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|September 6, 2000||
'Fiza and Mission Kashmir will prove I'm not a one-movie star!'
Rifat Jawaid in Calcutta
Hrithik Roshan and the cast of Fiza met the Calcutta press yesterday for a preview discussion of the film. However, Karisma Kapoor, Jaya Bachchan and Khalid Mohamed (director of Fiza)couldn't make it to the interactive session.
Hrithik Roshan appeared quite optimistic about his second movie. Describing Fiza as a family drama, Hrithik says, "Fiza is about a family consisting of a mother, a sister and a brother. I am playing Amaan, Fiza's (Karisma) younger brother, who gets separated from his family during Bombay communal riots. I am a boy next door. There's nothing heroic about my character, though there is, indeed, something human about Amaan.
"It's so important for an actor to break away from the shackles of the usual stereotyped image. It lends you versatility."
Hrithik modestly admits that he has yet to prove his acting mettle. According to him, the success of Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai notwithstanding, he is still a one-movie star. "But I'm sure, after Fiza and Mission Kashmir, I will be able to silence my critics who still seem to have reservations about my acting talent," Hrithik told rediff.com.
How was it like working with Jaya Bachchan, Karisma Kapoor and other established names? "It was the experince of a lifetime working with both of them. I got to learn so many things from Jaya-Aunty and Karisma -- she's a thorough professional. I turned to her for advice many a time during the film. As for Jaya-Aunty, she is the sweetest person. She always treated me like her son, kept calling me Betu, Betu, which made me feel at home."
When asked whether he was facing any challenge from other star sons like Fardeen Khan and Abhishek Bachchan, Hrithik said the competitive feeling never entered his mind. Ultimately, he says, it's one's talent, not lineage, that proves your ability.
The music of Fiza has been composed by Anu Malik, except for one song, Piya Haji Ali, which has been scored by A R Rhaman. This had apparently angered Malik who has openly admitted his aversion to composing songs with other music directors.
Claims Malik, "I don't work with other composers. This is one principle I have always believed in. Of course, I've missed many offers because of it. Even in Fiza, I was kept in dark by both Pradeep Guha and Khalid. They told me it wasn't a song but a qawwali composed in praise of Baba Haji Ali. Being a devout follower myself, I didn't insist much. Later, I came to know that it was composed by Rahman. I sincerely feel I could have done an equally good job with this song."
He might have a point. For lyricist Gulzar is full of praises for Malik. "His passion for music is something I have always admired. Just listen to the music. His tunes in Fiza, will transport you to another world."
As for Sunidhi Chauhan, fledging singer who sung Mehboob mere, on Sushmita Sen, working with so many big names was nothing less than manna. After Ramgopal Varma's Mast, Fiza is the second big break for this teenage singing sensation. She says, excitedly. "Working with A R Rahman and Anu Malik was, indeed, a memorable experience. However, for me it's merely an entry into singing field. I still have a long way to go."
Producer Pradeep Guha remarks, "We have tried to spread the message of communal harmony and the need for national integration to our fellow countrymen through this film. It's heartening to see the unprecedented response Fiza has received on the opening day of advanced booking. The show has been booked up for one entire week, which is simply amazing."
About interesting encounters during the filming of Fiza, Hrithik recounted the time when he and Neha shot for the song Aaja mahia. They were asked to go crazy, wave their hands joyously. "We were busy doing our stuff in the middle of the road with cars zooming past us from both sides. We didn't realise they were looking at us funny. They probably thought we were crazy! Since this happened before the release of Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, it didn't create any traffic snarls -- nobody knew us then."
Well, everybody knows him now. Even Hollywood. Though Hrithik refused to divulge more about the reported offers that have poured in from the West.
On possible threats to his life in the aftermath of the near-fatal attempt on his father, Rakesh Roshan, Hrithik confessed he did have to cordon himself off. "It's natural for a father to want to protect his son's life especially when it's known that our lives are not safe any longer."
Indeed, there was unprecedented security deployed at Taj Bengal Hotel. In fact, the press conference venue was thoroughly checked by the Special Branch personnel before the Fiza cast made their appearance.
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