Lighting up life

Lighting up life

Lighting up life

After a slew of average entertainers, Hrithik Roshan is back as Bollywood’s favourite superhero Krrish. The actor talks to  Rajiv Vijayakar about the painful journey that went into the making of ‘Krrish 3’.

His first name means “from the heart” in Sanskrit. His second name means illumination. And Hrithik Roshan illuminates any gathering in which he is present — from his heart.
Rarely does one leave the superstar’s company without being richer in some way from the soul. That he is a huge star seems at the most an add-on reason for spending enriching time with him.

As he puts it, “I am a star outside the doors of my house. I open the door occasionally to feel the power of stardom that I can use to make other people also feel powerful. I have humbly accepted that I have been bestowed with stardom by the love of millions. It gives me opportunities and responsibilities too.” He smiles, “At home or with friends, this stardom means nothing at all.” A dismissive gesture stresses his remark.

His newest film and home production, Krrish 3, is set for a Diwali release. For him, it was nothing less than a trial by fire. Describing the challenges he overcame, Hrithik’s soft intensity and smile only underscores his statement.

A mountain of challenges

“Every film is a challenge,” he says. “But with Krrish 3, I had a double slipped disc when we began shooting and my hole in the skull surgery just before it ended! It was my most difficult journey.”

He considers it fortunate that he has played Krrish or Krishna. “Krishna was a mountain-boy who emerged a superhero in our last film. He had a rare courage to achieve what seemed impossible. In all my problems, I had no fear at all but only one thought, ‘If I was Krishna, how would I overcome this problem?’ ”

The actor points out to a pendant he is wearing — the symbol of Krrish in the film. “The pendant is not about me or about Krrish, it is about the power of courage, and of possessing the right attitude. It is about focussing on the good and positive things about something even if there are negatives in it. It’s about realising and using those power resources within — and I think that a Krrish does live within all of us!”

Hrithik has off and on stated that his father Rakesh Roshan is the true superhero in his life, but the actor admits that even he follows his dad’s simple diktat — of being a role-model and an example for his sons. “Krrish 3 is a father-and-son story, and when I think of my kids, it takes me a second to overcome my difficulties, because I have to set an example for them, and be their source of motivation and power, just like dad was for me,” he smiles.

Persuaded, he gives examples of his victory over issues right from his childhood. “Main hamesha girke uthaa hoon (I have always risen after a fall) even before I became an actor. There have been so many dots in my life,” he recalls. “My childhood wasn’t very nice, and I often came back crying and complaining about being bullied. I was 16, when I had a back spasm, and later painful rheumatism afflicted me. I had to miss my classes and my attendance suffered. A doctor advised that I should not become an actor with all my problems. But I did become one.”

He goes on, “As it was then, I challenged my pain even now and faced it. You have no idea what it means to pass that hurdle, challenge the pain to trouble you and slowly enter a realm of infinite possibilities. I have proved science wrong — after my back problem I was told that I cannot do any action sequences. My father wanted to postpone making Krrish 3, but I surfed the Internet, did all the necessary research and came up with the best trainers and people on the team. I did 80 action sequences, and each time I felt I was 18 again!”

Overcoming obstacles

Hrithik has undoubtedly emerged a stronger person over the years. He has a simple thumb-rule for dealing with negative write-ups and opinions about him from others. “It is your integrity that is vital. If you know what you are, no hearsay will affect you,” he states wisely.

However, one area in which he came into self-doubt was when Krrish 3’s reprise of Rohit (of Koi…Mil Gaya) and Krishna (of Krrish, Rohit’s son) came up. “I did not know whether Rohit was still within me a decade after Koi…Mil Gaya, and also seven years after the short part in which I had to play him in Krrish,” he explains. “I had to revisit every association with him. Rohit was a child at heart, and here he is playing father to Krishna.

It was a challenge for the actor in me. A father gives power to a child, and here it was Rohit, the father, who was a child.” And Hrithik declares, “Despite Krishna or Krrish being a superhero, it is Rohit who is the real hero of the story.”

So what is the progression in the storyline after Koi…Mil Gaya and Krrish? More, the story here has to accommodate the family (Rohit, Krishna and Krishna’s wife, played by Priyanka Chopra) as well as other principal characters like Kaal, the antagonist played by Vivek Oberoi, the mutant played by Kangana Ranaut, and others, so how did they go about the script?

“My father is conscious about content — he always has been. His grip on emotions is what has scored high in the film, as in every past movie he’s made. We have, for the first time in India, done huge VFX entirely within India, but my father knows that all the VFX, minus a story and strong emotions, would never work.”

Nevertheless, Hrithik is upbeat about the VFX part. “If my film succeeds, we will not have to compete with Hollywood anymore, we will be on par with them,” he exults grandiloquently. “We have got a reassuring reaction from the industry about the film’s look and promo, which has hit 70 million views.”

His face aglow with excitement, the actor adds, “Krrish 3 is a hardcore superhero film unlike Krrish, which was the story of Krishna and his grandmother as well as his love story. It explores the world of the superhero, the enemy of mankind who is his antagonist, and the mutants, the half-human half-animal creatures led by Kangana. We have a frogman, a cheetah girl and more. We have called these manvar – half manav and half janwar.”

As Hrithik had told us once before, his father’s experience and his youthful approach synergise into a complete package together. And if they have made this film between them (with — as he had told us before — constructive arguments and fights sans ego on creative aspects), Krrish 3 is going to be lethal entertainment.

Get set then, to go into what Hrithik would call the ‘realm of infinite possibilities’ this Diwali.

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