Some ‘Roshan’ Musings on Hrithik!

Hrithik Roshan completed a young 50 on January 10. Photo: Publicity Photo

Hrithik Roshan was born on January 10, 1974 to actor Rakesh Roshan and his wife Pinky Roshan. On his 50th birthday, here’s looking at 30 ‘Roshan’ (illuminating) facts about the youngest of the Big Six superstars who have ruled Hindi cinema non-stop from 2000. Of course, there have been additions to this list of late. But Hrithik has been at the top for the last 24 years—and counting!

With dancer Karishma Sharma in his debut production, Super 30. Photo: Publicity Photo
  1. Hrithik Roshan is the grandson of the magnificent composer Roshan (best known for Barsaat Ki Raat, Aarti and Mamta) and his singer-composer wife Ira Roshan.
  2. His uncle is the luminous composer, Rajesh Roshan (of Julie, Mr. Natwarlal and Khudgarz fame).
  3. On his mother’s side, he is the grandson of one-time top filmmaker J. O, Prakash, who was known to make films with great music like Aan Milo Sajana, Aap Ki Kasam and Aasha.
  4. Hrithik’s own debut was as a child artiste in the last-mentioned film in 1980. The Golden Jubilee Jeetendra-Reena Roy blockbuster saw him as a young boy dancing when the hero is singing the hit Jaane hum sadak le logon par mehlowale kyoon jalte hain. He was paid Rs. 100 for it!
  5. Music did not seem to leave young Hrithik. His next appearance was in Aap Ke Deewane, his father’s first home production in the same year, in which he played a child on the beach during the friendship song between his father Rakesh on-screen and Rishi Kapoor—Ram kare Allah kare.
  6. In his grandfather’s next directorial, Aas Paas, he again was the messenger of a love note between Dharmendra and Hema Malini in the Rafi-Lata hit, Shehar mein charcha hai.
  7. Then came the song Main hoon deewana with Jeetendra again in Apna Bana Lo, completing a hat-trick of songs composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and lyrics by Anand Bakshi after Aasha and Aas Paas.
  8. Up next was his fourth dancing enterprise in the song Sadda vesda raye Punjab in Om-ji’s directorial, Aasra Pyar Da, a Punjabi film released in 1983.
  9. In Bhagwan Dada (1986) produced by Rakesh Roshan and directed by Om-ji, he played his first featured role. This was also the film that saw Hrithik’s first reel ‘death’ and a memorable fight scene between Hrithik and villain Danny and his performance as Rajinikanth’s son won great acclaim. This film was remarkable for one more song, Chugh gayi chidiya jo khet, in which Hrithik as a 11-year-old dances with Sridevi. The song remains the only one in which he is seen sharing screen space, albeit at a distance, with his father, Rakesh Roshan.
  10. 10In his father’s very next film and directorial debut, Khudgarz (1987), the just-into teenage Hrithik became assistant director to him! The film was a super-hit and a Golden Jubilee and remains among the biggest hits of the year. Jeetendra, Rakesh’s good friend and leading man of Aasha and Apna Bana Lo, who had done a cameo also in Aap Ke Deewane, was its leading man again.
  11. King Uncle, Karan Arjun and Koyla, again made by Rakesh Roshan in the 1990s, saw Hrithik assist his father. It is more than possible that this was the beginning of a rapport with Shah Rukh Khan, with whom he had a long phase of friendship before things soured a few years ago. On sets of Koyla, Hrithik would enact SRK’s scenes to judge himself.
  12. Despite all this, he studied acting under Kishore Namit Kapoor.
  13. Apart from SRK’s home production, Om Shanti Om, in which he appeared as himself, Hrithik also did a cameo in SRK’s production, Don 2 (2011). The role was of the senior hero wearing a mask to look like Hrithik!
  14. The last film in which Hrithik assisted his father was the delayed directorial, Karobaar, which was released months after Hrithik’s lead debut in Kaho Naa…Pyaar Hai (2000).
  15. Continuing Hrithik’s association with music, he first recorded some spoken lines for a song, Udit Narayan’s Hawaaon ne yeh kahaa in Aap Mujhe Acche Lagne Lage, in which he was the hero. The song, composed by his uncle, Rajesh Roshan, had Hrithik recite a couplet before the singer took over.
