Seven yesteryear actresses talk about Hrithik Roshan
Rekha on Hrithik Roshan
“I must confess, I haven’t caught Kaho Naa…Pyar Hai yet. Unbelievable, isn’t it? The first time I saw Hrithik’s stills for Fiza, I sensed his uniqueness. One was amazed at his professionalism and effortless intensity. It happens when you are genuine. When you believe and feel genuinely about something, it comes through in your expression. Actually, when Guddu called me for the trial of Kaho Naa…Pyar Hai, I was busy with something else and couldn’t attend it. But without having seen the film, I could still tell that Hrithik is a confident actor. His potential was never in doubt. I clearly remember him in a one-scene film he did as a child artiste. I don’t remember the name of the film, but it had Rakesh Roshan and Sridevi in it, and Hrithik was facing the camera for the first time, I believe. I remember being amazed that a child of his age could glide through that scene and give just one take for it. Amazing! It’s not surprising that the whole world is going crazy about him.
“When I see Hrithik, I notice that rare Elvis Presley quality to him You know the cool dude look? Put snapshots of Elvis and Hrithik together and you’ll see the resemblance. Similar hairstyles, the same drooping shoulders… Hrithik has that old-world charm of the ’50s. He’ll make the ideal dulha for any eligible girl.
“I have known Hrithik since he was a little baby. Apart from acting with Guddu in a number of films, I also shared a great rapport with his wife Pinkie. We were very close friends. Incidentally, Pinkie and I share the date and year of our birth. I would spend a lot of time at Pinkie and Guddu’s place, baby sitting Duggu and Nikabika for hours. Duggu being Hrithik and Nikabika being Sunaina. Hrithik was always Dugs for me. A quiet, reserved child, an introvert too. But there was always a unique quality to his quietness. I would call it cool confidence. It was and is an inherent part of his nature. His smile touched a chord within me. It was warm and so addictive, not contrived or deliberate.
“Hrithik has a strange combination of good breeding and modesty. You can tell that Guddu’s children are extremely well brought up. Actually, Hrithik has seen a lot in life, the ups and downs his father went through and his humility stems from seeing the industry at such close quarters. The look in his eyes can be mistaken for sadness but in reality, I would say it is his maturity. I know that Dugs will never change as a person, no matter how much success he sees.
“He is a gem studded with more precious gems. Elvis Presley couldn’t handle his success but Hrithik has a God given quality to handle anything. He has a steady head on his shoulders. He knows his mind. He is also very loyal in many strange ways. He’s chosen a bride for,himself and he’s going to stick by that decision.
“Whenever I have met Hrithik, we’ve had very intense and profound conversations. From what I know, he is very much into music, computers, dancing and kids. He also respects his physical and mental identity.
“Being a family oriented person, he is a great gift as a brother and as a son. Like I have told Pinkie, I still maintain, if I ever had a son, it would be someone like Hrithik.”
Asha Sachdev on Hrithik Roshan
“There is only one word to describe, Hrithik, absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS! Somehow, when I see Hrithik, I sense pathos in him. It’s in his eyes, an indescribable sadness that speaks volumes. Something about him reminds me of Raj Kapoor. He’s such a graceful dancer too! With the kind of success Hrithik is seeing, I am really scared for him I hope he doesn’t change in any way. He is such an unaffected, disciplined young boy… Hats off to Pinkie for bringing up her children so well.
“I have studied this boy in his first film and personally, I feel he has become such a rage because there is such a feeling of an old-world hero about him. He is not like other stars of today. He is not like a hero from Faridabad, who has his place of origin stamped all over him. He deals with people so well and is so patient with them.
“But I am not surprised. I know where it comes from. I worked with his father in several films and I have seen him dealing with people in a similar manner. Yes, I do think Hrithik and Rakesh share a lot in common. Like Guddu, Hrithik is also a ladies man. He knows just how to behave with a lady! In this day and age, that is such a novelty, really. I can see that Guddu has trained his son well! The only difference I see between Hrithik and his father is that Hrithik is far more aggressive and competitive. Guddu didn’t have any challenges as far as his career was concerned, but Hrithik does. Times are such that all the youngsters have developed a survival-of-the-fittest attitude.”
