Hrithik will be Rambo !
The industry poll conducted last year pointed to the fact that Krrish will be the most awaited release of 2006. Do such expectations put undue pressure on you?
It depends on how seriously you take such predictions. As a filmmaker my prior concern is to make a palatable product which will be liked by the masses. I consider myself lucky that my films have always been appreciated at the box-office and people have been very kind to my films. Frankly, no director has a fixed formula for success. The film might work or might fall flat. Your fate lies in the hands of those millions who spend money to come and watch our kind of cinema. As far as expectations are concerned, people are banking on the Hrithik and Rakesh Roshan combination. That scares me sometimes, but I guess it is all a part of Bollywood.
Why do people have such high expectations from Krrish? Is it because of you or Hrithik?
I think it is because of the trio combination, that of my brother Rajesh Roshan, my son Hrithik and me. Probably people have faith in our production and believe that they won’t be let down. But there is no denying Hrithik’s star status and his eagerly awaited performance. And I assure you that they won’t be disappointed at all. Hrithik has put two-and-a-half years in this project and God can’t be cruel to him. If everything falls in place, it will be hat-trick for us.
Why did you select Singapore for your outdoor shoot?
I wanted a modern city with concrete buildings and a beautiful landscape. About 60 per cent of my film has been shot there. We had to caudron off roads, public places, malls and other locations for the shoot; for which I must thank the Singapore government who were extremely co-operative.
Your first choice for the female lead was Aishwarya Rai. But you dumped her because she refused to give a screen test with Hrithik for the role?
Yes, I did approach Aishwarya for the role and she was very keen on doing the role. She also had her international commitments. Hrithik is doing just one film at a time, so I had all his time and had to match his dates with the female lead. Priyanka willingly gave me all the dates I required. As regards the screen test, we didn’t even reach that level. Ash is a fantastic person and Hrithik will be working with her in Dhoom 2 and Akbar Jodha.
Is it true that you had asked Hrithik to give a screen test before you signed him for Krrish?
Yes. That’s the procedure I go through for all my films. I see him as Duggu at home, but I needed to see whether he suited the character with make-up and in a costume. I am a thorough professional and so is Duggu. He worked really hard on his body and grew his hair. I wanted to see how he looked on camera, so I requested my photographer friend Rakesh Shrestha to do a series of photo sessions with him. After that session we again worked on the make-up and look. Duggu was extremely co-operative as he was also gaining confidence in the procedure.
This is your first attempt at a sequel. How did you conceive the plot?
If you observe carefully, you will see that I have tried to portray Hrithik as a romantic boy in Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, and then he played a mentally challenged character in Koi Mil Gaya. This time I thought of presenting him as a powerful man. In fact, I wanted him to be like Rambo. Krrish will introduce the concept of a super hero in Indian cinema.
So do we get to see Jadoo once again on screen?
No. I have not used Jadoo in the sequel. Simply because Jadoo was supposed to give powers to Hrithik and then he left planet Earth. Krrish narrates the story thereafter.
How did you manage to convince Rekha to play Hrithik’s grandmother in this film?
When I approached Rekha she was slightly sceptical about playing Hrithikâ€™s grandmother. But I reasoned with her and said â€“ â€˜I am making a sequel and if you turn down the offer I won’t be able to make the film at all.â€™ We share a fantastic rapport, and she agreed to the project immediately. She has done a fantastic job as an old lady.
When Hrithik was heralded as a star, trade pundits felt that you needed Hrithik more than he needed you. A dozen flops later, it was your Koi Mil Gaya that resurrected his career, and people felt otherwise. Comment
We both need each other. I can’t think of making a film without Hrithik. If I have talent at home why would I take an actor from outside? Besides, the kind of dedication I get from Hrithik is something which I can’t command from anyone else.
During the Singapore shoot, Hrithik met with an accident. What was your reaction as a father?
Let me clarify that if any crew member had met with an accident I would have been equally caring. It happened in a second and before we could realise the enormity of the event, I saw Hrithik falling from mid-air. Thankfully there were canopies, which saved Hrithik’s life. I was very disturbed and kept inquiring about how he was doing. He is my son but I treat him like any other actor on my sets.
Hrithik assisted you in Koyla and is interested in the technical aspects of film-making. Does he interfere in your work and give unsolicited advice?
No. He is a brilliant technician. He understands camera, lights, editing and even other minor details of filmmaking. I appreciate him giving me advice. He sits with me from the scripting to editing I won’t be surprised if he decides to direct a film in the near future.
Hrithik and Suzanne are in the family way, which will make you a grandfather soon. How does that make you feel?
I have already become a Nana, now it’s time to become Dada. This year is very special for me â€“ Krrish will be releasing and there will be a new member in our family.
Hrithik is trying to spend maximum time with Suzanne and they are both very excited to be first-time parents.