An oft used cliché as the afore mentioned headline may be, but nothing could sum it up better when it comes to Hrithik Roshan’s journey of his alarming head injury and back. Why last year, a little before the release of his ambitious third edition of Krrish 3, the actor had to undergo surgery for the removal of a clot in his brain. Given his film commitments and promotional activities, his recovery was almost remarkable. And so finally, last week, when the media was treated to the first look of Hrithik Roshan’s forthcoming film Bang Bang, the collective gasp of delight that followed must have been sweet victory for the star, who has been going through a rough patch on the personal front too!
With gravity defying stunts, Hrithik and Katrina both known for their gorgeous good-looks and crackling on-screen chemistry, instantly sent the temperatures soaring. Needless to say when we came out of the theatre suitably impressed, reassuring Hrithik that he was looking fabulous in the trailer, came naturally. This once, I am certain nobody was faking it.
During the course of the complimentary conversation that followed, on being asked about the waterboarding sequence in the film promo, the actor proferred a quick and elaborate reply on what the process entailed. He confided that it was during this shoot that he had sustained a head injury—constantly hitting his head against the weight of the water had caused a clot in his brain and he had to be operated upon. Luckily, he recovered without any severe collateral damage, although his shooting schedule did go for a toss for a bit. I couldn’t help but ask the actor if he was aware of the perils of the sport and whether there was equipment to prevent such injuries. He answered in the affirmative, which puzzled me no end. After all, why would anybody, and an actor in particular, want to risk his life and limb for a shoot? When I asked him why he did not wear a helmet or something in order to protect himself, his instant reply, accompanied by a surprised grin, stumped me. According to the actor, a Hindi film hero, especially one played by a superstar could hardly be seen wearing a helmet when performing stunts! Heroes, after all, are meant to be brave and good looking at all times.
Well, at that moment any envy that I may have harboured for those that lead the rock-n-roll life, simply vanished.
Surely, playing with your life or physical wellbeing, just to get that perfect shot, is a rather high price to pay for stardom. And to think that actors (and stuntmen) do this ever so often, all for that perfect shot, tells you that stardom truly, does not always come easy! The last time I saw such Bollywood valour was at Berlinale, where despite the mercury dipping to minus 20 degree centigrade, our very own Priyanka Chopra sent temperatures soaring when she stepped on the red carpet in a slinky sari and backless choli combo! The Berliners were mighty impressed, as was I, bundled in all the woollens that I could possibly find. I did bring it up with her in an interview, and she roared with laughter when I incredulously asked her how she had pulled it off.
“Vanity, darling,” she winked and breezed away.
Indeed, only the brave and the reckless, as they say, shall inherit Bollywood stardom.