Your gamble with Koi Mil Gaya has worked.
Surely, it has given me the confidence to keep moving in the untried direction.
But were you tense?
It was the biggest risk of my career and it paid off. Doing this character and then waiting for the audience verdict was the most tormenting time of my life.
But before KMG, were you rattled when people called you a one-film wonder?
It never rattled me. It may have been cruel. But it was the truth. It gave me a reason to fight back.
You were called the best and the worst performer of the year for Koi Mil Gaya and Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon.
Cinema is the director's medium. Sooraj Barjatya had the character completely etched in his mind and I did exactly what he told me to do in MPKDH. But I stand by the film and the performance.
You experimented with the role in KMG?
I had a free hand to interpret Rohit's character. No one knew how I'd walk till I came on the sets.
In 2004, you're doing just one film.
Yes, Lakshya. The character is totally new and it portrays me in a different light.
But one film a year isn't Bollywood's style.
I haven't decided to do just one film at a time. But the roles must excite me.
You feel you should have been selective?
I feel I'd have been better off without doing so many films after knph just for doing them.
What next with Dad?
He's got some ideas for his next film. We are planning to go on a higher plane than KMG.
What changes in your life in 2004?
I need to reinvent myself a bit.