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Roshan at the launch of Rado HyperChrome in Mumbai, November 2013
10 January 1974 |
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
|Years active||1980–1986 (child artist)
|Spouse(s)||Sussanne Khan (2000–2014)|
Hrithik Roshan (born 10 January 1974) is an Indian film actor known for his versatility and work ethic in addition to great dramatic range. Roshan has won six Filmfare Awards and established himself as one of Bollywood's highest-paid and most respected actors.
After small appearances as a child actor in several films throughout the 1980s, Roshan made his film debut in a leading role in Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai in 2000. His performance in the film earned him Filmfare Awards for Best Actor and Best Male Debut. He followed it with leading roles in Fiza and Mission Kashmir (both released in 2000) and the multi-star blockbuster Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001). After several less notable performances, he starred in the blockbusters Koi... Mil Gaya (2003) and its sequel Krrish (2006), both of which won him numerous Best Actor awards including both the Filmfare Award for Best Actor and the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor, together, for Koi... Mil Gaya. Roshan received his third Filmfare Award for Best Actor for his performance in the action film Dhoom 2 (2006), and his fourth for Jodhaa Akbar (2008) For Jodhaa Akbar he also won Best Actor honours at the Golden Minbar International Film Festival, his first international award beyond the Indian film industry. He later received further acclaim and Filmfare Best Actor nominations for his work in the drama Guzaarish (2010), the hit romantic drama Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011), the revenge drama Agneepath (2012), and the superhero adventure Krrish 3 (2013), the latter two of which rank among the highest-grossing Bollywood fims of all-time. He has thus established himself as a leading contemporary actor of Indian Cinema.
Apart from acting, Roshan is a stage performer and playback singer, endorses several major national and international brands, has hosted the hit TV show Just Dance, and has also launched his own clothing line named "HRx" .
Hrithik's maternal grandfather—famous director-producer J. Om Prakash—first introduced his beloved grandson on-screen at age 6 in the hugely successful Aasha (1980), by secretly having his camera crew film without the little boy's knowledge as he danced spontaneously while 'visiting Grandpa' on Grandpa's movie set. As J. Om Prakash later recounted the event:
- 'The song was to be shot on Jeetendra. Hrithik was on the sets, and he liked the interlude music very much and started dancing. I had asked my cameraperson and crew to be ready. I asked Hrithik if he liked the song, and he said, "Yes, Deda, it is lovely music." I replayed the music and he started dancing, and we shot it without his knowledge. When the music got over, the entire studio applauded excitingly. The remaining part of the music was to be shot in the same way with Jeetu. After Jeetu's shot was over, he came to me and said, "For God's sake don't shoot a single more shot in this film with this boy, otherwise the audience will hoot my performance!" That was a remark that came from Jeetu [Jeetendra, the male lead of Aasha and a major Hindi filmstar].'
What followed over the next several years is what adult Hrithik describes as his childhood "lucky mascot" period: tiny one- or two-shot uncredited appearances in various of his family's film projects, where his only task was to have fun and supposedly bring luck to the movie. Thus child Hrithik (aged 6) can be seen riding a tricycle on a beach during the song "Ram Kare Allah Kare" in his father Rakesh Roshan's production Aap Ke Deewane (1980). In his grandfather J. Om Prakash's Aas Paas (1981), a gap-toothed Hrithik (aged 7) even received a costume and a close-up, as he passes a love note from Dharmendra to Hema Malini during the song "Shehar Main Charchi Hai".
Hrithik's one childhood speaking role—his only substantial film performance as a child—came about at age 11–12 through a family emergency, of sorts: The boy originally cast as Govinda, the title character's adopted son in director J. Om Prakash's Bhagwan Dada (1986), fell seriously ill just as shooting was supposed to start. They needed a boy immediately, so at the very last minute his grandfather suggested taking Hrithik.
