Hrithik Roshan: I wanted to play the role of Kaal in Krrish 3!

India’s most loved superhero is back in Krrish 3, but this time he’s bigger, better and more powerful, says Hrithik

Thanks to Hrithik Roshan, Bollywood has its first superhero franchise, taken one step further with Krrish 3. And even though comparisons are being made with Hollywood superhero films, Roshan Jr isn’t worried. In fact, he believes it’s a good thing. Why? Well, we aren’t going to give away everything so easily! We recently caught up with the talented actor and found that he was in great shape post his brain surgery and the recovery period he had to wait through. It was easy to see that Hrithik was as excited about his superhero film as any five year old would be. But his journey has not been easy. Find what out what the honey-eyed actor had to go through while shooting the superhero flick, how difficult was it for him to play a double role and why he says Krrish is not the real hero of the film….

You faced a lot of ups and downs while filming Krrish 3….

Every film has its ups and downs. Yes, this film had a bit more. When we started to make the film, it seemed impossible. For instance, he is an Indian superhero, so how do we show him saving India? Obviously we couldn’t have shot the film anywhere else, coz then how do you show the people? So it was quite impossible when we started. Also, when I started working on the film, I had a double slipped disc in my back and doctors told me not to do it – or for that matter, any action film. A lot of things we went through, with this film. But every struggle leads to courage and leads to finding that power inside you. And now that we are out of it, it feels very, very rewarding. When we look back now, it seems like we had an opportunity and we took that to become better, more powerful and more courageous. Life is always better when you have a challenge to go through and life becomes even more happy when you come through it.

How tough was it to do the action scenes, especially since you weren’t fit?

When the shooting started, every single time I wore my suit I felt unstoppable. I did a lot of research to solve my problems, coz my knees were bad, my back was bad and my shoulders were broken. So I used whatever resources I had. I was like Humpty Dumpty, but I put myself back together and after doing action for 85 days I felt like an 18 year old. So science told me it was impossible, but anything is possible!

Your film is being compared to Hollywood films like X-Men – a lot of the characters are the same….

Comparisons are good. At least we have a film of a genre that can be compared in terms of special effects, compared in terms of the superhero genre that till now has been non-existent. So comparisons are always good. I am just happy that we have something now in our cinema that we can present on a world platform as Indians. Coz this is your first fully home grown high budget visual effects superhero musical extravaganza. So it’s a very proud feeling for me that my father decided that if this film gets made, then all hands on this film would be Indians. Imagine the kind of pride, the recognition our artists will get, coz up till now nobody had faith in them. We had enough faith to give them an opportunity like this. After this, the world will be cheering for them. The fact that our trailer got 17 million hits on YouTube shows that even people who are not Hindi film watchers are curious to know what India is doing.

Is Krrish 3 the answer to Hollywood superhero films?

I am not answering anyone. We are just making a movie that we are excited about and enthusiastic about. And it happens to be a superhero film that has never been done before in our country. Coz Krrish was not really a superhero movie. It saw the birth of superhero maybe, at the end of the film. This is your first full-fledged superhero film. I am just exited as a child to have a Frogman, a Cheetahgirl, Rhinoman, Scorpiongirl in a film. It’s just about being enthusiastic about what you do.

A lot of filmmakers are doing away with songs in their films. Since your film is sci-fi, was music needed?

There are a lot of ways to incorporate songs in films. My father is from the school of thought that music is very important for films and it was difficult of incorporate songs in this film purely because of the kind of screenplay we were required to have. You can’t have mutants dancing; you can’t have Kaal dancing or even a superhero dancing, for that matter. We had songs in Krrish 3 coz there was a love story in the plot. So it was difficult, but once you see the film you will realise that the songs have been integrated beautifully. And I don’t think that people will ever do away with songs. There will be a background track that will be part of a film. We are musical people, yaar, we are Indians! We celebrate with music. Music is in our blood, so I don’t think there will be any film without music.

What was it like to battle Vivek Oberoi as the bad guy?

Vivek is one of the best actors that I have worked with. He is a complete team player and he was my first choice. When we sat down to think who should play Kaal , I had two names – myself and Vivek. I first said to my dad, ‘Let me play the role, I would love to do it’, but they didn’t allow that. My second choice was Vivek. Nobody else could have played this role better than him, coz he has got the intensity and he an earnest actor.

Before Krrish 3, you played a double role in your debut film Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai. How different and difficult was it this time around?

This was difficult because to reprise Rohit from Koi Mil Gaya was tough. He is child-like – that was challenging. And I wasn’t sure if I could play Rohit, coz my body has changed, his face has changed. It was big challenge, coz he is not only a child in the film, but he is also a father. So to balance out the child-like qualities and yet have the power to give him the strength to put his hand on his son’s shoulder and say, ‘I am your father’ – that required a lot of thinking. Also, Rohit is the hero of the film more than Krrish. The entire story revolves around him. From Koi Mil Gaya to now, it’s all about Rohit. So I knew I had to get Rohit right. Hopefully I have – when you see the film, you let me know (smiles). So it was a huge challenge, specially after playing Krrish all night and then get in to the make-up room and spend three hours for doing the make-up of Rohit. And then to get into Rohit’s emotional space when I am so tired after playing Krrish! I had to go back into the same frame and act opposite the me who was not there. So I am actually acting opposite air. So when you see both of us in same frame, one of us is not there. When you watch the film, look at it like that (laughs).

You had a stammering problem, a back problem, then recently your brain surgery. How do you cope with so many problems?

Like we all do. You know, life is not about holding the best cards; it’s about how well you play the cards you have been dealt. So I didn’t have the best cards, but I had some good ones. And I played them well. Every weak moment of mine has been my strength. It turned into my strength. In your life there is nothing in your control. Life will knock you up and down. The only thing you can control is your perspective and your attitude. You just have to do what is in your control and leave the rest to God.

At one point, you must have asked the question ‘Why me!’…

Yes, that is a very dangerous question to ask because, believe me, you will never get an answer. Asking why is very dis-empowering. First, you won’t get any answers and if you do get answers, you will blame others. Whatever is happening in your life is your responsibility. When you take full responsibility, the steering of wheel of your life comes into your hand. And then you can steer it wherever you want to. So these are the things I have learned through my journey. We all wish for super-powers – like I wish I could fly or be invisible. But I think the best super-power we already have is our choice to control our attitude. Once you do that, you can go through anything.

After Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, you are working with Katrina Kaif in Bang Bang….

Bang Bang is going to be a drastically different film from Krrish 3 and that’s how I like it, bouncing from one film to another. I don’t like monotony, coz the only thing that will saturate you is if you are doing the same thing over and over again. So I am quite excited to do the film.

You will also be working with Kareena Kapoor Khan in Shuddhi

Yeah… I will talk about Shuddhi next year when we start shooting (laughs).