After a long sabbatical from work, Hrithik Roshan wears a rather happy happy glow on his face. It's clear that he has enjoyed his time off from the hectic schedules of Bollywood — time spent enjoying the warmth of his success in the chilled-out environs of his family home in Mumbai.

By Monisha Pratap Shah (Contributor)

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Published: Fri 22 Apr 2005, 2:31 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:49 PM

Now he's ready for lap three — a period that will see him involved with his film and the adrenaline-pumping experience of the fast and the furious Dhoom II. In an exclusive interview with City Times he talks about the constant ups and downs that have marked his career, his choices, mistakes and his new protocol.

You have had a long vacation. What have you been up to?

I spent my time off with my family. However, this year has rolled out real fast. The award functions and my shows have kept me busy throughout. It's been a very satisfying year.

People are raving about your revamped look.

I was just bored of my look. I just decided not to cut my hair for a year since I was not doing a film and had no continuity problems and then people started talking about it. They liked it, I liked it, so I kept it.

What did you feel when you received all those awards?

After the brickbats, awards seemed like a mission accomplished. I felt an immense sense of challenge because as a person one always feels the need to climb higher. Now whatever I do it has to match up to the level of Koi Mil Gaya. I no longer have an excuse of being a new comer.

Talk about the extremes in your life — you are declared superstar and then condemned as a one-film wonder in the same breath.

I consider myself an extremist and I think these extremes are a reflection of my personality as also my destiny. I strongly believe that nothing is predestined — a man's destiny is in his hands and it's is nothing that we cannot change. I am thankful to my critics because without the brickbats the victory would not have been so sweet.

How did you react to criticism?

On a personal front I did analyse and try to understand what went wrong. I was affected when I read negative things about me in the press. Only I dealt with it differently. I seldom believe in what other people say. What really matters is what I personally think and believe in. In life there are highs and lows and one has to learn to enjoy every phase and that's exactly what I did. If it were not for the low I would not be enjoying the high now. I sowed the seeds for success in this phase and now I am at the other end of the spectrum. However, I feel the pluses and minuses have balanced out and a new chapter has now begun.

Do you think you made the wrong set of choices earlier?

No wrong choices because every film has helped me discover something new. I learnt what to do and what not to do.

You did reject some offers. Didn’t you?

Offers poured in but I did not sign them for personal reasons. I am not saying that there are no good scripts or that I am above or better than all that is being offered. I rejected them only because I might not be talented enough to make much out of the script. People feel I am looking for a solo hero film but that's not true. I don't mind even a cameo as long as the role excites me. I did enough of run of the mill repetitive stuff after Kaho Na Pyaar Hai.

What prompted you to sign Dhoom?

I was waiting for a film that I would be capable of handling. I rely on instinct. Instinctively Dhoom appealed to me and of course my dad's film that I have been working on the past year.

It is said that only your dad brings out the best in you.

That's not true. I feel I grew with Lakshya — Farhan really tapped my talent. About working with my father, it so happens that I can tell him what I like and what I don't. With other filmmakers I don't really have that freedom.

So what have you learnt from your mistakes?

I learnt that as a teammate it's not wrong to express one's view honestly even if it hurts the other person as long as it deals with making a good film.

You were pitted against Shah Rukh Khan and it created some discomfort between the two of you. What is your equation now?

I was never uncomfortable, but maybe Shah Rukh was awkward with me. I was never in competition with SRK. It would be detrimental to my psyche if I started believing that I am his rival. I find it uncomfortable to even answer this question because even to consider me a competitor to him is ridiculous. It's like being pitted against Amitabh Bachchan. If you add on a few more years to the gap between SRK and me I could be considered competition to Amitabh. It's totally crazy. I would not even call Shah Rukh a friend because I respect him far more than that. I look up to him.

Whom do you turn to in times of stress?

Suzzanne, when I am emotionally distressed and my dad for work advice. Frankly speaking they are always there for me. I don't have to ask for support.

Finally are you playing it safe with sequels?

I am doing them because they are entertaining films and they excite me. Success of the first part is not the criteria when it comes to choosing films. In fact going by past records and you would know that sequels have never worked in India. But this fact alone does not scare me. The point is to break barriers and prove that there is nothing like a jinx.

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