New Delhi: Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan says he felt a certain “responsibility and strength” when he donned the uniform to play the role of an Indian Air Force officer in his upcoming film “Fighter”, directed by frequent collaborator Siddharth Anand.
Also starring Deepika Padukone and Anil Kapoor, the movie is billed as a tribute to the sacrifice and patriotism of the Indian armed forces. It is set to release in theatres across the country on Thursday.
In “Fighter”, Hrithik plays Squadron Leader Shamsher Pathania, whose aviator call sign is “Patty”.
“The uniform has some magic. There have been three costumes that I have worn (in my career). Like (superhero film) ‘Krrish’ had a cape and a costume and when I wore that, I felt strong. In ‘Lakshya’, when I wore the uniform (of an Indian Army officer), it gave me strength. “And in ‘Fighter’, when I wore the uniform, I felt a responsibility, weight and strength. The power you derive from a uniform is difficult to replicate. It is a surreal feeling. It works and you actually feel the power,” the 50-year-old said in a group interview.
Anand is releasing “Fighter” on the first anniversary of his last directorial “Pathaan”, and going by trailer, the film is high on action and patriotic fervour. It is loosely based on the Balakot airstrikes post the Pulwama attack in 2019.
Many have compared “Fighter” with the Tom Cruise-starrer “Top Gun” franchise for the many aerial shots that the director has used, but Hrithik disagreed.
“In my view, they (the two films) are not the same at all. In ‘Top Gun’, he is a rebel without a cause. That’s just his character,” he added.
While comparisons between “Fighter” and “Top Gun” are flattering, Anand said similarities between the two films end at aircrafts.
“I take it as a compliment when a film that we make here in our country, which is made on a fraction of a budget of what they can, because we make it in one language dedicated to one country. They make it in English, which can be exploited worldwide, so they have access to great budgets.
“It (‘Fighter’) has nothing to do with ‘Top Gun’, except for the fact that there are aircrafts in both the films… The similarity ends at those planes,” he added.
Hrithik and Anand first collaborated on the 2014 film “Bang Bang!”, incidentally an official remake of Cruise’s “Knight and Day”. They later teamed up for “War”, which is part of Yash Raj Films’ spy universe.
Praising the director and his quest for perfection, the actor said his partnership with Anand has been “extremely fruitful”.
“His preparedness about Hindi cinema and cinema from across the globe… He is also very stubborn, and he will not stop until the last moment to get things right and to be perfect.
“He will not stop and that is where I completely align with him because I know he will not give up. So that partnership has been extremely fruitful. I have seen him grow in all of these films,” he added.
Fresh from two big blockbusters “Pathaan” and “Jawan“, Deepika is looking forward to a hat-trick with “Fighter”, in which she plays Squadron Leader Minal “Minni” Rathore.
Her next two projects are also lavishly-mounted films “Kalki 2898 AD” and “Singham Again”, but the actor said budget has never been a deciding factor for her when it comes to signing a movie.
Citing the examples of her mid-budget films “Finding Fanny” and “Gehraiyaan”, Deepika said there is space for all types of films, but the onus is on the writers.
“What happened after COVID is that everyone felt a bit rattled because it was a new experience that everyone was coming out of.
“I think we made a lot of assumptions about where we are headed. Have things evolved, yes, they have evolved. But I think jumping to conclusions too soon in this journey about what’s working, what’s not working, big-budget…” she added.
At the end of the day, actors serve a script and director, said Deepika.
“You need to be true to the process… You invest in stories, characters, people, and the journey. If that happens to be a Rs 25 crore or Rs 50 crore budget movie, I’m more than happy to do that,” she said.
Kapoor, who plays Group Captain Rakesh Jai “Rocky” Singh in “Fighter”, was all praise for co-star Hrithik.
“I have worked with the best in the world and for me, I would rate him (Hrithik) with all the phenomenal actors I have worked with.. Sincere, honest and an actor to the core…
“If you just want to work for 10-12 years, then there is a separate process for that. but if you want to work for 50 years or till you die, then you have to become Hrithik Roshan,” he said.
In the interview, Anand also talked about the unprecedented success of “Pathaan”, which was released on January 25, 2023.
The film marked the big-screen return of Shah Rukh Khan after five years and was the first Hindi blockbuster release of last year minting over Rs 1,000 crore at the box office worldwide.
No one can plan such “a humongous success”, the filmmaker said.
“You can dream but there is no planning that goes into it. It’s a lot of luck and love, also a lot of effort. We were all taken by surprise, no one in the team expected it. “We all hoped that there would be a soft re-entry of Hindi movies into the hearts of the audiences. But they just opened their hearts for us,” he added.
Like “Pathaan”, Anand hopes “Fighter” also goes on to do something special.
“We are hoping not for the numbers but love from the audience. Even though it is very stylised, it is a desi film and extremely rooted. We are just hoping for love, numbers will follow,” he said.
(This report has been published as part of an auto-generated syndicated wire feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been modified or edited by ABP LIVE.)