  16. The first proper song Hrithik sang was in Rajesh Roshan’s Kites (2010), but it was an  English song, Kites in the sky, a duet with Suzanne D’Mello. Recalled the composer, “After I composed the song, and my brother Rakesh and director Anurag Basu were wondering who would sing it, we thought of Hrithik, as this is a film on an international canvas and in the West heroes also sing,” Hrithik took two months to learn the song, first the notations and then the song itself. He did intensive riyaaz and then recorded the song!
  17. Next, came another English melody, What a wonderful world, composed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali in Guzaarish in the same year.
  18. But Hrithik recorded a proper Hindi song under Bhansali for the same film that was to be the 11th song on the soundtrack and he would be lip-synching it on screen, but after the film flopped nothing more was heard about it.
  19. And so the first Hindi song Hrithik rendered was the hit song Senorita in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara under Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. It was written by Javed Akhtar in Hindi with some Spanish choral refrains and all three leading men—Abhay Deol and Farhan Akhtar being the other two—sang along with him.
  20. However, about singing regularly on screen, Hrithik says candidly, “I think that an actor should sing only rarely when he can connect with his character’s soul perhaps better than a trained singer. This was one of those times. Otherwise we cannot match professional singers.”
  21. Hrithik also stepped into film production with the successful Super 30, Hrithik’s first and so far only biopic. While all his father’s productions have had music by Rajesh Roshan, this film had Ajay-Atul doing the music score.
  22. This was the film in which he was involved sufficiently with his character of Anand Kumar, the mathematics teacher and educator. He sang the song Question mark.
  23. It is said that Salman Khan initiated Hrithik into fitness and body-building before he became a hero.
  24. After Rishi Kapoor (Bobby) and Kamal Haasan in Hindi films (Ek Duuje Ke Liye), he became the first star to have his debut film, Kaho Naa…Pyaar Hai, become the year’s biggest hit. Since then, no hero has managed this feat! It released four days after his 26th birthday in 2000.
  25. Subsequently, his Koi…Mil Gaya (2003) and Dhoom:2 (2006) also became the respective years’ biggest hits. In 2006, Krrish was also the second biggest hit of that year.
  26. Before he became a top star, he was diagnosed with scoliosis and was told that he would not be able to become an actor. But determination and will-power won the day for this man who also would stammer from the age of six and avoid oral tests in school!
  27. These two ailments were the probable inspirations for his character of Rohit in Koi…Mil Gaya and the quadriplegic magician of Guzaarish for his producer father and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
  28. Hrithik’s first 100-crore grosser was thus Don 2 in a cameo. However, a few months later, he starred as the main lead (earlier essayed by Amitabh Bachchan) in the 2012 Agneepath. The list goes on to include Krrish 3, Bang Bang!, Kaabil, Super 30 and War. The last-mentioned film crossed Rs. 300 crore.
  29. In Bang Bang! he did Flyboarding for the first time in an Indian film (This is a water sport where a rider balances on a flyboard and maintains balance while being propelled into the air by extremely high forces of water. The The entire contraption is controlled from a boat or jet ski to which it is attached). He also suffered a head injury while shooting for this 2014 release and had to undergo brain surgery. It was again speculated that this would be the end of his acting career and at least spell ‘finito’ for his action sequences, but once again, he belied all such fears.
Vikram Vedha remains Hrithik Roshan’s latest lead film. Photo: Spice PR

30. Hrithik’s last screen appearance as of now was in an end-cameo as his character Kabir        in a promo for War 2 at the end of Tiger 3. As a hero, Vikram Vedha did not do well            last year but his performance was highly applauded.



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