Although still completely untrained, the key role of Govinda required young Hrithik to not only trade dialogue with some of the biggest film stars of the day – Rajnikanth as the title character, a former gangster morally reformed by his love for this child, plus Sridevi and his real-life father Rakesh Roshan and Danny Denzongpa as the villain—but do songs with Rajnikanth, dance with Sridevi, and fight Danny Denzongpa. He even had to die. Govinda's brutal murder at the hands (or rather, feet) of the evil ganglord played by Danny Denzongpa becomes the catalyst for the film's climax.
J. Om Prakash recalls how Bhagwan Dada revealed to him Hrithik's unvarnished "artistic endowment":
- ' I was telling him how to perform in his death scene but he said, "Wait, Deda (that's what he calls me), check me out in the scene". He did a mind-blowing take and I knew that a brilliant actor was in the making.'
After completing school and college, Hrithik turned down a Masters Degree scholarship for further study in the United States, to concentrate instead on film. To learn filmcraft from literally the ground up—he started off sweeping floors, then gradually progressed to more demanding responsibilities like story development, camera work, direction, and editing—Hrithik spent the next six years as a largely uncredited assistant to his father, director Rakesh Roshan, from Khel (1992) through Koyla (1997).
On 14 January 2000, Roshan made his film début as leading man in the film Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai opposite another débutante, actress Amisha Patel. The film, which was directed by his father Rakesh Roshan and saw him playing a double role, proved to be very successful at the box office and was proclaimed a blockbuster. With a revenue of 620 million (US$10 million) it became the highest grossing film in India for year 2000. and winner of the Filmfare Best Movie Award. Roshan's performance was extremely well-received, and the film made him an star overnight all across India. The Hindu newspaper (Chennai) proclaimed: "A perfect professional has come to stay." National newsmagazine India Today's feature cover story on 20 March 2000 compared him favourably, not against other débutants, but rather the industry-reigning "Khan" triumvirate – Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, and Salman Khan – celebrating Hrithik's "sophistication", "intelligence", "charisma", and "honesty" before concluding: "Finally you have an actor who is also a star."
Hrithik eventually received both the 2001 Filmfare Best Male Debut Award and the Filmfare Best Actor Award for his double-performance in Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai (2000). Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai ultimately entered the Limca Book of Records in 2003 for the most number of awards ever won by a single Bollywood film – 102 awards.
Roshan was next seen in September 2000 as the younger brother of Karisma Kapoor's title character in Khalid Mohammed's Fiza, portraying an innocent Muslim boy who becomes a terrorist after the Bombay Riots between Hindus and Muslims in 1992–93. Although the film was a box office flop, Hrithik's performance was much praised, earning him a second nomination for Best Actor at the 2001 Filmfare ceremony. Taran Adarsh from indiaFM noted, "The mainstay of the film is undoubtedly Hrithik Roshan. His body language, his diction, his expressions, his overall persona deserves great praise. With this film, Hrithik proves that there is more to him than just being a fashionable rage, a Mills & Boon lover-boy and a sex symbol. His talent comes to the fore in several scenes, especially those with Karisma. All said and done, the show belongs to Hrithik, who saves Fiza to a major extent. A brilliant performance undoubtedly!"
Hrithik's last release of 2000 – director Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Mission Kashmir with Sanjay Dutt, Preity Zinta, and Jackie Shroff – became the third-highest grossing film of the year. Roshan's performance, as a young man traumatised by the discovery that his adoptive father had been responsible for the death of his entire birth family, was yet again hugely acclaimed. One critic praised him, "Hrithik once again cuts a splendid performance as a youngster sucked in the vortex of terrorism. He is portrayed as anti-government in the early part of the film – a bold role to play for even a seasoned actor, leave alone a budding superstar."
2001–2002: Growing pains
Subhash Ghai's Yaadein was his first release in 2001, a straightforward romantic drama which for the first time paired him with Kareena Kapoor and also reunited him with veteran lead actor Jackie Shroff from Mission Kashmir. Despite major hype surrounding the film, Yaadein failed to do well critically and commercially within the Indian domestic market. Yet it became a major box office success overseas. Hrithik's chemistry with Kareena Kapoor was praised and became extremely popular.
