Time flies when you are with Hrithik Roshan
In town for a brand endorsement, we catch up for a quick chat with Bollywood's man of the moment, Hrithik Roshan, who is currently enjoying the humongous success of his action thriller War
What do you do when you are strapped for time and Bollywood heart-throb Hrithik Roshan is seated across you for a '5-minutes-only' interview?
Ironically enough, the actor was in Dubai in his position as brand ambassador for Swiss luxury watchmaking company Rado at the Rivoli R Lounge, The H Hotel, on Thursday evening. Time then was of great essence, though judging by Roshan's demeanor and body language, the man was as cool as the super spy Kabir he essays in the action thriller War, that is currently playing in UAE theatres.
Clad in an uber cool lime-green tinged jacket, Roshan was his calm and collected self. There was none of the animation and philosophising we were used to from previous conversations with the Bollywood superstar.
But when you are given only a few minutes with the man of the moment, you grab it and run with it. After all Roshan is the current Golden Boy of the Hindi film industry, with his latest release War raking in more than 200 crores at the box office within a week of releasing. It's a feat that is unmatched in the history of Bollywood, we are made to understand.
On a high
Scroll through Hrithik's recent social media posts, and you are inundated with tweets and comments from the Bollywood fraternity expressing their awe and support of the superhero, who has indulged in some of the best action sequences of his career in this movie.
"It feels absolutely great," acknowledges Hrithik when we ask him about his response to the huge show of solidarity from within the industry. "I have a lot of gratitude that this (War) has worked because if it had not, it would have disempowered me. I really put in a lot of work in both my last films (Super 30 and War). And both films were very, very, important to me personally."
Prod him a bit more as to why, since for every actor the success of his latest release matters the most, and he elaborates: "I feel encouraged. I feel like my instincts have been reaffirmed."
Super 30 where he essayed the real-life mathematician Anand Kumar, who tutors smart underprivileged students to appear for the Indian Institute of Technology's (IIT) entrance exams, one of the most competitive ones in the country, saw the actor take on an unlikely role. After all, he has played the romantic hero and the superhero to perfection in movies like Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai and Krrish. But despite criticism for his 'brown face' Hrithik showcased that when it comes to passion and raw talent, there is no beating a man who is willing to go the extra mile to get under the skin of his character.
While the numbers speak for themselves, in the case of War, one also needs to acknowledge that critics have had a field day ripping into the improbable plot lines and the larger than life action sequences that the Siddharth Anand-directed film boasts of. "I think it (criticism) is always good. I get a lot of growth when I hear something that is pointing out a flaw in my film or my performance," he insists. "I listen to them. I hear them. And Thank God for them! Somewhere in there you might discover something that you can learn from."
Two-hero movies usually suffer from unidimensional focus, especially if one is a superstar of Hrithik Roshan's stature. But War is refreshingly different in that both he and Tiger get enough screen space to showcase their unique talent. So how does the older actor get to be so generous in an industry where one constantly hears about stars cutting each other out of scenes?
"It is the kind of people we are," Hrithik explains. "I don't think either of us (Tiger or me) are the kind of actors who are striving for more attention. It is about bringing in good cinema, I come from that school of cinema and as a result if I have to cut down on my role and give a push or more prominence to another actor, I would do it."
While we missed the more eloquent Hrithik Roshan, we have to admit that the man seated in front of us, seemed more mature and at peace with himself.
A day in the life of Hrithik Roshan
Even before War gave us an eyeful of the muscular bod that is the stuff women tend to drool over and a source of envy for men all over, Hrithik Roshan is used to being referred to as an Adonis or a Greek God due to his sheer physicality. So naturally we were curious to learn about a day in the life of an action hero.
"I'm very disciplined when it is needed. If I am doing a movie where I have to look a particular way, everything is pre-planned - there is a waking up time, there is an eating time. But right now it is absolutely the opposite," he says, implying the post film schedule has been much more easier on him.
"Ideal day would be wake up at sunrise, do my cardio, have black coffee; Finish my cardio, then have my breakfast; eat every two-and-a-half hours. Spend the day working, workout in the evening, work on the set; contribute to the film and the people around me.
"Come back home, spend time with my kids, workout and study for the next day's work and sleep."
For someone who leads such a disciplined life, Roshan is also quick to put in that, "I cut off only when the work is over."
Hrithik answers the Proust questionnaire
What's your current state of mind?
Everyday is spent in a bit of anticipation. It's mixed with relief. Relief that the film (War) is a big success. Anticipation because I still want to know what the final number is!
What's your most overrated virtue?
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I love my appearance.
Which word or phrase do you tend to overuse the most?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
(Takes time to think) Nothing.
What's your greatest extravaganza?
Time for rapid fire round
What's the best time of your life?
Right here, right now.
What's the most important time of the day for you?
When was the last time you felt on top of the world?
I feel on top of the world quite often nowadays!
If you could stop time, whom would you want to spend it with?
With my kids.
If you could time travel, which part of your life would you revisit?
The first few years of me as an actor after Kaho Naa.. Pyaar Hai released. I think I could help him understand a few things faster. I think I wasted too long in learning a few things about my acting, about my art, which I probably could have in my past, if I talked to myself.
Hrithik says the success of Super 30 has empowered him to listen to his intuition
Hrithik in a scene from his action thriller War