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Hrithik Roshan: There was a point where I just wanted to put a full stop to my life


Hrithik Roshan grew up thinking that you work hard, gain success, have a family and you will be happy. But things have changed for him over the last one year. 

From a point in time when he wanted to put a stop to his life, he has learnt that the most important thing is to be happy and other things will follow. He has opened up and regained his self esteem. From being a nice guy willing to go any distance to please others, he is today a good guy who is content with life. Ahead of his upcoming action entertainer Bang Bang, he talks to Bombay Times about the difficult journey of making the film, his favourite co-stars and how he loves being the provider for his sons. Excerpts:

You went through a lot professionally and personally during the shooting of Bang Bang. How difficult was it to make this film?

I remember when I signed the film, people were very skeptical and wondered why I had chosen to work with Siddharth Anand. I was quite surprised that people judge other people based on the work they have done in the past or based on their own opinions based on your likes and dislikes. You really can't do that as life is a process of change and evolution. People grow and learn and I judge people basis what they are in front of me right there and then. You cannot judge a person by what you have heard of him or what he has been in the past. He stalked my imagination, inspired me, gave me gooseflesh and I go with that. That has to be real. You can't fake it and that is all that matters. I go with my instinct in matters of creativity. Siddharth is unstoppable. He has been such a strong force behind Bang Bang and I am so grateful to him for that. It was so easy for him to succumb to finger pointing, saying things about me, him, us, when the film got delayed. People love doing that and that is okay. But Siddharth and I were the only two people standing in that corner pointing our fingers to that peak, knowing that somehow we will get there one way or the other. We were there empowering each other all the way through. I had promised him that when I get back, I am going to make this film bigger and better than anything else that I have done in my life. And he promised the same to me in return. There were things I was going throughout the making of the film, both personally and professionally, but we were so strong in our vision.

Sid has been a great source of friendship and inspiration and he is the one who gave me the platform to channelise whatever was going on in the most constructive way. There was a point in time that I just didn't want to go ahead with anything in my life. I think it's at that precipice that you decide what kind of a man you want to be and that is when I discovered myself. I took myself out of that equation and started focusing outwards towards other people. There was a point where I just wanted to put a full stop to my life and I discovered a whole new world. I decided that while I had conquered the physical muscle, it was a time to build the mental muscle. The mind will keep saying no and I am going to keep pushing it forward. The first rule was that I am going to be. I asked myself, 'What can I do about this right now? How can I make my life better?' And the answers came. I did every single thing that I didn't feel like doing. I didn't feel like going to the gym, so, I went to the gym. I would ask myself, 'What do I build my body for? I have a hole in my head. Where am I going?' Just stupid questions. Questions that have negative answers. I didn't feel like going out to meet my friends. I went out. I didn't feel like getting out of bed. I sprang up. Every single thing I didn't feel like doing, I did. Every single day I came back and tick-marked. I would write it and slowly, it became automatic and I felt wow. Mental muscle is a fantastic aspect if you form a blueprint in your head. Today, I don't think there is anything that can happen in my life that will affect me negatively. Even the most disastrous thing will put me down only for 10 minutes. There will be a point in life when the model of your world may change and you may not be able to see the way forward. Because you have been looking at it in a way that you have been trained to look at it. You have grown up with a philosophy of work hard, gain success, have a family and that is equal to happiness. But the model breaks and you have to realise that you have to be happy first and all the other things will follow.

Are you happy?

I am very content. I am quite sure, years from now when I will connect all the dots, as has always happened in my life, everything will make sense.

What gives you the most joy in life today?

I was earlier very happy in my cocoon. I had been successful, had beautiful children and had found my soulmate. I didn't care about the outside world and didn't even know that it existed. But it was a change that was forced upon me. Today, I love being around people. I see someone and can almost gauge what this person needs from me now.

Talk about working with Katrina Kaif?

She amazes me because of her accomplishment, given that she didn't even know the language. To learn a new language and conquer a new domain in a language that you don't speak, I think, is incredible. She is very hardworking and works like a man. She is a worker. She is a go-getter and has that drive and passion and will work those late hours and will do whatever it takes to accomplish what she wants. Also, she is feminine energy, which is just beautiful.

Which are your favourite co-stars? 

I have had a great on-screen pairing with Katrina, Aishwarya and Priyanka. With Aishwarya, the give-and-take we would achieve was incredible. The way she has built her craft is very similar to my craft. The tools she uses to make things are similar to what I use. At times, she will look at me and I would feel shit that she knows my secret and knows why I am doing this. That is going to make me look better as she does the same thing and I would feel like I was caught. Her focus matched my focus beautifully. Priyanka is just so easy to work with. She is very strong which is why, she can take bullshit and still smile. I have had instances when I have been inspired by her.

So far, you have chosen to do only one film a year. Will we see that change?

I would like to change that for sure. And that will change sooner than you think.

Do you enjoy the role of playing a father?

Hrehaan and Hridhaan are pure angels and pure delight. Unfortunately, they are not naughty and that keeps me a little concerned as I too, was not naughty as a kid. I am now trying to push them out to do things. They are too special and beautiful and being around them is such a great opportunity to contribute to them. I love playing a father. I miss it so much. One of the most beautiful parts of being a father is that you are the provider. There will be durations where you will be out there and not see them for days on end and that's the time you should feel stronger about yourself that you are working to provide for them. When I miss them too much, instead of feeling too bad, I rephrase it and tell myself that I am doing this as I am a provider. And they will be better people knowing that they had a strong father who went out there and provided for them. Love should never disempower you. It should empower you even more. When I am with them, it's all about how I can inspire them more, stimulate their minds, how I can make them understand the human nature. They have just started to use their mental muscle.


How different is your relationship with your sons versus what yours was with your father, Rakesh Roshan? 

Up till just a few years back, my relationship with my father was more formal. We always had an amazing relationship, but there was so much respect that I would always be in awe. He is like a control freak and I was always worried about upsetting him, but that's changed now. It's amazing how people evolve. He has found his true nature and is only full of love now. Which other couple in his domain or career takes his wife out for dates? I go to my mom's room sometimes and she is not there. The next day, I go again and again, she is not there and I will ask, 'Mama, where have you been?' and she says, 'Papa keeps taking me out for these dates'. Can you imagine? That's what loyalty does. If you are loyal to anything in your life, it could be your career, a business or to a person, it pays back no matter what.

You have been so closed in the past. It's so beautiful to see you so open today, accepting your weaknesses with ease. What makes you so secure?

Because I don't fear being human. All my life, I have been closed and have tried to protect myself too much, so much so that I turned into being this nice guy. There is a big difference between being a nice guy and a good guy. A nice guy will be nice to everyone. Why? Because he wants everyone to like him as he thinks that he has so many flaws and he is not good enough and does not have any self-esteem or self-worth so he has to be nice to everyone as he wants everyone to love and like him. Nice guys will always suffer all their lives as they will be pleasing others all the time and will tire themselves completely. A good guy has his self-worth, does good for everyone but will not please. He is there to do good to everyone and does the right thing. I would say, 'Don't be the nice guy. Be the good guy.'
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