Born on January 10, 1974 to then film star Rakesh Roshan (now producer/director) and wife Pinky, Hrithik (aka Duggu) grew up in the world of cinema, not truly understanding the hardships that one must endure to achieve success in the industry.
As a child, Hrithik’s idol was none other than Papa Roshan, and he knew even then that one-day, he’d follow in dad’s footsteps and pursue a career in acting as well. Being the grandchild of Producer J. Om Prakash, Duggu debuted in films as a child when he played a role in his Nana-ji’s movie Bhagwan Dada. Later, he also danced for a song sequence in his grandfather’s Aasha (starring Jeetendra).
Hrithik attended Sydneham College (with longtime friend Uday Chopra) and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in B’Comm. While Mama and Papa Roshan wanted Hrithik to continue his post-graduate education abroad, Duggu had other plans in mind.
Determined to prove himself as an actor, Duggu enrolled himself in Kishor Namit Kapoor’s acting classes without informing his parents until months later. He wanted to reach his potential before showcasing his talent to his family, and then the world. Wanting to learn everything about cinematography and acting, he worked with his father during the production of Koyla and Karan-Arjun. Later, he even helped his father during the scripting stages of Kaho NaaPyaar Hai, not knowing that his papa had chosen him for the lead role.
When Rakesh Roshan told his son that he’d be doing the film, after the initial shock of the news subsided, Duggu asked his father for six months to prepare for the role. Hrithik got his wish, Rakesh-ji got a superstar actor, and in January of 2000, the world got a brand new idol.
After the release of Kaho NaaPyaar Hai, Hrithik’s name instantly got penciled in on the top directors’ list of “actors to sign for upcoming film”. The big shots of the film industry began to approach him with scripts left and right. Hrithik became and instant success and while the world around him put him on a plateau, this boy-next-door was trying to figure out what all the hype was about. Even at the prime of his success, Duggu kept his feet firmly glued to the ground.
Hrithik’s family and friends, including then longtime girlfriend Sussanne Khan, were extremely proud of this shy boy that they watched turn into an amazing actor. Never had they dreamed that his first performance would earn Hrithik a Filmfare not only for best newcomer, but best actor as well.
It wasn’t until after the success of KNPH, once he was financially stable, that Duggu decided to marry his one true love. On December 20th, 2000, Hrithik managed to get a few days off from the camera in order to wed Sussanne at her father’s Golden Palm’s Resort and Spa in Bangalore. Many hearts around the world were broken that day, but marriage only seemed to help increase Hrithik’s appeal.
As a newcomer, he signed films with all the big banners, and although not all of his films were successful, Hrithik has grown as an actor in each one. After KNPH, critics raved about his performance in both Fiza and Mission Kashmir. With each of his first films, the audience’s demand for excellence increased, and with that, Hrithik’s need to meet the expectations of his fans. Unfortunately, a few of Hrithik’s next films flopped due to poor story line and bad scripting. Even so, Duggu gave 200% to every role he did, and all of his performances, regardless of the movie’s overall success at the box office, were liked among critics and fans alike. These flops only gave Hrithik a reason to work harder, to prove himself again.
He did so with Koi Mil Gaya – his second project with Papa Roshan. In a time when the media wrote him off, the father-son duo went beyond all borders of Hindi cinema with Bollywood’s first Sci-Fi film. Hrithik’s performance as the mentally challenged Rohit got him accolades not only from critics and fans, but also from the film fraternity. As Papa Roshan said at the 2004 Filmfare awards, the same critics that wrote him off were now giving him an award.
With his most recent film Lakshya, Duggu has only continued to excel at his talent. Though Farhan Akhtar’s second film didn’t bring in the box office collections that his directorial debut did, Hrithik’s performance had the critics talking once again.
In 2006, the world watched and waited as Hrithik prepared to deliver the sequel to 2003 success Koi Mil Gaya, Krrish and also a sequel to 2004’s blockbuster Dhoom, Dhoom 2. And prove himself he did, as the hardworking actor continues to do time and again. Rising higher and higher like a phoenix with every character he gives life to. Surpassing expectations every time. With Krrish the father and son team again crossed boundaries to go where no Hindi film has gone before, giving India its first celluloid superhero. Children and adults alike immediately fell in love with the caped, masked hero performed with panache by Hrithik, arguably the only actor in the entire industry who could carry off such a role on his mighty shoulders so very convincingly. Hrithik also reiterated his talent for double roles by playing the characters of both the young Krrish and his aging father Rohit with remarkable ease. The movie went on to become one of the year’s biggest blockbusters.
And if he rescued the world from miscreants in Krrish, in Dhoom 2 he proved his versatility by playing the silver screen’s most dashing and enthralling thief. As Mr A, Hrithik oozed confidence and style, thrilling women and men, young and old alike with his stylishly planned heists, mesmerising charisma and a body sculpted to sexy perfection! The entire movie-watching world buzzed with the unanimous opinion – that Dhoom 2 was fantastic because Hrithik Roshan was fantastic. Hrithik’s effect on movie goers was like a intoxicating drug, making us go back again and again to enjoy the rush one more time! In spite of a late release in the year, Dhoom 2 too became the year’s biggest hit. With Krrish and Dhoom 2 smashing box office records all over, Hrithik once again earned himself critical and popular acclaim and awards from all corners of the globe. Today he has re-affirmed his place as one of the highest earning actors in the industry. He is without doubt one of the most deserving.
From one drastically different role to another, Hrithik’s latest project will see him in the role of an emperor when a piece of history is brought to life in Ashutosh Gowariker’s period drama Jodha Akbar. We await the film in complete confidence that Hrithik will give as much authenticity to his first historical character as he has to so many roles in his short career.