He bounced back by co-starring in director-producer Karan Johar's mammoth reaffirmation of traditional family values amid the global Indian diaspora – Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham – which did extremely well at the box office, becoming the second-highest grossing film of 2001 and the biggest hit overseas. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham co-starred Hrithik for the first time with India's all-time most revered actor Amitabh Bachchan, as Mr Bachchan's natural born younger son, as well as senior Hindi superstar Shah Rukh Khan who played the adopted elder son whom the younger brother strives to reunite with the estranged family. The other co-stars were Kareena Kapoor as the younger brother's ally and love interest, Jaya Bhaduri Bachchan (who had played Hrithik's mother in 2000's Fiza) as the mother, and Kajol as the sister-in-law who married Shah Rukh. Roshan's performance in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham was again well received, and his performance in this film earned him several nominations for Best Supporting Actor at various year-end award ceremonies.
Roshan had three releases in 2002, all of which failed to propel his career forward. The first one, Vikram Bhatt's Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage, a love-conquers-all story which reunited him with Amisha Patel for the first time after their hit Kaho Naa ... Pyaar Hai (2000) was a critical and commercial failure. His second release of 2002 was Na Tum Jaano Na Hum directed by Arjun Sablok, a love triangle story which co-starred Esha Deol and Saif Ali Khan which fared badly at the box-office. Roshan's final release that year was a high-profile release from the famous Yash Raj Films studio – Mujhse Dosti Karoge! – the first feature film directed by Kunal Kohli. A movie whose storyline explored the interaction of love and friendship, Mujhse Dosti Karoge! was expected to do well both critically and commercially because of Hrithik's casting with Rani Mukherji (for the first time) and Kareena Kapoor. But the film neither received critical praise nor was it a commercial success.
Hrithik's string of flops carried over into early 2003, with veteran director Sooraj R. Barjatya's Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon. Cast alongside Kareena Kapoor (yet again) and for the first time Abhishek Bachchan, Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon was panned by critics and had a dismal response at the box office.
It was at this stage in his career that one magazine's cover famously described him as "Finished" ... which Hrithik took forward as motivation to change his approach toward signing projects.
During a television appearance on Koffee With Karan with director-producer Karan Johar, Hrithik Roshan explained his decision to break from industry standard practice (overlapping film shoots) to focus his art on one single film at a time.
Consequently, Roshan appeared in Koi... Mil Gaya, India's first successful alien science fiction movie, which saw Roshan portraying a mentally disabled young man named Rohit Mehra who befriends an alien who had been stranded on Earth. The film earned 800 million (US$13 million) and proved the highest-grossing and most critically successful Hindi movie of 2003. It also won many awards, including 2003 National Film Awards for "Best Film on Other Social Issues", "Best Special Effects", and "Best Choreography" as well as many of the 2004 Filmfare awards including among others "Best Film" AND both Hrithik's second Filmfare Award for Best Actor and his first Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor. Taran Adarsh noted, "Hrithik Roshan dominates the show and packs in a power-packed performance. The role of a mentally challenged person is no cakewalk, but the actor takes to it like a fish takes to water. He manages to pull off the zero to hero routine exceptionally well. As an actor, he scales dizzier heights with this splendid performance." Roshan's performance in Koi... Mil Gaya was later included in the 2010 issue of the "Top 80 Iconic Performances" by Filmfare magazine.
Lakshya was Roshan's only release in 2004, a fictionalised coming-of-age story set against events from the real-life 1999 Kargil War fought between India and Pakistan at extreme high elevation in the Himalaya. Directed by Farhan Akhtar, Lakshya reunited Roshan with both the great Amitabh Bachchan (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham), who played his commanding officer, and Preity Zinta (Mission Kashmir, Koi... Mil Gaya), who played a female war correspondent inspired by the real-life Barkha Dutt. Shot on locations ranging from the real Indian Military Academy (IMA) at Dehradun up to remote mountain areas at extreme elevations as high as 17,796 feet in Ladakh (setting a new world record for highest-ever crane shot), the film was critically acclaimed but achieved only average box office receipts. Hrithik's performance as the central character was praised by critics, and once again was included in the 2010 issue of the "Top 80 Iconic Performances" by Filmfare.
Again directed by his father Rakesh Roshan with music provided by his uncle Rajesh Roshan, Krrish saw Hrithik play a triple-role for the first time: Rohit Mehra, Rohit's son Krishna Mehra, and Krishna's alter ego the title character 'Krrish' – India's first true film superhero – with exciting superpower action sequences choreographed by Hong Kong film martial arts expert Tony Ching Siu-Tung, also a first for Indian cinema.
Krrish was a major critical and box office success which became the second-highest grosser of 2006 – second only to Hrithik's later 2006 release, Dhoom 2 with a worldwide revwnue of 1.17 billion (US$19 million) . His performance as a superhero was praised, earning him many "Best Actor" awards at various award ceremonies, including Star Screen and the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA). IndiaFM wrote, "To state that Hrithik is the soul of Krrish would be an understatement. If the actor walked away with all noteworthy awards in Koi... Mil Gaya, it's going to be an encore with Krrish. You cannot imagine any other actor enacting the role of a gifted child with aplomb. If his mask and robe look is splendid, watch his makeup, gait and mannerisms as the aged father and you had to agree, he's one of the finest talents on the Indian screen today. Krrish is yet another ground-breaking film in his dazzling repertoire!"
Any quibble that Hrithik Roshan might save his best work for his own family's films was completely squelched by his November 2006 Dhoom 2: not just the highest-grossing film of 2006, but at time of its release the highest-grossing Hindi film of all time.
For Dhoom 2 – sequel to the highly successful 2004 Dhoom from Yash Raj Films, and again directed by Sanjay Gadhvi – Hrithik for the first time featured opposite India's most internationally well known actress, Aishwarya Rai (Bride and Prejudice, Mistress of Spices, Provoked, The Last Legion, The Pink Panther 2). Roshan's show-stealing performance, as the enigmatic and sexy master thief known only as 'Mister A', earned him widespread critical acclaim from such disparate sources as Variety, "Loaded with enough attitude, Bollywood starpower and buff bodies to stop a speeding train" to The New York Times, "[O]ld-fashioned star power is what animates and elevates it" to CNN-IBN, "Hrithik Roshan is the heart, the soul, and the spirit of the film." The movie emerged a global blockbuster and grossed 1.50 billion (US$24 million) worldwide.
In 2006 Hrithik Roshan (in Dhoom 2) beat out himself (in Krrish) to bring home his third career Filmfare Best Actor Award.
Roshan's next project did not release until February 2008, due its sheer size and scale: Ashutosh Gowariker's Jodhaa Akbar. He played a historical person for the first time, as the young Muslim Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great who marries the Hindu princess Jodhabai as his Empress (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) in a political alliance to ensure peace in the realm, and thus must learn respect and tolerance in his personal relations as well as the empire he governs. Jodhaa Akbar did very good business, both in India and abroad, earning 1.12 billion (US$18 million). Hrithik's performance was widely appreciated by both audiences and critics, earning him his fourth Filmfare Best Actor Award as well as his first international award –"Best Actor" at the Golden Minbar International Film Festival in Kazan, Russia.
Roshan appeared briefly in childhood friend Zoya Akhtar's directorial début, Luck by Chance in January 2009, a comedy-satire set against the Hindi film industry. Hrithik played a movie superstar named 'Zaffar Khan' who slyly dodges a not-so-enthralling project he's already shooting in favour of a higher-profile movie with another producer, thus creating the vacuum which allowed the protagonist played by Farhan Akhtar (Zoya's brother) to get his first shot at being a Film Hero. Luck by Chance failed to find an audience but was well received by critics, earning a 75% "fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Throughout 2009 Hrithik Roshan was heavily involved with his family's next home production, the ambitious multi-national romantic thriller Kites, which did not release until May 2010. Largely shot in the United States (Nevada and New Mexico), Kites was produced by his father Rakesh Roshan but directed by Anurag Basu (Gangster, Life in A... Metro, Barfi!). Hrithik played a grey character, an American-born man in Las Vegas running a green card scam where he has married 11 different women in exchange for money. All hell breaks loose when he falls in love with his 11th illegal wife, played by Uruguayan-Mexican actress Barbara Mori, who is engaged to a casino gangster's son. Kites received a huge national and international release on what was then a record number of screens, becoming the first Bollywood movie to break into the North American top 10. However, its mixed Hindi-English-Spanish dialogues seemed to confuse domestic Indian audiences. The film took a strong opening but eventually underperformed in India, although was better welcomed by international audiences and critics.
November 2010 saw Hrithik's first collaboration with director Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Black, Devdas): the bittersweet drama Guzaarish, which united him for the third time with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Upon release, the film received overwhelmingly positive reviews. As, for instance, Subhash K. Jha: "No film in living memory has brought out the sheer blessing of being alive with such spirit and glory." Roshan's deft portrayal of Ethan Mascarenhas, a quadriplegic, was universally acclaimed as "one of the best performances of his career" and earned him "Best Actor" nominations in all that year's leading award ceremonies.
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and beyond (2011–present)
In July 2011, he appeared in Zoya Akhtar's multi-star comedy Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara alongside Abhay Deol and Farhan Akhtar as three 30-something lifelong friends and apparently secure professionals who rediscover their lives and their relationship during a road trip in Spain. This film also paired Hrithik romantically with Katrina Kaif for the first time. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara opened to extremely positive reviews, and Roshan's portrayal of a compulsive workaholic (a financial trader in London) was much praised. According to Rajeev Masand, "Hrithik Roshan once again brings real depth to his character with a spectacular performance. He's shy and restrained, then lets go with such fantastic intensity that you make the inward journey with his character". The film was widely successful at the box-office and grossed 1.53 billion (US$25 million) worldwide, surpassing even Dhoom 2 among Hrithik's films. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara dominated year-end awards for Hindi film, winning 33 awards out of a total 66 nominations, sweeping 7 Filmfare Awards – including both "Best Film" and "Best Film (Critics)" – as well as 9 International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) – including "Best Film" – and 2 National Film Awards. Roshan received "Best Actor" nominations all round, despite sharing equal screen time with two other actors.
In 2012, he then appeared in Agneepath directed by Karan Malhotra for Karan Johar's Dharma Productions, a reworking of the classic 1990 Agneepath revenge drama produced by Yash Johar. Cast alongside Priyanka Chopra and opposite villains played by Sanjay Dutt (as Kancha Cheena) and Rishi Kapoor, Roshan won huge praise for successfully reinterpreting one of the iconic characters of Hindi cinema – Vijay Deenanath Chauhan, originally given breath by the great Amitabh Bachchan – and boldly making the character his own. "Agneepath is worth a watch essentially to savor Hrithik's performance."
Agneepath (2012) took a historic opening and broke all opening-day records. The movie finished its theatrical run with a worldwide gross of 1.93 billion (US$31 million), making it one of the highest-grossing movies in Hindi film history.
