Hrithik Roshan speaks about 'Kites' in details
Hrithik Roshan is all set to woo his fans once again with Kites. A real cross over international film, Kites has a mix of Indian and International artistes. Releasing on May 21st, this love story looks at relationships and love from a new perspective.
Q: You have always been involved with all your films from the beginning? Is it the same with Kites too?
Hrithik : The story of Kites is my father’s, so I did know the basic concept but I wasn’t too clear about it. Kites is not the kind of film my father has been making. So I was little skeptical about it. But my father told me that he had invloved Anurag in it. He told me to wait for the final script. If I did not like it he was willing to take another hero for it. Me and my father don’t have any ego hassle, which is why together we give our best shot.
Anurag Basu reacted positive on the story and he went to work on it for a month. When he came back we had a joint meeting - Anurag, Me and my father. When I heard his take on it I was completely blown out. After waiting for 2 years and sitting idle because of lack of good script, I had a story that I fell in love with. I actually jumped up from my chair and danced around in my room shouting with joy. I knew that this story is going to workout something great for me.
Q: Anurag has a habit of improvising on the sets while you prefer to come all prepared for a scene. How did you react to this mismatch?
Hrithik Roshan: well, I was coming from the sets of Akbar where everything was drafted out and we knew exactly what do. Ashutosh Gowarikar and I had gone through lot of discussions and eventually there was about only 20 % space left out for spontaneity as Akbar. In that film everything had to be in a certain way because we can’t divert much from the preconceived notion of an emperor’s body language and personality.
But in this film everything was contrary to Jodha Akbar. A story line that is contemporary, language that has its own range and a director like Anurag Basu who is completely insanely spontaneous. He is so spontaneous that I think he leaves only 10% room for breath. So first day when it happened, I was a bit shocked, it was completely you know something I was not ready to adopt. But there is a beauty in his madness which I could see and trust. And it’s very important for me to I have to have complete faith in director I am working with. I have to know that the director knows more than me, then it gives me lots of freedom and security to experiment and to explore. With Anurag and his visual space and his imaginative talent, I could leave myself completely. With him I had the plan not to plan anything and I enjoyed it.
Q: What about Barbara? Is she also a spontaneous actress?
Hrithik: When we met Barbara and understood her world and her approach to the acting, everything just fit in very very good and right way, because she is completely spontaneous. She prepares a lot but all the preparation is like the lava forming in volcano but when it busts, when its an action time, she just explodes. She does care where its falling and how, there is no control over the explosion. You just fill up yourself with that energy when it action time. And that’s how we are started doing with this with right from the first day of shooting.
Q: At what point English became an integral part of the film?
Hrithik Roshan: Basically we had the script of Hindi film but when I started doing first takes with Barbara, I realized that there is kind of disbalance in the equation. My dialogs were in Hindi and she was speaking in Spanish. What was bothering me was that I am playing a guy who was born in Las Vegas and who knows English. Any person who knows English and goes to foreign land, he will first try and communicate in universal language. He won’t use his mother tongue to communicate. Since it was looking unnatural, we decided to use English.
Q: How did Anurag like the idea of using English?
Hrithik Roshan: Once we decided to speak in English like anybody from Vegas would, Anurag was absolutely floored. He said I am seeing what I wanted to see in the film now and that’s how every scene went. None of us had our dialogs written, every single scene you see in the film has been improvised. No two take have ever been same. All Barbara and I were instructed was that this is the point A this is where the scene starts and this is the point B this is where the scene ends. Going from point A to point B was up to us.
Q: Are you saying that dialogues are your own improvisation only?
Hrithik Roshan: We did have a script in Hindi but English improvisation was done by us. In fact os many times we would keep talking and would use a lot of footage. This was at all not very economical for the film. Then we started to restrict our self as we have to get to that point a little faster.
Q: There are lots of risky stunts in the film. Why did you not use a double?
Hrithik Roshan: I didn’t see it as risk. Having worked in action films, I have sort of cultivated a knack of understanding for action scenes. I knew what kind of safety requirements I needed. And once you have a good check on that and have a detailed examination of exactly what you want to do and you are stable and balanced in your mind, your body sort of speaks to you and tells it can be done it or not.
Every time my body has told me that yes I can do it I do the action scenes myself. I cannot allow fear to overcome me. I have done the film like Krissh where I have cable snap falling from 45 fits. But you have to learn to trust your own instincts and people you work with.
