"I really need to be by myself sometimes. I am working amongst people all day, people and more people… I sit in my car and there are people. I can’t even take a drive on my own because I have guards. I have a gun with me all the time. Every place I go I am surrounded, except in the loo, I guess."
(G Magazine)

With his extraordinary dancing ability and his archangelic looks, Hrithik Roshan became a national craze the moment his debut film, Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, premiered. But along with the near-hysterical adulation came an assassination attempt on his father, not to mention a violent insurgency in Nepal fueled by the simple invocation of his name -- leading Bollywood's newest superstar to seriously contemplate a *very* early retirement.

   The nephew of composer Rajesh Roshan, who scored KNPH, and the son of Rakesh Roshan, who directed it, Hrithik still balks at the idea that his path to fame was an easy one. "Iíve striven so hard to reach a certain point in my career, and that is what makes it worthwhile: the struggle that I went through. And let me tell you that struggle neednít necessarily mean going to production offices and asking for films. I had my own kind of struggle. I had to struggle against my own complexes. For me, so far it has made sense to call it a struggle. I hope that these years that Iím living now will someday make sense to me." (123india.com)

  Complexes aside, he certainly has a lot to make sense of. When the dazzling success of KNPH attracted the attention of mafiosos willing to use threats in order to get a cut of the profits, the Roshans' refusal to pay up provoked someone -- the question of 'who' has never been answered -- to order his father killed. Rakesh barely survived a gunshot wound to the chest. In an interview with G Magazine, Hrithik muses, "I was left dumbstruck when the whole shooting episode happened to Dad. For a long time I stood out of the whole incident and tried to tell myself that some man came and removed a gun and actually shot a bullet at my dad. At a certain level it was so unrealistic that I almost thought it had happened to someone else."

  In the immediate aftermath, Hrithik announced that he would be retiring from films. Only an immense outpouring of support from the film community and the country at large moved him to retract the decision. But barely had he caught his balance before another tragedy struck -- this one of international proportions.

   In late December 2000, a group of Nepalese students took to the streets of Kathmandu to protest statements they claimed Hrithik had made demeaning Nepal and its citizens. While their claims were later debunked, the rioting spread, eventually claiming the lives of four people and leaving 180 injured. Hrithik tells G Magazine: "The Nepal episode is still completely beyond me. Maybe somebody was paid to mess up the relationship India and Nepal share. And one of the things on their agenda was this. What other explanation can I give myself for something as absurd as this? I mean, why on earth were people burning up other people? Because Hrithik Roshan said in some interview that he didnít like Nepalese people. And the best part of the whole thing is that until then, I had done just two interviews -- one was the ĎRendezvous with Simi Garewalí which had remotely nothing to do with Nepal. And the other one was ĎFace to Faceí with BBC which wasnít even aired. It got aired in January. So donít even ask me because I have no idea. It makes no sense to me at all."

   At least on the homefront, Hrithik Roshan's life seems ideal. His recent marriage to his girlfriend of six years, Suzanne Khan (cousin of actor Fardeen Khan), is going strong: "I guess Iím just very lucky in love. People told me that love flies out the window once you get married. But thatís not the case at all. Maybe my love doesnít have any windows at all. It still very much exists." (G Magazine). Neither he nor Suzanne let themselves be affected by the inevitable rumors of affairs with co-stars like Kareena Kapoor and Preity Zinta. "I canít stop them from saying what they want to even if I say or explain how much I love Suzanne. People are still gonna write what they want to. But honestly, it really doesnít bother me. As long as it doesnít bother my family and Suzanne, it doesnít matter. If anything even affected Suzanne one bit, then I wouldíve got very upset. But since it is not, I enjoy it. We have a good laugh at it." (G Magazine) And if his recent profile in GQ magazine and the buzz on the grapevine are any indication, Hrithik Roshan may soon be doing his laughing in Hollywood -- that is, if his shooting schedule ever permits. Right now, he's booked solid for the next five years.

Hrithik Roshan

Hrithik Roshan
born: January 10, 1974
height: 6'

1986 Bhagwan Dada
2000 Fiza*
2000 Kaho Na Pyaar Hai (debut)*
2000 Mission: Kashmir*
2001 Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham*
2001 Yaadein
2002 Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage
2002 Mujhse Dosti Karoge
2002 Na Tum Jaano Na Hum
2003 Koi Mil Gaya
2003 Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon
2004 Lakshya*
* acclaimed performance

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