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|February 26, 2000||
'I’ve made an entry... while Hrithik has become a star'
When Rakesh Roshan premiered his son's debut film, Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, no on expected it become the first superhit film of the year 2000. Nor was Hrithik Roshan expected to become Bollywood's newest darling.
In fact, Hrithik has created such a sensation that spotlight and media attention has all but ignored the film's debutante heroine,
In fact, Hrithik has created such a sensation that spotlight and media attention has all but ignored the film's debutante heroine,Amisha Patel. We ask the newcomer how she feels in five pithy questions...
Your debut film, Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai is a stupendous success. How do you feel?
We knew it would do well, but what we did not know was just how well it would do. During the process of film-making, you can sort of gauge how the film will fare. Kaho Naa.. was a fresh young romantic film; it was well presented, the music was good, the locations were good, the story had a slight twist to it.
I knew that the film would be accepted by the masses. I thought that if Hrithik and I would be accepted, it would definitely be a plus for us. But that was all. We didn’t realise how big the film is going to be. And with both Mela and Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani scheduled to release after our film, we just did not know what to expect.
Do you think you have been sidelined in the whole Kaho Naa… mania? Hrithik is the darling of the masses today…
Yes, Hrithik is definitely a craze. I always knew from the beginning that this was a Hrithik Roshan film. I can say that he has got a lot more out of the film than I have for sure. But as a launch film for a girl, I think I’m very fortunate to be launched in a clean way with a good banner. With Kaho Naa…, I’ve made an entry into the world of films. While Hrithik has become a star.
But people recognise me now. After Kaho Naa…, when I would be asked for autographs, I would feel so surprised. And I would wonder, ‘What is so great about me?’ I think it’s difficult to be a public figure.
But I’m enjoying the success, adulation and respect. These are new things for me and I realise that with success comes a lot of responsibility. The public's expectations have increased because I have achieved a certain standard. Now I have to go above that. Had I started at a lower level, it would have been easier because the growth would have been gradual. But Kaho Naa... has brought me to such a level that, now, I have to work 10 times harder to maintain and better it.
You faced a lot of opposition from home when you decided to become an actress. Has that changed after the success of Kaho Naa...
No, nothing has changed on that front (laughs). My family would be happy if I left films even now. Right now, though, they are enjoying the success of Kaho Naa… And they feel that since they have been supportive of me till now, they might as well support me all the way. They have always encouraged me to do better and better.
My parents are my worst critics. They keep telling me about what I do wrong. They never put me on a pedestal, so there’s scope for improvement all the time. They are very supportive, in the sense that they are very particular about the kind of roles that I do. And since money is not a criterion, they would rather I achieve my goals.
Not really. All the films that I am doing now are the ones I signed before the release of Kaho Naa… I’ve only received acceptance with this film, not some earth-shattering offers.
Could you tell us something about your forthcoming films?
There's a film with Sunny Deol called Gadar; it means revolution. It’s a period film set in the backdrop of the Partition. I play a Muslim girl and Sunny plays a Sikh. Then I have Armaan with Vikram Bhatt, where Hrithik is my co-star. And there is Suno Sasurji with Aftab.
At the moment, I'm doing Suno Sasurji and really enjoying it. It’s a complete out-and-out family comedy -- the kind where you leave your brains at home, have a good laugh, come happy and go back happy.
Kaho Naa... had a bit of everything -- a little bit of suspense, some comedy… I was not focusing on one particular aspect. In this film, though, I am laughing while working, I go back laughing, it’s real fun.
In fact, the script of this film made me roll on the floor with laughter. If a person like me who doesn’t laugh so much can be like that, the public is gonna go crazy.
I play an absolutely spoilt girl in the film who is the total anti-thesis of her miserly father. To top it all, I fall in love with a guy whom my father does not like. The movie is about how we both get together in the end. It’s a real fun film.
Interview by Kanchana Suggu
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