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Hrithik on ‘Lakshya’ being ‘a turning point’ in his career: I don’t know why Farhan cast me

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New Delhi, June 18: Marking the 20th anniversary of “Lakshya”, actor Hrithik Roshan on Tuesday said filmmaker Farhan Akhtar cast him in the movie at a time when he was in search of his own identity, something he channelled through its protagonist Karan Shergill.

“Lakshya”, which won critical acclaim for both Hrithik and Farhan, was released in theatres on June 18, 2004. It also emerged as a hit at the box office.

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Set against the backdrop of the 1999 Kargil War, the Hindi film revolved around an aimless young man Karan Shergill (Hrithik), who joins the Indian Army and matures into a battlefield hero.

In a video shared on Instagram, Hrithik walked down memory lane where he reminisced about the making of the movie, finding himself and looking forward to the re-release of “Lakshya” in theatres on Friday.

The actor said he was in awe of Farhan, his childhood friend, who was fresh from the success of his 2001 directorial debut “Dil Chahta Hai”.

“I was very young, hardly an actor, and Farhan was a friend who had suddenly become this incredible mind,” said Hrithik, who had by then starred in 10 films, including “Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai”, “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham” and “Koi… Mil Gaya”.

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“When I saw his first film, I was like, ‘How has this person made this film? How? Where did he get the courage, knowledge, or information?’ He had written this beautiful script, and more than the story or the big cause, it was the character of Karan Shergill that was me.

“I don’t know what made Farhan cast me, but perhaps that director’s mind could see through and understand a person’s countenance, knowing that this human had been through certain things that would make him the perfect cast for this film,” he further said.

At that time, Hrithik — now 50 — said he was the perfect human, not the actor, to be cast in “Lakshya”.

“I had been through all those experiences in very similar ways. Karan Shergill was me. I did not need to do much. The naivety, spontaneity, anger, being on the cusp of maturity, learning the ways, being completely confused and dumbfounded as to what I was going to do in my life, not having any hopeful avenues — I went through that crossroad so greatly and intensely in my life that it just came naturally to me.” The actor credited Farhan for guiding him throughout the making of the film, which was a difficult shoot with a major portion shot in the mountainous terrain of Ladakh in extremely low temperatures.

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“…’Lakshya’ has been a turning point in my career as an actor because here I was working with a director for the first time in my life who told me to ignore the camera,” he added.

Hrithik described Farhan as a “hard taskmaster” on set who would be his usual jovial, fun self when not on set.

“I truly think it’s a film that was destined to be. It has gone a long way in changing people’s lives, livelihoods as well. I’m just full of gratitude that this film happened in my life and that I got a chance to grow via this film and via these people that I worked with,” he said.

Produced by Farhan and Ritesh Sidhwani’s Excel Entertainment, “Lakshya” also starred Amitabh Bachchan and Preity Zinta. The film’s soundtrack, composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and penned by Javed Akhtar, continues to be popular among listeners. Boman Irani, Anjula Bedi, Lillete Dubey, M. K. Raina, Kushal Punjabi, and Om Puri also rounded out the cast. (PTI)

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