Kaho Naa Star Hai-Exclusive interview of Hrithik
Times Of India
Tell me something that you haven’t told the whole world.

I haven’t talked to anyone about myself. It’s not a very good subject for me because I don’t like talking about myself. I was very shy and a complete introvert as a child. I was, and still am, not a very happening person. I was unable to go out and be there. Being terribly bashful, I found it difficult to stand and talk in front of a lot of people.

Now that you are a star and ‘ The Face of 2000,’ you cannot afford to be shy, so how are you handling that ?

I find it extremely difficult to interact with so many people on a personal basis. I am doing so many shows, so many interviews, I had to make deliberate efforts to get over my reserved attitude. It required a lot of mental conditioning and building up of my self- confidence. I am still in that stage of transition, and at times I am like 20 different people. I guess since I am an actor now, people look at me from a different angle. They expert me to behave in a certain manner, and in the process I end up putting up different fronts and projecting different characters. It’s a complete hotch- potch of attitudes. At times, I even fall to realise who the real me is I shy away from the limelight, but probably I will get comfy with it soon.

How did the film happen to you?

Dad had sheived a few projects before he announced that he was to try his hand at a love story. He had already started on the subject, which was fabulous, but I stopped dad and told him, "Believe me, I am the next generation. I don’t think this is working out right. Sharukh Khan seems too grown –up for this role, and all of them – Aamir, Salman and Sharukh Khan – have played romantics in their first films. That’s when he turned around and said I am taking you for the film. I was completely stunned.

Would you have been more comfortable with an outside production ?

Most certainly. I was extremely anxious and uncomfortable before the shooting of the film commenced.

What were the reasons ?

If I had launched my career with another director the angle would be different. I would have been somebody working with him as an actor, while with the home production I was taken for granted ghar ka jogi jogara. One obstruction was the tremendous regards and admiration felt for my father. I am very conscious of the way I sit and behave when my dad and I are in same room. This barrier is not wrong between a father and a son. But for an actor it vital that he completely eases with his director to be able to give the optimum performance. My role would require me to insult. Flirt, romance and do many other things, which I normally not do in front of my father.

So how did you cope?

So start with, worked with my relationship with my father for four months shedding my inhibitions and establishing a more friendly rapport. I had to make a conscious effort to break the barrier, and once I started shooting, I realized that my fears were unwarranted. And nothing could have been better than the launch. When it comes to work and three words ‘light’, ‘camera’,’action’, I loose my inhibitions and feel at home.

Did your father get a wind of your fears and try to help you out?

Yes, dad was extremely patient since he knew he was working with new actors. Also the fact that we are father and son worked to our advantage. He knows my inside outside; he can make the best judgement of my plus points and my drawbacks. We have tremendous compatibility and since I have worked with him for five years, I understand his ideas, what he visualizing, what he is trying to project, and how he wants me to express that scene. Ultimately, the whole thing turned out to be a cakewalk.

Star Son, Star Launch Pad. Was it a real cakewalk ?

It’s never easy for anybody. A lot of toil precedes the glamour that is seen on the screen. Every individual has his own struggle. I too have had-mine but I don'’ want to make a '‘hoo-ha’ about it or dramatise that angle.

Which was the most difficult shot?

There was no particular shot, which was difficult, but general what I find most difficult doing, is where the actor has nothing to do but look good.

That should be easy for you with your kind of looks!

(Modestly) Good looks is just about how you are presented. With the right lights and camera angle, anyone can look good.

Any embarrassing moments while shooting?

Not at all. I practiced my lines; I went into the life of the character, how he must have grown up, what his life must have been as a child. I created a biography of the character in my mind, and rehearsed before going to the sets. It was a completely professional approach.

Are you more comfortable with action, romance or dance

I am an actor. I am comfortable acting. I put effort into everything.

Comment on your unconventional looks

Some time back I was declared conventional looking, and now the opinion is different. Physical appeal takes a back seat as opposed to a real actor who can do justice to any role offered to him.

How was Ameesha as a co-star ?

We had a great tuning; she is extremely talented and will go on long way.

Will we see you enacting some negative roles ?

I think I will do great justice to a negative role. I feel I have another side to me that can portray roles with a darker shade.

Any thoughts about the future ?

I get jitters with expectations soaring high due to the roaring success of Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai.