It's the most awaited film of the year. Jodhaa Akbar, the inspired offering by Ashutosh Gowarikar on the life of a much-loved emperor, is ready for release and hero Hrithik Roshan talks about his Akbar experience.
A hip thriller like Dhoom 2 and now a period movie like Jodhaa Akbar–both with Aishwarya Rai. Was it difficult to change focus?
No. On the contrary, I was very comfortable because both Aishwarya and I came into this film immediately after Dhoom 2. Though both films are almost extremes, it was fun exploring and comparing the two themes.
How did you react when Ashutosh Gowarikar first offered you the film?
I was intrigued by the script, by the situations and moments he had chosen to explore in the film. Ashutosh has his own perceptions about emotions and situations, which are very refreshing because they are so much his own. I loved the script and definitely wanted to explore the character.
And now that the film is ready, does it hold true to its promise?
The audience will decide that very soon. As far as I am concerned, I loved doing the film. What happens next will be a bonus.
But how do you feel when you see the finished product?
It’s difficult for me to appreciate and not be critical of my own work. I never like my own work, so it’s difficult to answer this.
Did you stick to the original script–or did things change as filming began?
Both actually. Within the framework of the script we did achieve a balance between discipline and spontaneity. That’s actually Ashutosh’s forte.
Was it exciting… the thought of playing such a revered emperor?
I was looking at the script from the point of view of what it offered the character. Not so much from the historical viewpoint, but that of emotion and drama and entertainment value. If the same situations were to be played by another character, not Akbar, I would’ve still been intrigued enough to play the role.
Did you do any reading, any research for the role?
I did read a lot, but after that I discarded all that I read so that I could play the character without any references in my mind. And if I wanted to be real, I couldn't imitate anybody.
Does the film have classic value, like many earlier historicals?
We’ve worked to make an honest film. All that comes now will be the fall out of our work… who knows where it could go… but the point was to do a sincere film as realistically as possible. Those are the only things within our control, what happens after is beyond our control.
How excited are you?
One is always full of anxiety and curiosity, mostly about how people will receive it. It’s one of the most radical departures from what is expected of me. So it would be really interesting to see if I have risen to that challenge and have succeeded in fulfilling that expectation.