‘I had the time of my life’
In an email chat, HRITHIK ROSHAN tells Pratim D. Gupta why Dhoom 2 can stand on its own, why he is not the villain and why there is no stunt left to be done
Of course I have watched Dhoom and the success of Dhoom creates a very good platform that obviously motivates a sequel. But what really propelled me into doing the film was the inherent script of Dhoom 2 itself. That really was my calling card.
It was exactly what I was looking for at that time and space. Because I was actually quite bored and stuck at that one end of the spectrum where I was doing this blatant good boy, good son, good brother, good lover kind of role. Though, of course, they are also quite enjoyable but it was time to take the big leap towards the other end of the spectrum. And what was waiting for me there was Mr A… Aryan, so I am really glad that I got the opportunity.
You have never really been seen in a negative light on screen. Why did you agree to play a so-called “villain”?
I don’t really see Aryan as negative. I see him on the wrong side of the law, but as a subtext which is of course in my head and my producer’s and director’s minds. But Aryan seems to be a guy who has this secret mission of ridding the world of all objects of desire that instil feelings of greed, create politics and feed the ego. All these pieces of highly desirable objects, like diamonds and jewellery, are displayed to the world so that you can just sit and covet.
According to him, these are the things that create greed and need and come in the way of true caring and being true to the people around you. It makes you lose yourself in wanting more and getting these objects for yourself. One really does not know what he does with all the things he robs in the film. In my head he does it because he can and because he thinks these objects of desire are something that are the cause of most of our egoistic battles and his mission is to rid the world of them. So I don’t really see him as a villain.
And his modus operandi is very unique because he does it with such flair that really it makes him out to be someone you want to be.
You are stepping into the shoes of John Abraham’s character which was extremely popular. Is that a challenge?
I think every film is a challenge. Though Aryan’s character does fit the space of the villain that John’s role was in Dhoom, but it’s got nothing to do with it whatsoever. It’s a completely different world and I would say that if we’ve gone a notch higher with Dhoom, it’s not satisfying enough, it needs to be 10 notches higher for it to actually make a mark, and that’s what I am hoping for.
The last time you and Abhishek came together in Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon, you were friends. Now you are foes. Which one is better and why?
We are always friends. Abhishek and I have grown up together and we wish the best for each other. Even working in this film with him has definitely made me decide one thing, that once in every two years I definitely want to do a film with him.
Working with him has been very fulfilling, as he’s a good person and he radiates that, and I am a person who works without any egos and so does Abhishek. He gives his best when he is in a shot and he is all for the scene to work in its entirety and there is a lot of give and take.
I love that, love working with actors who go beyond wanting to be the best, wanting to give the best so that the entirety of the scene comes out as the best. So he will think, as much for me as for himself and vice versa. So that is something I enjoy doing, because it really creates a bond and you actually enjoy the process of putting the film together.
How much time do you spend watching the success or the reaction to a film’s release? A day or two or three but what your life is actually about is the process of actually making these films, and what’s important is to enjoy those moments and I really think that working with Abhishek was one of the most fulfilling journeys of my career.
People keep talking about your many disguises in the movie. Without giving anything away, how did it feel to don many faces to con people?
The make-up experts that they brought in from London were truly people with a magic wand. They completely transformed me into other human beings and I cannot express how much fun and how exciting it was to live, to be and to project another completely different human being that particular day, or days, of those shoots. I had the time of my life.
What kind of stunts have you done in the film?
I have done everything in this film that anyone can aspire to do in an action film, be it sand boarding, snow boarding, sky diving, train walking, jumping off a cliff, bikes, cars everything that you can think of. So I don’t think there’s anything left; I think Dhoom 2 has it all.
I had no idea what was waiting for me once I was preparing to get into Dhoom 2 and I realised what I had done for Krrish was nothing in comparison. It was asking a lot more of me. So there were three months of roller-blade training which I think is the most difficult sport to pick up, and the most dangerous, because if you fall, you most definitely break a bone. I have never given three months of my time to any training; three months just for one sequence!
Then, of course, there was snow boarding for which I flew to Dubai and trained myself in an indoor snow mountain that they have created very fantastically. Then there was walking on the train, doing stunts on and off the train, sand boarding behind the train. I was actually hooked on to a rope I was holding onto with my bare palm, with the train at a speed of 60 kmph. Then I was on a sand board just skimming behind it on sand. A little falter here and a little falter there and I would have landed on the tracks and at that speed to land on and graze the tracks would spell nothing less than…
Yes, I have taken a few tumbles and scraped through near-death experiences, but came out feeling most exhilarated and alive. So it’s been a great experience.
What was it like working with Aishwarya for the first time?
It was a pleasure to work with Aishwarya because she is an actress who is not concerned with just her close-up or make-up or what she is doing in isolation. Her talent is definitely much beyond her looks and her beauty. So it’s been inspiring, engrossing, exciting… it’s been a whole lot of fun. Then I also worked with Bipasha for the first time. She is just so casual to be with, you know she is just herself and she’s got no airs and is really easy to be with.
I think every film has this one particular schedule which becomes memorable because that’s the one in which you all bond. So, for Dhoom 2, the Brazil trip while we were there for over a month in Rio, we all bonded… Abhishek, Aishwarya, Bipasha, Uday and I.
We had a lot of time together, so it was great, just walking on the beach, swimming in the ocean. Imagine Abhishek, Aishwarya, Bipasha, Uday and myself in our costumes swimming in the seas of Rio with not a care in the world because nobody knew us there! It was absolutely phenomenally exhilarating. It was a whole load of fun.
You have been part of a successful sequel like Krrish. Why did you think it worked and why do you feel Dhoom 2 will work as a sequel?
I don’t think sequels work, or films of a certain kind work. I think what works is basically good films, and bad films don’t. Dhoom 2 should have been made even if there was no Dhoom Part 1. So, if Dhoom 2 is a good film by itself — which I think it is — and not resting on the laurels of Dhoom Part 1, it will work. I think that was what worked with Krrish, because it was not resting on the success of Koi… Mil Gaya. It took on from there but became a completely different world by itself, and should have been a film by itself even if there was no Koi… Mil Gaya. So this is what sequels should be about, they should not rest on laurels of the previous hit, and that is what Dhoom 2 hopefully will do.