By FATIMA PATEL
The Kaho na pyaar hai superstar has come a long way, with a respectable portfolio of films, accolades and awards. A female fan following like no other that will make any sane women go weak at the knees, but the superstardom hasn’t phased our Krissh and neither has his Kaabil’s clash with Shahrukh Khan’s Raees.
I caught up with Hrithik post his birthday celebrations during my recent trip to Mumbai. In a frank, open and endearing interview, we talked about family, friends, fans and films.
Firstly, a very belated but heartfelt birthday wish from me and my team at Asian Style Magazine.
Thank you so much, please thank them all from myself.
To be honest I don’t really get much time on my birthday, let alone reflect on anything. But that’s a good thing because I involve myself in giving back as much love as I can. So, birthdays are a day that I celebrate because of what people have given me and it’s a day when I use every single second of my time in trying to give back. I celebrate it with my fans, with my friends and with my family. So, it’s kind of a good thing for people to actually learn to do that, because sometimes there are people who don’t like the attention and shy away from those days. I would like to tell them that celebrating your birthday also sometimes takes some amount of courage. You have to have a really big heart to accept the love and then give it back. It takes effort, it’s not easy.
Oh you know, I don’t really pick those moments, because for me a fan moment which is really intense or just a smile means one and only one thing for me, which is appreciation and acknowledgment of my work and so I neither build an ego about it and I tend to take it the right way which I think is a compliment and it encourages me, it motivates me and I take that as my strength and I move forward. I don’t sit and joke about or revel about how crazy a fan went, because that really is not me. That is the magic of the movie. So, I attribute that to the movies and I take it as a compliment for my hard work.
You’re teaming up with your father, as producer, uncle as music director and of course the title of Kaabil has the lucky letter K in it. Winning team – but do you think this also adds more pressure on the outcome of the film?
Pressure is good. I like pressure. Pressure has always driven me forward. Pressure is what turns charcoal into diamonds, so pressure’s good I like pressure and if the K factor adds on more pressure, well bring it on.
How has it been working with Sanjay Gupta for the first time, seen as you both have different cinematic sensibilities?
Yes, I got to learn a lot from him. I think he is brilliant at what he does. I think it was about him finding the right script which I truly believe that he has this time and he has done magic. I don’t want to say much because it’s my film and it’s still not out there so I’ll just say that I am very thankful that I got to work with Sanjay Gupta in this film, he has been ‘My Director’ that says it all. He has been my director!
Let’s talk about your character in the film. You play a partially sighted character in Kaabil, something you’ve not played before. How do you prepare and get yourself into the skin of such a challenging role?
Well, I won’t shy away from the fact that it has been the most difficult journey so far. I will also say that difficult objectively when I say it, it’s difficult, but when I involve the passion with which we worked it actually was not hard work at all. Everything was so easy, because we felt so much, we impacted so much with the story, that it really was a cakewalk. So, it sounds contradicting but the paradox is that it has been the most difficult film I have done but it has also been the easiest film I have done.
If that makes any sense.
Yes, it does. Would you say that you found the film easier because you found a connect with the story?
Exactly, so when you have a connect, when you have a reason behind something, then no mountain is too high. So, it just made it so easy.
Oh, I could just go on and on about her. Yami, has to me, come from a different world into Kaabil and made it golden. I could not have asked for a better actor to play her character in this film. She is just brilliant. She is the most brilliant actor I have worked with and I say this with complete humility and honesty the most brilliant and easiest person I have worked with. The best quality about her is that she is open to every single idea to try and explore. No inhibitions. No block. She has a mind that is open. So, we have experimented, tried so many things and been able to explore so much it’s been so much fun.
She is the best thing about the film.
I am a Brit currently enjoying my break in Mumbai and am enjoying reading the Indian tabloids. Of late I’ve been looking at stories about Kaabil, for obvious reasons, and all I seem to find is talk about the clash of Kaabil with Raees, and rather less on the what the films individually have on offer for film fans. Does such a focus dishearten you?
Not at all. It’s, alright people should talk about whatever they want to talk about. The media should write about whatever they want to write about. I am just focused on my film and that’s all I have to do. Finally, it’s the content of the film that will show me where I stand and how the film is and whether our heart was in the right place and it will guide us for the future. There are a lot of things to learn from the results of something that you’ve worked hard for and that’s all I am focused on. So, it doesn’t matter what people talk about.
Ok so focusing on the film, is it true that Kaabil is inspired by the Korean film Broken and the Netflix series Daredevil?
I have no idea. I have not seen or heard of this Korean film and if you compare with Daredevil it will go into minuses. It is absolutely the opposite of daredevil. Like what could be the absolute opposite of daredevil that’s our film. There is no similarity at all Daredevil is a super hero and I am playing a very very normal man. A very common man.
We’re loving the soundtrack to Kaabil. Two of the album’s songs have been recreated: Haseeno ka deewana and Kisi se pyar ho jaye which I love and have been beautifully re-made. With your uncle being an ace music director, if he offered you the opportunity to recreate a classic Hindi film song, which would you choose?
It would definitely be one of his. I am his biggest fan. The first one that I would choose of his would be ‘Kisi se pyar’ because that’s been a song that’s been my all-time favourite since I was a kid. So, having that song recreated and having sung it, I have already fulfilled a dream of mine.
Well, let’s hope those dreams keep coming true and you have an extremely Kaabil outcome at the box office.
Thank you very much Fatima