Celebrity Interview: Hrithik Roshan ...

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By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service

Mumbai, (IANS) Hrithik Roshan is scaling new heights after the success of "Krrish" and says that if the film had flopped its impact would have been ruinous.

"I have been accepted as both Rohit, who is mentally challenged, and Krrish who is a super-hero. My picture is complete. For me it is a great compliment.

"The thought of taking on the mantle of the super-hero, especially after playing the frail and vulnerable Rohit, was intimidating. If I had failed as a super-hero, I would've had a huge fall," Hrithik told IANS in an interview.

People's expectations inspire Hrithik.

"People are expecting more from me each time. It means I am climbing higher, staying evolved and inspired.

"Yes, my next super-hero film will have more of everything. I want to take that film to another level completely. This time there will be no excuses about the budget. We are going to get technical help from all over the world. We'll give the next super-hero film our best shot."

Excerpts from the interview:

Q: "Krrish" has turned you into a children's icon?

A: It is a great feeling. To have films like "Koi... Mil Gaya" and "Krrish" in my career is in itself a blessing. I have been accepted as both Rohit, who is mentally challenged, and Krrish, who's a super-hero.

In "Koi... Mil Gaya" audiences connected emotionally with my character. It was almost an acceptance of the real childlike and innocent personality in us as opposed to the artifice that we all have to assume and project in society.

"Krrish", on the other hand, is all about the mystique of the perfect exterior... a perfect blend of the real and the ethereal. It's heartening to know audiences have the compassion and understanding to love the imperfect hero as much as the perfect one. And to have both of these works being appreciated is an exhilarating and humbling experience.

My picture is complete. For me it's a great compliment. The thought of taking on the mantle of the super-hero, especially after playing the frail and vulnerable Rohit was intimidating. If I had failed as a super-hero, I would've had a huge fall.

Q: And now kids in India love you more than Superman.

A: That's great to know. I have always believed good films run and bad films don't. One constraint that actually worked to our advantage was the budget.

Because of lack of funds we couldn't afford computer-generated stunts for "Krrish". It was all done in real time by me. That is one reason why "Krrish" is visually so appealing. It is not a cartoon.

Q: Did you watch "Superman Returns"?

A: Yes I did in Durban. I love Superman. And there can be no competition between Krrish and Superman. They both belong to the same fraternity. Having said that I must say I definitely missed Christopher Reeve in the new Superman movie. He's a very tough act to follow up. I didn't really think the new actor Brendon Routh matched up.

Q: And you as Krrish are tough to match up in the next super-hero flick.

A: (Laughs) It just means my work is getting better. People are expecting more from me each time. It means I am climbing higher, staying evolved and inspired.

I like that thought. Yes, my next super-hero film will have more of everything. I want to take that film to another level completely. This time there will be no excuses about the budget. We are going to get technical help from all over the world. We'll give the next super-hero film our best shot.

Q: The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Indore has selected "Krrish" for an international case study.

A: It is amazing. It just adds to the whole excitement of the success of "Krrish". It is a very significant acknowledgement of our efforts. I am really happy and excited. This academic endorsement is exceptional to Indian cinema. Everyone knows about dad's level of creativity. But this honour also acknowledges his unbelievable acumen as a business strategist.

He is not just a master of content but also the packaging of a movie. Filmmaking is not just about telling a good story. It is also about packaging and marketing. The IIM honour endorses all of this in "Krrish".

Q: The IIM will send the case study on "Krrish" all across the world.

A: I knew it'd have a reach but this kind of reach? No way! I didn't know such an honour existed for our cinema. None of our films has been academically acknowledged. This is another new record for "Krrish". The film has so many firsts to its credit. One more feather in the cap!

Q: There was a story about Shah Rukh Khan being annoyed with you while shooting for Arjun Rampal's film in London together?

A: I don't even want to react to such baseless rumours. This is nothing but concoction. Firstly, Shah Rukh and I didn't even shoot together for Arjun's film.

The shooting was in London, and Shah Rukh was not present when I was shooting. Shah Rukh had shot three days before me. I landed in London after his shot was done. Mine was a shot with Arjun, not Shah Rukh. I just had walk through the shot. As simple as that. I gave it and went home.