Q: Do you think Kites is the film which will take you at international scale?
Hrithik Roshan: I don’t know about scales. Kites is like taking an emotion and allowing it to take shape on screen. An emotion cannot be tied down with boundaries and language. So its left free, and will be able to touch everybody with open arms.
For the first time I think the emotion is completely devoid of those external influences. This is the film which is completely honest from the word go. I feel the grammar of the film is completely different.
Q: Is there any fear in your mind about Kites?
Hrithik Roshan: One fear I still have is that this film should not have an interval, because there is no interval point in the film. And it is only in India that we consider every film as two films. You come out of the theatre and say the first half is good but the second half I didn’t like that much or the second half is damn good but the first half is weak. But, when you come out of an English film, you see it as one film. You never talk about it first half or second half. Which is what Kites is about. It is like one film. So there is no interval point. Now when I see it with the interval I almost feel arre you know, I can see the audience going interval ho gayi, kuch hua hi nahi. Aisa kyun…isme toh kuch hain hi nahi. So that break of 10 minutes is bothering me.
Q: Why don’t you do away with the break?
Hrithik Roshan: You can’t remove the break because all the theaters make their money in the interval time by selling samosa & popcorn. Even in English film originally there is no interval but in India they creat na interval at whatever point they want. That one fear I have in my mind that the people should not judge the film at interval point because it’s not constructed as 2 films. It is one film without the high of dhantana… ab kya hoga..That’s not their in the film.
Q: you have worked with all brilliant actresses from Bollywood, how would you compare Barbara with them?
Hrithik Roshan: It’s not fair to compare because she comes from a completely different world of cinema. Her approach has been cultivated in a different world. All of us here have one conditioned approach to film making, about acting and wouldn’t think anyone better or worst. I would see the approach that artiste have in the west, as level two because they come from more honest films. And that’s the kind of film I would like too. I aspire to be an actor who could be completely honest with his character and with his film.
Q: Would you say that Barbara is the best?
Hrithik Roshan: I did not say that. I cannot take away credit from all the great films that I have made or the people in my fraternity have made and kind of the films my father has made. But their films are more honest. They can’t do what we do in our films, but the thing is that they don’t want to do what we do.
It is definitely level two because it’s devoid of any, as I said, external factors. They are not catering to the audience. You know so I love that.
Q. Would we see you doing Hollywoodfilms?
Hrithik Roshan: Hollywood, yes if I finally decide on a script. That’s the future, I can’t confirm anything now.
Q. You have taken training for almost every role you have done. Anything specific for this film?
Hrithik Roshan: Isme actually ulta hua hain, in this film I had to unlearn. In Kites the training was to forget all my trainings. That was the most difficult thing that I had to go through. Because, coming from where I come from, I know how to face the camera. I know how to turn, I know how to walk. I know how to say I love you in the most endearing way, I know all that. Here I had to forget that there was a camera. I had to get lost in the character and not care whether my hair was ok or my make up was ok or my clothes were ok.
I did not see the video assist even once in the whole film. I did not check my hair after every take. I had instructed Anurag Basu and my make-up man, I had instructed Barbara that anyone catches me looking at myself please stop. So there were these restrictions which were self-inflicted to keep a check on myself. that I don’t want to have any safety measurements in this. I don’t want to rely on myself and say arre yaar I could have done this.
So all I was left was to after the take got over, my only check was my heart. I used to look inside and say was I completely honest. Yes I was and that was my take.
Q. Anurag is a master in portraying emotions in his films. Will we see it in Kites too?
Hrithik Roshan: Unhone itni freedom de hain hame that I could not have asked for a better director. Kabhi Kabhi aisa hota tha ke we used to do the whole take. He used to love it, he used to say fantastic, clap and more and ask yaar what did you say exactly. He was operating from a very sub-conscious level. He was watching the eyes, he was watching the connection. He was watching if the emotions are there. It didn’t matter what we said. It didn’t matter. He just wanted to know that the face is expressing the right emotion. And, he knew it when it was happening when I felt it.
The best check for an actor is that when he feels it, the director should feel it also. Sometimes it happens that you feel it but the director says that nahi yaar I can’t see it you have to do more. And sometimes you don’t see it at all and the director says wow, superb shot. And then you are scared because the connection is not there. Ke main soch raha hoon yaar ke I gave a damn good shot because I felt it completely aur who director bol raha hain ke nahi yaar. It’s not there. One more. They you get scared because then you know that you are not in sync. But, Anurag and me were completely in sync from the word go. Whenever I felt it he felt it and whenever he felt its not good, I knew its not good. So we were in complete sync.