His next film, the mega-project Krrish 3 (2013) – a sequel to Koi... Mil Gaya (2003) and Krrish (2006), in which Hrithik Roshan again plays the triple role of superhero Krrish, his alter ego Krishna Mehra, and the father Rohit Mehra – was released on 1 November 2013 after a long gap of more than 21 months, due to Hrithik's heavy personal involvement in all phases of this home production directed by his father Rakesh Roshan with music composed by his uncle Rajesh Roshan. Krrish 3 reunites Hrithik with his female lead from the second film, Priyanka Chopra, and pits him against villains played by Vivek Oberoi and Kangna Ranaut. The official Krrish 3 trailer broke all previous Indian film records for movie trailers, attracting more than 12 million views at YouTube in less than two weeks – even eclipsing the trailers for such Hollywood superhero mega-blockbusters as Thor (2011) and The Avengers (2012). Krrish 3 upon release attracted positive to mixed reviews while Roshan's performance was well received. Critic Komal Nahta noted, " Hrithik Roshan lives the role of Rohit Mehra and delivers an absolutely stunning performance. He is extremely endearing in that role and should easily pick up awards for the film on the strength of his performance in this role. As Krishna, he is lovely. His physique is to die for. And as Krrish, he is heroic to the core. The character of Krrish will be simply adored by the kids who will go crazy over his antics. The act of Krrish giving a wrist-band to Vicky, the kid whom he rescues, is a master stroke from the point of view of script and it will re-consolidate Hrithik Roshna's superstar status among the kid generation. " Commercially, it became a box-office phenomenon, grossing 3 billion (US$49 million) worldwide and was declared a "blockbuster".
Roshan's next release was the Fox Star Studios produced thriller Bang Bang (2014) with Katrina Kaif. While filming in Thailand, Roshan suffered a head injury from a stunt accident and underwent brain surgery to relieve a chronic subdural hematoma. The film released on October 2nd, 2014 to diverse rection from critics, though Roshan garnered praise for his performance. Critic Mohar Basu noted that Roshan was " pitch perfect" and "breez[ed] through his part brilliantly" A review from Bollywood Hungama stated that Roshan was "the driving force of the film" 
He will feature in Ashutosh Gowariker's period drama Mohenjo Daro for which he will be paid 500 million (US$8.1 million), a record breaking remuneration for an Indian actor. He will also pair up for the third time with Katrina Kaif in Zoya Akhtar's Road alongside Farhan Akhtar and Abhay Deol.
Roshan is among Bollywood's highest-paid actors. Besides acting, Roshan made his debut as a playback singer in Kites (2010), and has also sung for the films Guzaarish (2010) and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011).
In 2011 Roshan featured as a judge for the television dance competition reality show, Just Dance along with famed choreographers Farah Khan and Vaibhavi Merchant. He was paid 17.5 million INR per episode which makes him the highest paid Bollywood actor in television entertainment.The show got the highest opening (a cumulative TRP of 4.7) for a reality show that year for which he was voted as the best TV host by a poll conducted by Ormax Media.
A life-size wax figure was installed at London's Madame Tussauds Wax Museum on 20 January 2011, making him the fifth Indian actor to have been replicated as a wax statue in the museum. Another statue was installed in Washington, D.C. in 2012. Roshan launched his own casual wear brand HRx in November 2013.
Roshan was born in Mumbai to a family of cinema personalities. His father, film director Rakesh Roshan, is the son of music director Roshan, while his mother, Pinky, is the daughter of producer and director J. Om Prakash. Hrithik has an elder sister, Sunaina. His uncle Rajesh Roshan is a music director. As a child, Roshan attended the Bombay Scottish School. He later attended Sydenham College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Commerce.
During an interview he revealed that his childhood was traumatised because of stammering, a speech disorder that surfaced when he was around six years old and plagues him even today. "For oral tests at school, I used to bunk school, I used to fall sick, I used to break my hand, I used to get a sprain," the actor said. He said that things improved for him gradually, after he started practising speech therapies on a daily basis.
Roshan married Sussanne Khan, daughter of actor Sanjay Khan, on 20 December 2000. Hrithik had known Sussanne since the age of twelve.They moved among the same circle of friends while they were growing up in Juhu but Hrithik was shy to confess his feelings. Sussanne became his girlfriend for 4 years before their marriage. The couple has two sons, Hrehaan (born in 2006) and Hridhaan (born in 2008).
Roshan has two thumbs on his right hand. Although it is usually hidden in his films, it was shown in Koi... Mil Gaya and was even used as a minor plot point, as Jaadoo the alien was also designed to have two thumbs.
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