Hrithik hugs his fans at BIG Cinemas
Last week Hrithik Roshan came to New York City to promote the release of his new romantic-action film Kites. He attended the film’s premiere at the AMC 25 multiplex, walked the red carpet and spoke to the press. But unlike many Bollywood stars who visit New York City, Hrithik also spent time with his fans at a special event, posing for pictures, giving autographs and even hugs to some of his female fans.
The event was hosted on May 15 by BIG Cinemas Manhattan theater on East 59th Street where the star’s fans – young women, older folks and even kids packed the auditorium. Hrithik arrived around 4.30 pm and was greeted by screaming fans and flashing cameras. For the next 20 minutes he spoke to the fans about Kites and his film career.
Hardly anybody sat on their seats as Hrithik came up on the stage. Standing fans slowly edged closer to the stage to get a better view of the star and to take closer camera shots. There was excitement in the air, since New York City rarely witnesses such interactions between Bollywood stars and the fans.
“I am as anxious and as excited as I was when my first film was released,” he said, when he was asked by the emcee Nisha Mathur about how he was feeling. “It’s weird but even after 10 years I feel like that.”
“Kites has been a special journey. I have put in two and half years of my blood and sweat, and my heart and soul into it. When you know it is something to add to your life, it is natural to feel nervous and anxious.”
He said that Kites was his most challenging role. “Even though it was a not a mentally challenged character (Koi…Mil Gaya) or a superhero (Krrish), but physically it was very challenging.”
Earlier speaking to the press about his role in Kites – where he plays Jay, a salsa dance trainer in Las Vegas and a small time hustler, who falls in love with a woman set to marry a rich man’s son, Hrithik said that he had to unlearn a lot that he had picked up from his other Bollywood films.
“I had to go through the process of unlearning and training my mind to switch off and let go,” he said at the Kites press day. “In my past films I’ve done a lot of work where I knew the right chord to hit and knew the reactions it would evoke. But sporadically sometimes in films like Koi…Mil Gaya and Lakshya, I touched up another area to this art. I ventured out and enjoyed the flight of an actor. I loved that and realized that there was something more to this art than what I have been doing.”
“So overtime I was preparing myself for a film like Kites where I had to completely let go,” he added. “Anurag Basu’s (director of Kites) vision demanded that. He wanted it to be an honest film. He didn’t want me to be a star in it.”
At the interaction session with the fans, Hrithik was asked about his knee injury and the treatment he got before the shooting of Kites began.
“Two years ago I was diagnosed with a knee problem,” he said speaking very honestly before the gathered fans. “Science had given up on my knee. I was heartbroken and almost considered switching my career and to do something else — sing, produce or direct. But I searched and searched for a treatment to bring back my knee in good shape.”
“I don’t listen to doctors anymore,” he added laughing.
In Kites Hrithik sings a song – his first such attempt in a film. He said he had about two weeks to practice that song. “From the waking hour in the morning to the time I went to sleep, I was rehearing,” he said.
“I am not a professional singer and neither is my character, but in order to make an honest film, the situation warranted that the song would be in the character’s voice.”
Fans gathered insisted that he should sing a few lines from the film’s title song, but Hrithik appeared shy and awkward. “Come on guys,” he kept pleading with them. Finally he said. “I won’t sing but is there anything else you would like me to do?” And the fans demanded that he should dance. So then Hrithik did something remarkable. He broke into a spontaneous smooth movement with his right arm as if it an extension of the wing of a bird.
One of the fans present at the event was Jasmine Kaur from San Jose, CA – winner of the special sweepstakes arranged by Reliance BIG Pictures and Reliance BIG Cinemas. The sweepstakes was publicized through Facebook and other promotions. Jasmine had flown in with her mother and she got a chance to attend the premiere of Kites on May 16 and also get a hug and pictures taken with Hrithik.
“I am such a big fan of yours,” Jasmine said to the star. “I watch Kaho Naa…Pyar Hai all the time and people think I am crazy.”
The entire event was packed with humor and fun. Fans laughed at the questions that were put to Hrithik and he in turn responded quickly evoking even more laughter. “How big is your bicep?” one male fan yelled out to the star. “Not as big as my heart!” Hrithik responded, bringing in another round of laughter!
An American fan stood up and said that K3G was the first Bollywood film she had seen and she loved the song You are my Sonia from it. She wanted Hrithik to sing the song. Instead the star brought her up on the stage and gave a big hug. Next up another fan raised a hand asking for a picture with him and Hrithik again agreed to that.
As he left the BIG Cinemas, Hrithik was mobbed by the fans, but he obliged them with more pictures, and even signed Kites movie posters and CDs. Starting Thursday, May 20 to Tuesday, May 25 fans can win Kites merchandise by participating on Facebook.
Kites will have the biggest global opening of any Indian film – on nearly 2,300 screens in India and abroad. This is Hrithik’s fourth film under his father Rakesh Roshan’s banner FilmKraft. Hrithik pointed out that his father was rarely on the set of Kites. “He wanted the film to reflect Anurag’s vision,” Hrithik said about his father. “But he did show up when the action sequences were being shot. And even then he was there just to support Anurag. He was like a father to all of us on the set.”
Author: Aseem Chhabra
Exclusive Kites Promotions in the US (now closed!)
- Buy 1 large Coke + 1 large Popcorn + 1 large Nachos and get a Limited edition Kites T-shirt FREE. Offer applicable at the following theaters:
- BIG Cinemas Fremont 7 – Fremont, CA
- BIG Cinemas Movie City 8 – Edison, NJ
- BIG Cinemas Bombay – Flushing, NY
- BIG Cinemas Golf Glen Stadium 5 – Niles, IL
- BIG Cinemas Norwalk 8 – Norwalk, CA
- Giveaways of FREE autographed merchandise on Facebook
- Special Kites screening on Thu, May 20th at 8pm. Showtimes & Theaters listing below: