could not be proved, because there is no much evidence. All we have is a variety of theories different historians have put forward. So the director’s job is to pick one theory to suit his story and make a film based on it. He can’t satisfy all of them. When I did Jodhaa Akbar, a section of historians said Akbar was only 4 feet 10 inches tall and Hrithik is six-foot tall. Hrithik has light eyes but Akbar didn’t have those. This cannot be tolerated. Films are made to entertain and Mohenjo Daro is completely in tune with factual history.”
The doting dad also makes sure that his kids watch his movies and he eagerly awaits their feedback. “So far, they have reacted best to Bang Bang. I hope they will love Mohenjo Daro too,” he says.
In a competitive Bollywood industry, we see Hrithik constantly praise his contemporaries and their works through tweets. Isn’t he bothered by the competition?
“I consider someone a competitor if that’s going to help me push myself further. I will look at something that could give me an impulse to be better. At other times, it doesn’t matter. I have to do the best I can. There is enough space in Bollywood for every single person who is doing his best,” he adds.