Few actors get the overnight success that Hrithik Roshan enjoyed after Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai. Suddenly, the one-film old Hrithik was being compared with the Khan troika, with all their legacy. The love affair that started with the nimble-footed actor in the 90s continues to this day, despite some hiccups along the way. As Hrithik Roshan celebrates his 48th birthday today, here’s revisiting his launch into Bollywood.
It may seem unlikely after War established his easy-going charm and spontaneity to an all-new generation, but there was a time when many doubted his calibre, especially during his dull run at the box office in 2002.
In fact some even called out his filmmaker father Rakesh Roshan for taking the wrong decision of making him play a boy with mental health issues in Koi Mil Gaya (2003). Despite the naysayers, Hrithik managed to win back his fans while adding another feather to his cap with the hit film.
“Because Hrithik gives me time I can tap new genres. No one would have made Koi Mil Gaya (2003) after Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai. People said I was mad to make Hrithik play a mentally challenged character,” Rakesh Roshan told Filmfare in 2012.
Hrithik Roshan‘s launch in Bollywood still remains any star kid’s dream. With Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai (2000), Rakesh Roshan proved why he saved his best for his son’s mega debut. Hrithik was anointed a superstar after his debut, his film a cultural signpost for the 90s generation.
But Hrithik took time to sink in this new fandom, sometimes even doubting himself for being “cut out for the industry.” Rakesh Roshan revealed Hrithik was once immensely distressed with the same thought. “Hrithik was crying in his room. He was like, ‘I can’t handle it. I can’t work, I can’t go to the studio. There are buses full of girls and boys coming to meet me. I’m not getting a chance to learn, to act, to concentrate on my work. Everybody wants to meet me,’” Roshan senior had told The Quint.
The filmmaker added that he told his son not to feel burdened and take this adulation as a blessing and get used to it.
According to Rakesh Roshan, Hrithik is living his dream. “I failed as an actor. But like any parent, I wanted my son to live my dreams. Hrithik has done the things I could not do in my life. He makes me a proud father,” he told DNA in 2017.
Today, fans believe in Hrithik to pull off any kind of role, be it Jodha-Akbar or Guzaarish, Dhoom 2 or Krrish. His upcoming include Fighter and the Hindi remake of Vikram Vedha.
Happy birthday, Hrithik Roshan!