Reena Roy on Hrithik Roshan
“Hrithik and I did a film long ago called Asha. He was a little baby then. After that, I met Hrithik on several occasions, mostly while he was still growing up. In Asha, he was part of a huge group of people dancing but imagine, he stood out even then. The shot he gave had me amazed. He came across as a seasoned performer even then. I told Rakesh that his boy would grow up to be an actor. I think all of us who worked with Rakesh and had the opportunity to interact with Hrithik, thought he would eventually become a star. I haven’t met Hrithik as an adult but what struck me most about him as a child, was how quiet and shy he was. Those are the qualities everyone noticed about him. I recently saw Kaho Naa…Pyar Hai…and I said to myself, ‘Thank God! He is much better than his father is’!
“I wouldn’t say there is something special about Hrithik that other heroes lack. I just feel it’s God’s grace that he has become successful. I pray that Hrithik continues to have that grace. I always ask that God give me twins, one who looks like Hrithik and the other like Abhishek. They are both extremely nice looking boys! While Abhishek looks like a man, Hrithik still has that boyish air about him. I personally think women go crazy about Hrithik because he looks like a foreigner. Girls today, don’t want to see desi-looking turnouts. They would rather see a fair complexioned, light-eyed Hrithik on screen.
“What similarities do I see between father and son? Their mannerisms, the way they dance, sometimes, even a certain expression that flits across Hrithik’s face reminds me of his father. I don’t know if Hrithik has a sense of humour but I know Rakesh has one. He used to have everyone in splits with his wicked sense of humour.”
Bindiya Goswami on Hrithik Roshan
“Hrithik was the quietest baby, I have ever come across. I am sure a lot of people must have observed this about him. If I am not mistaken, Sunaina and he both used to wear glasses, or did Hrithik wear braces? I don’t seem to remember. He was a cute baby but I didn’t have the chance to interact with him too much because he was always in school when I was shooting with Guddu. When I see Hrithik today, I am amazed at the transformation. He is all hunky and rippling muscles!
“What I really don’t understand is why people are making such a big deal about someone being the No.1 and someone else, some other number. This industry is large enough to accommodate many more stars. Today, before you can say Jack, someone has been promoted to the No.1 position and someone else is relegated to the shelf. Why? I think Hrithik is as phenomenal as any other capable actor is. I can’t understand this phenomenon of saying this actor is No.1 in this season and displace him as No.1 the next season. It’s such a sheer waste of talent!
“But…but…nobody can deny the sensation Hrithik is today. When I see him, I always say to myself, ‘He is an extension of his father’. There is one shot in Kaho Naa…Pyaar Hai, where Hrithik looks exactly like his dad. It’s the shot when Amisha is blowing her birth‑day candles and the camera pans from her to Hrithik. The expression on his face was just like Guddu’s. Uncanny! I love Hrithik’s smile It’s so open and honest. There’s something really healthy and clean about that smile. I have to admit that Hrithik is hero material all right. And currently, he’s like a breath of fresh air for everyone!”
Rati Agnihotri on Hritshik Roshan
“Having acted with Rakesh Roshan in a number of films, I obviously knew Hrithik as a child. Pinkie, Sunaina and Hrithik would often land up at the sets. I remember Hrithik as being a very quiet and reserved child. He would hardly talk to people. Sunaina, his sister, was more voluble. I distinctly remember Hrithik’s eyes, when he was a baby. So adorable and honest!
“Sunaina and Duggu are both very well brought up kids. They’ve got breeding and it shows. I met the hotshot kid at Guddu’s trial of Kaho Naa…Pyaar Hai, and he was so sweet. He was on his mobile when I walked in, and he immediately disconnected, came up to me, hugged me and said, `Rati aunty, I am so glad you could make it’. Even a little gesture like this makes an impact on a person. It was such a sensitive thing to do, try and make a person feel comfortable.