Q: What inspired you to sing?
Hrithik Roshan: I did not decide to sing, I was forced to do it. My uncle has tunes and Anurag had this ridiculous foresight that I could sing. Somewhere he had thought that I have all the talents: that I can act, dance and I do know music. So he believed that I can sing too for the film and it would be an extra bonus for it.
I obviously was not very gung-ho about it. But then he caught me very cleverly when he informed that it’s going to be lip synched song. In my head we had decided to make a very very honest film. I could not see myself in this film lip synching a song sung by another professional singer. He had me trapped.
When we started making the film, entire grammar of the film was totally out of the normal world of making Indian films. We had decided from the beginning about the kind of songs we will have. There was no lip-synching song per se in the film. I had told him in casual conversation that if I had to sing in the film then it had to be a song in my voice. Somewhere he had remembered that and used that to get his way. He said we have lip-synching song and it had to have your voice and that was that.
Once I said ok fine and I will do it, they gave me 2 weeks to get into the mood of it. And I rehearsed in the most ridicules manner. Early in the morning I would start with my sa re ga ma pa dha ni sa. Right from the time I would wake up to brushing my teeth to taking the shower, all the time I was singing with hand movements trying to reach highest scale and lowest note.
My niece has learned piano and she has this little Casio player which I had borrowed. And I have the knack of finding any tune on any instrument. So I practiced on that for a week. Then I realized that it won’t work like that and I got a professional trainer. Susan came to help me and she is also the female voice in the song. I requested them if we can rehears now and record the song later once we were back in Mumbai. However, the problem was that they were shooting this song at Las Vegas and we were leaving for Las Vegas immediately. So we had no option but to record. We decided to do a scratch and later record the song properly. But they loved the scratch so much that they did not allow me to improve on it.
I didn’t consider myself singer but to be honest to my character, I went along with everybody. I am extremely happy for the kind of honest film that we have made. Even thought it was not professional singing and its not perfect voice but in film it renders honesty on screen.
Q: Your experience while recording?
Hrithik Roshan: I thought I will pull it off. I had gotten myself to the point where I was enjoying singing. I am falling in love with the art of shutting your eyes from world and going in meditative state where you just sing. It’s a beautiful feeling. But when I went to studio it was totally different story.
They put you in this little compartment and your are not allowed to move because mike is fixed and my moving your voice will also move away. And while practicing I had been so mobile. I was like you are in training shoot. I was locked up in one place where I can’t even move my legs because the breath shifts in different direction and force change on mike is super sanative. Although I was fixed in one place but still I was enjoying it because I was learning new thing. It’s always nice to have new challenge.
Finally I told them to just switch off all the lights of the studio because I wasn’t being able to get my best out. So they just black out entire studio and I could not even see my mike because it was so dark. This black out worked and helped me to come out of the inhibitions that were in mind. And that’s how I finally worked. That day we had flight in the night 3.30. I started of at 9 morning, we packed up from studio at 1 in the night. I had not even packed my suitcase but song acme out very natural.
Q: what was the reaction of your uncle and Anurag when you were recording it in studio?
Hrithik Roshan: I didn’t want anyone to be there in studio, so nobody was there in studio. It was just me and female singer Susan. And I said let me just go with the flow and allow me to enjoy myself. When they heard they liked it a lot. They kept the scratch only as the song but now I am scared because its going to come out in the audience.
And off course there is whole pressure of knowing from where I am coming. My grandfather to my uncle and the entire musical family background, I couldn’t let them down. So I am happy that it went off just fine. There is always an extra pressure on you to come out with the best in whatever you are doing.
Q: How much did you enjoy singing and will you be singing more for your films?
Hrithik Roshan: I think yes, I enjoy singing. But then there are so many people who enjoy singing even though they can’t sing. Everyone likes to sing, it’s something natural in all of us. I have been singing myself to sleep whenever I am stressed out. I just sing any song like a broken record and keep going till I feel some relief. Then I go to sleep. After listening to this entire story Anurag Basu has sort of shown in to the world.
Q: What is the reaction of your wife Susan for Singer Hrithik?
Hrithik Roshan: in this she is obvious completely biased. She feels I am best singer in the world she compares me with Elvis Presley. But focuses I don’t believe in that I just feels it all what her love comes out for me.