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Interview with Hrithik Roshan

Aired May 19, 2010 - 16:49:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Born into a Bollywood dynasty, it's perhaps unsurprising that Hrithik Roshan first appeared on film as a child. After a short stint as an assistant director on films directed by his father, he starred in a spate of big banner movies -- performances like this, as a mogul emperor in 2008's, "Jodhaa Akbar," won Hrithik critical acclaim and numerous accolades at film festivals in India and around the world.


HRITHIK ROSHAN, ACTOR: Jake, meet my fiance, Natasha. Mi amore, Ben Gaki ).


ANDERSON: With the eagerly anticipated release of the love story, "Kites," his international exposure is set to increase. The film has premiered in the U.S. and in the U.K. this week to accompany a worldwide release. An English version of the movie titled "Kites: The Remix," is also coming out, edited for Western audiences by Hollywood director Brett Ratner.

A leading light in Indian cinema, Hrithik Roshan is your Connector of the Day.


ANDERSON: You're going to love this. Hrithik Roshan is "Kite's" costar. He's pretty busy promoting the movies at the moment. But I did grab to -- manage to grab just a few moments with him earlier on today.

And I began by asking him what he enjoyed most about making the film.

And this is what he said.


ROSHAN: Here was a film that -- that was challenging every -- every -- every single preconceived notion about a Bollywood film, especially for someone like me, who has built whatever I have through those successful examples of the formula Bollywood-Masala film, which is -- which is great because that's -- that's the promise. That's -- that's the promise that we sell. And it works great.

But it works in our little comfort zone, in our little pond, you know?

And I was always wondering why can't we come out of there and jump into the ocean and -- and -- and find out where we stand on a world platform.

ANDERSON: It's not that small a pond, is it?

It's a pond that hasn't extended into the States yes.

A question from Agnes and her daughter, who say they find Indian movies fascinating and want to know more about Indian culture.

What can Bollywood teach them?

ROSHAN: Well, you know, I don't make films to -- to necessarily teach people or propagate some morals or -- or, you know, instructions of how to -- the films are to entertain, you know, and through -- through a human story, you know. And it's -- it's basically -- if you make it with your heart, you touch people's hearts. You -- you help them vent, you know, their -- their own angst or understand life a little bit more, answer some questions. And it's -- it's a -- it's a -- it's cathartic, sometimes. It's -- so that's -- that's movies for me.

ANDERSON: Good stuff.

All right, another viewer question here. Nithin has written into us. He says: ) "Who do you think rules Bollywood, Sharkan, Amirkan or you?"

ROSHAN: None of them. Nobody rules. There is -- there is no crown. And -- and the audience is, you know, they -- they are not our subjects, you know. They are the true kings, actually, you know. Every -- everyone who comes into the -- the film and applauds us is only what -- what people applaud is -- is the fact that the human potential has manifested in my life or Charlotte's ) life or Allad's ) life, you know. It's just -- they see the manifestation of -- of the potential that lies in all of us. And that's what they applaud.

And -- and we should never ever take that for granted and -- and use it to fill up our egos, you know, because -- because that's -- that's just, you know, it's going to activate your mind a lot if you start calculating, you know, to maintain it and stuff. And that's the end of creativity.

ANDERSON: Jonathan has asked: ) "If you could cast two Western actors to be in a Bollywood film, who would they be -- one man, one woman?"

ROSHAN: Oh, wow! Well, there's so many. I would -- it's -- it's impossible to pick just -- just -- just two names. There are so many brilliant actors and, you know, it's -- it would be an honor, you know, to -- to -- to have -- to be sharing a platform with -- with any of them.


ROSHAN: It's just -- it's impossible to answer.

ANDERSON: No real (INAUDIBLE) is what you're saying.

All right.

How does it feel to be a heartthrob of the nation?

I do hear what you've been saying in your answers perceiving this, but you are.

So how does it feel?

ROSHAN: Well, it feels good. But you have to realize that, you know, there is no unconditional love.


ROSHAN: You know, I'm going -- going to be judged with every film that I do. And -- but that's -- that's -- that's a good benchmark. That's a nice way of -- of, you know, getting my feet back to know if my heart's in the right place and. But all in all, it's just a compliment. You know, I -- it's a pat on the back. Sometimes I use it to, you know, just do that to myself and then I -- I move on, you know, because if you hold onto that, you know, again, as I said, you know, it's going to start activating your ego and then it's your downfall.


ANDERSON: Fantastic.

Hrithik Roshan there for you.

With the dream like prose of "The God of Small Things," Indian born author Arundhati Roy won the Booker Prize for fiction and short -- sorry, and shot to literary stardom. She has also used her way with words to political ends, speaking out on issues like India's nuclear program. Send us your questions. She's fantastic. She's your Connector. Remember to tell us where you're heading -- where you're writing from. Head to Our Twitter address, don't forget, is @beckycnn.