Actor, producer and director —Rakesh Roshan has donned all hats with equal aplomb. In a candid interview, he sums up his 40 years in showbiz — the journey from Sunghursh to Krrish 3, working with superstar son Hrithik Roshan, hits, misses and more
How did you get started in the film industry?
* I joined H.S. Rawail for Sunghursh with Dilip Kumar and then Anjaana starring Rajendra Kumar and Babita. From there I got my break as an actor. As an actor, I always felt I could do better but I wasn’t getting good roles.
So you cut short an acting career and turned to producing films?
* Eventually it’s the producer that matters the most in the scheme of things, so slowly I switched over producing Aap Ke Deewane, Kaamchor and Bhagwan Dada and it was then that I realised that is the director who holds the key to the film (laughs). Khudgarz was my first film as a director and then came Khoon Bhari Maang, Kishen Kanhaiya, King Uncle, Karan Arjun, Koyla, Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, Koi Mil Gaya, Krrish and now Krrish 3.
As a producer, you certainly would have been more involved than merely bankrolling the films?
* When I was producing films, I would sit in on edits and script sessions so I learnt about it. For my first film as director, I went to Rajinikant who had acted in Bhagwan Dada but he was busy with Uttar Dakshin. I then approached Kamal Haasan but he refused, so I was a bit dejected. Then I saw Dost starring Shatrughan Sinha and Dharmendra. I liked him and I thought he would be best suited to play a Bihar babu and so I changed the story. Jeetendra was a good friend, so he agreed and Shatru said yes too, but I told him not to come late on the sets as it was my first film! He kept his word and stuck to the time that he had agreed to as reporting time —11 am.
What gave you the idea to then direct a heroine dominated film in the urban milieu? Also what made you choose Rekha and model Sonu Walia for the parts they played?
* I wanted to make a heroine oriented film and so came Khoon Bhari Maang. Khudgarz had done well so the distributers had faith in me. I chose Rekha because she would have been