AC­TOR HRITHIK ROSHAN ON THE ART OF BUILD­ING YOUR CRAFT

India Today - - FETISH - Text by SUHANI SINGH

Pho­to­graphs by BANDEEP SINGH All around Hrithik Roshan’s sea-fac­ing home in Juhu are framed in­spi­ra­tional quotes, all coined by him. “Find beauty in ev­ery­thing”, “At­ti­tude is the dif­fer­ence be­tween an or­deal and an ad­ven­ture”, “You never fail un­til you stop try­ing”. One re­lies on them more es­pe­cially if one is em­ployed in the movie world—an artis­tic medium driven by com­mer­cial dik­tats. “I put them up so they can catch me off guard and trig­ger some­thing when I prob­a­bly need it,” says Roshan. “Some­times I’m think­ing shall I or shall I not? And then I will read ‘If you are look­ing for a sign, this is it.’ The idea is

to stop be­ing su­per­sti­tious, and look at things and de­cide now.” Roshan, who has been in the in­dus­try for 17 years now and whose af­fil­i­a­tion with it goes fur­ther back thanks to ac­tor-turned-film­maker fa­ther, Rakesh Roshan, is con­scious that Bol­ly­wood mea­sures suc­cess largely by box of­fice re­turns. How does he han­dle this clash of art vs com­merce? His re­sponse re­flects that all those mo­ti­va­tional one-lin­ers are very much his own cre­ation. “The ideal sit­u­a­tion is where your artis­tic pur­suits, and the di­rec­tion they are tak­ing, are in align­ment with the com­mer­cial en­vi­ron­ment,” he says. “Some­times that doesn’t hap­pen. I’m still learn­ing, but from what­ever I have learned, if you are sub­ject­ing your­self to the en­vi­ron­ment enough by watch­ing films that have worked and not worked, and what peo­ple like, fol­low and think, which is to say that if you are with the times, then your pas­sion will au­to­mat­i­cally align

with the box of­fice.” Roshan is sur­rounded by art in di­verse forms. Both S H Raza and Daku find space in his apart­ment. Raza in the din­ing area and the Daku graf­fiti —“Should. Would. Could. Did”— in his study-cum-chil­dren’s play­room. He loves Bri­tish graf­fiti artist Banksy too. “I love his quotes and the way he de­picts them. There is a lot of men­tal acu­men be­hind it, which I find ex­tremely en­gag­ing,” he says. But for Roshan, there’s no urge to flaunt only the big­gies. The first paint­ing you are likely to no­tice is a black-and-white one by Rash­mie, his erst­while stylist Ak­shat Tyagi’s mother, which hangs in the pas­sage. A chunk of a wall in the liv­ing room has adorable pic­tures of him with his boys—Hre­haan, 10, and Hrid­haan, 8. The cinephile in him is also ev­i­dent in a Char­lie Chaplin por­trait and Bat­mo­bile and Cat­woman fig­urines. There are lovely small paint­ings with ti­tles such as “A some­where in

be­tween house” and “Of im­pro­vi­sa­tion”. By his own ad­mis­sion, Roshan is not very good with names. Prod him on the artists be­hind some of the works that grace his wall and the ac­tor is apolo­getic. But he will hap­pily take credit for them be­ing there: “Ev­ery sin­gle piece that you see in this house I have se­lected my­self just to reaf­firm to my­self that I ac­cept my likes and my dis­likes. It takes courage to put some­thing up that you like. ‘I like this, I am go­ing to get it; it may look like rub­bish but I like it’. That courage is some­thing that peo­ple tend to take for granted.” One can sense the pride that Roshan has when talk­ing about his home, which he shares with his boys who visit him over the week­end. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would have a pas­sion to build homes or dab­ble in in­te­ri­ors,” he says. “I am nuts about house and de­sign mag­a­zines. I

have apps on homes and in­te­ri­ors.” It is eas­ier to get the name of the en­ter­tain­ers who have shaped his artis­tic sen­si­bil­i­ties. There is Amitabh Bachchan. “I still find my­self study­ing him, his com­po­sure and pauses.” The dancer in Roshan is in awe of Shammi Kapoor.

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