Hrithik Roshan’s performance in Kaabil has been unanimously hailed as his career-best, so far. As the visually-impaired Rohan Bhatnagar, he was vulnerable and at the same time sharply sensitive. Karan Johar couldn’t stop raving about his performance. He tweeted, “As a filmmaker, it’s exhilarating to watch an actor deliver his best. Hrithik is a powerhouse of talent and is exemplary in Kaabil.” No doubt, the actor will be a hot favourite for the Best Actor Award next year. Here, he tells us what he feels was special about his performance, the response to his role and more...
Actors move on after films leave theatres. Is that how it is for you?
It’s the same for me, but sometimes the characters you play assume a life of their own. I am realising this with Rohan Bhatnagar. Practically every day, I have something new coming my way due to this character. I realise that there was something special there. I was particularly touched when someone whose name is Rohan Bhatnagar wrote a very sweet and sensitive letter about how post the release of Kaabil, people are reacting to him differently.
What has stayed with you about the film?
What has stayed with me, is a special discovery. That those who we think are disabled are actually our equals and sometimes more. Their abilities are different. A blind person can’t see, but his other senses can be sharper than us. Differently abled is not just a polite phrase, it is actually the truth. They don’t need our sympathy, they need inclusion and sensitivity.
Whether it is your performance in Koi Mil Gaya or Guzaarish and now, Kaabil, your performances about differently-abled characters have gotten more love from the audiences. Comment.
This is not to generalise, but a differently-abled person is more in touch with his emotional self. Giving and receiving love is very central to their being. That’s the only common thing between these three characters otherwise they are very different from each other. The love that they receive from audiences is also because they are so emotionally transparent.
Do you think Kaabil has had a lasting impact on the minds of the audiences?
It seems so. And I am not here referring to the box office or for that matter the great reviews that we got. The character seems to be finding a lot of love. Even though it’s in the pure commercial space, it makes a point about those who are differently-abled.
It will perhaps get you a nomination for Best Actor. Your thoughts...
I have received a tremendous amount of love. I don’t know about award nominations, but it surely feels good to be appreciated in this manner. It was actually emotionally overwhelming in the beginning to get this love and appreciation.
What are the films that have stayed with you?
Taare Zameen Par. I won’t talk about my films, but in the current history of films, this was one film that has stayed with me.