Why Britney bowled over Hrithik
The star learns a few lessons from the West
Subhash K Jha
Hrithik Roshan has just returned to Mumbai after a spectacularly successful concert tour of the US and Canada. Called the Heartthrobs Live in Concert, the show featured artistes like Karisma and Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal and Aftab Shivdasani.
The American press feted his stage presence by putting him on the front page of leading newspapers, including the Washington Post and The Chicago Tribune, and by comparing him to Elvis Presley and Tom Cruise.
Roshan says, "The tour has changed me. I have become stronger. While doing rehearsals in India, I thought live shows were a huge mountain I had to climb. But all my reservations about concert performances have vanished. We have broken records in every single city except Manchester. There we just broke even, because the majority of the Asian population in Manchester is Pakistani. Because of Indo-Pak tension, they boycotted our shows."
Roshan believes Indian performers need to give a lot more value for money to justify the steep ticket prices at Indian concerts abroad. "I took time off to watch Britney Spears in concert with my wife [Suzanne Khan]. I realised the lighting, backup, everything on stage was inadequate for my shows. With the money we make at stage shows, we must give a lot more to the audience. It is a great money- making opportunity. We must give as good as we get. Next time, I want to give the audience something more."
Though he was offered a lucrative deal immediately after the last show of his just-concluded concert tour, Roshan says he will not go back for another international concert for at least two years. "I have given my best to this concert tour. If I go back I do not expect half the people to come. In each film I play a new character and give a new thrill each time. How much can I reinvent myself on stage? I will plan another concert only towards the end of 2004."
Roshan's latest release Na Tum Jaano Na Hum, opposite Esha Deol and directed by Arjun Sablok, failed to make the mark at the box-office in India, but the film seems a huge success among the NRIs. "Everywhere, I was being congratulated for my performance. I guess I was alright in the film. Now I have Mujhse Dosti Karoge with Rani Mukherji and Kareena Kapoor coming up in August. Like all of Yash Chopra's films, it is a sweet, romantic musical with some lovely songs."