“I feel Hrithik comes in a well rounded package. He has a sensitive face, a fabulous body and a personality to match. Plus, he is an amazing actor. In Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai, Hrithik played his double role with equal elan. Which obviously means that he has an easily mouldable personality.
“Hrithik has so many facets to him, no wonder people are crazy about him. He has it all, to make a good actor. Besides, I would imagine him to be extremely hard‑working because he comes from that kind of background. Guddu would have taught him how never to take things for granted. He has been brought up in a certain way and I don’t think he will ever let that go.
“What makes him so delicious to women? I would say it is his combination of a sensitive guy coupled with a very stud like quality. It’s also his body language. He has an amazing presence on screen and women go wild about that, I guess. No wonder he has a range of fans, from a four-year- old to a 40-year-old. And just for the record, I am a fan too.”
Moushumi Chatterjee on Hrithik Roshan
“What can I say about Hrithik that the world isn’t already saying? I feel really scared for him because he has seen such success with his first film, that people expect the world from him. It’s very unrealistic! I feel very fondly for this boy. After all, he’s Guddu’s son. Actually, Ira aunty, Rakesh and Rajesh’s mom and my mother were great friends. In fact, I would give the credit of Hrithik’s upbringing to his grandparents who brought up both Rakesh and Rajesh so well. I really feel proud that Guddu’s son has done so well for himself.
“Hrithik is like a bombshell. He has arrived on the scene with such a huge bang. He has done the entire Bengali community proud. He has the best of Pinkie and Guddu. Lovely smile, lovely eyes. I don’t see any flaws in this little boy at all. I only think of Jackie, Aamir and Shah Rukh as heroes. Govinda is so versatile but he doesn’t maintain himself. In pipe film he is fit and in another film he is fat.
But these are the only male stars who I think are real hero material. Now Hrithik has been added to my list of favourites. I went and saw Kaho Naa…Pyar Hai twice just to see Hrithik again. And there is only one way to describe him, he is a thoroughbred actor!
“What is really admirable about Hrithik is that unlike other heroes, he doesn’t shoot shit with confidence He is steady, quiet, stable and humble. Though I don’t remember Hrithik as a child, I kept bumping into him as an adolescent. He must have been about 18 or 20. He was lanky, thin and very shy. I remember seeing him with his girlfriend Suzanne, on several occasions. They do look good together!
“When I see Hrithik smile, I get really nostalgic because it reminds me so much of Guddu and I immediately form that connection with Hrithik, even though I don’t know him well. I must add here, that Guddu’s done a great job with his son. He had no guidance or support when he came into the industry but he has made sure that Hrithik has everything he lacked.”
Hema Malini on Hrithik Roshan
“I knew Hrithik as a child, but I did not think much of him then. I first saw him in Aas Paas, where Om Prakash was playing the role of a grandfather and Rakesh was in the film too. We were doing a bhangra dance. Om Prakash decided that he wanted a child to dance with him and brought this little boy, who happened to be Rakesh’s son. He danced with us in one of the shots just for fun. He was very thin and fragile looking, but he had these lovely, bright, sparkling, expressive eyes. I didn’t ever think that boy would grow up to be such a handsome man. I recently saw KahoNa…Pyaar Hai and I think he is a very good-looking boy with a well-chiseled face. When you see him personally, he has a very small face but the camera gives him a well-cut look. I think that is the most wonderful thing about him and his eyes… very expressive eyes.
There must be something wonderful about him, because not a single person has said that he is not good. He has a fantastic physique. I don’t think there is any similarity between Rakesh and Hrithik. Rakesh was a very fair man with light eyes but otherwise there is no similarity. Rakesh had a very golmatol face unlike Hrithik. This boy has a better face. As for acting, I haven’t seen that many films of Rakesh’s to comment on whether Hrithik acts like him or not.”
(As told to Mini in 2000)