New Delhi: Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan, who turned 48 on Monday, with his enviable looks, acting prowess and flawless dancing skills, has been the quintessential heartthrob of the nation for almost 22 years now.
Son of filmmaker Rakesh Roshan, he made brief appearances as a child actor in several films during the 1980s and later even worked as an assistant director on some of his father’s films. Later, he made his debut as a leading actor with the landmark box office success that was ‘Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai’ in the year 2000 and became an overnight sensation with this movie.
Today, Hrithik is among the highest-paid actors in India and has won several awards, including six Filmfares, four for Best Actor and one each for Best Debut and Best Actor (Critics). Though his Bollywood journey has had several highs and lows during the course of his career, one thing that is undeniable is the diverse roles that his filmography boasts of.
Be it Hrithik’s portrayal of the developmentally disabled Rohit Mehra in ‘Koi… Mil Gaya’ or the Mughal Emperor Akbar in ‘Jodha Akbar,’ the actor has never shied away from experimenting with his roles.
On the occasion of his 48th birthday let’s have a look back at some of the roles that define him as an actor.
- Koi… Mil Gaya (2003)
This Rakesh Roshan directorial in a way revived Hrithik’s career after box office duds like ‘Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon’ and ‘Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage’. The film revolved around what happens when the protagonist, a simpleton whose brain functions as that of an 11-year-old, comes in contact with an extra-terrestrial being nicknamed ‘Jaadoo’. Though it was an extremely difficult role to pull off, Hrithik’s portrayal of the innocent Rohit impressed everyone and served as strong proof of his acting capabilities.
- Lakshya (2004)
This war drama showed Hrithik’s transformation from a young guy who had no direction in life to becoming a disciplined and fearless army officer, Lieutenant (later acting Captain) Karan Shergill. It’s a coming-of-age story set against a fictionalized backdrop of the 1999 Kargil War and has been regarded as a cult film. In the film, Hrithik also showcased his phenomenal dancing skills once again in the movie with the song ‘Main Aisa Kyun Hoon’, choreographed by none other than Prabhudeva.
- Krrish (2006)
The phenomenally positive response to ‘Koi… Mil Gaya’ paved the way for this superhero saga, which helped Hrithik emerge as the choice of the younger generation during a time when the term ‘superhero’ was mostly a Hollywood thing. The film dealt with the clash between Rohit’s son and the scheming Dr Siddhant Arya, played by Naseeruddin Shah. It garnered attention because of its top-notch production values and action scenes. The blockbuster was followed by ‘Krrish 3’, and the franchise’s fourth installment is likely to go on the floors in the near future.
- Jodhaa Akbar (2008)
Set in the 16th century, the film revolves around the romance between the Mughal Emperor Akbar and the Rajput Princess Jodhaa Bai who becomes his wife, played by Aishwarya Rai. Hrithik delivered one of the finest performances of his career in this magnum opus of Ashutosh Gowariker. The actor hit the right notes with his restrained dialogue delivery and impeccable body language. His chemistry with Aishwarya Rai was also a highlight of the period drama.
- Agneepath (2012)
Stepping into Amitabh Bachchan’s big shoes could best be described as an act of extreme bravery. However, proving once again that he is no slouch in the intensity department himself, the actor aced his role in the remake of the iconic film.
Hrithik’s scenes with Sanjay Dutt, who played the nefarious Kancha Cheena, were as electrifying as can be and catered to the masses. The cast included Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif and the late Rishi Kapoor.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that this greek god of tinsel town is a perfect package when it comes to films, and with projects like ‘Vikram Vedha’ and ‘Fighter’ under his belt, his success as a performer is sure to reach new peaks in the near future.