As Hrithik Roshan fans celebrate the actor’s 43rd birthday, the Greek god has indeed come a long way in his career and is a walking example for anyone wanting to climb the ladder of success with élan.
The actor looks for another hit in his upcoming film Kaabil, so aptly named “deserving”. In fact, he has been one of the most handsome and enduring faces around in Bollywood.
Credited as one of the best of the industry's dancers, Hrithik was described by The Los Angeles Times as "a sensational dancer" who "has the dashing, chiselled looks of a silent movie matinee idol".
But things weren’t always as rosy for him. Hrithik was born with an extra thumb on his right hand which, according to him, meant "life was tough for me. When I was a kid, nobody played with me because they thought I looked ugly".
The actor was also mortally scared of stammering, a speech disorder that first appeared when he was about six years of age. The actor has admitted during an interview that he used to be traumatised about it.
"For oral tests at school, I used to bunk, I used to fall sick, I used to break my hand, I used to get a sprain," he has said. The actor, who first shot to fame with Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai (2000), confessed that things improved for him slowly after he started undergoing speech therapy.
Despite hailing from a film industry background, Hrithik chose to learn filmmaking the hard way. In what would shock many, he actually started off by sweeping floors, before progressing to more sophisticated departments such as camera work, story development, direction and editing.
It is also reported that during the making of Koyla, in which he assisted his father Rakesh Roshan, Hrithik used to act out Shah Rukh Khan's scenes to be able to judge his own performance as an actor.
Even career-wise, Hrithik has seen a number of ups and downs. Although he established himself with Fiza (2000) and the ensemble melodrama Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001), it hasn’t exactly been a smooth ride for the actor, who did take the rough and the tumble bravely and earned six Filmfare Awards, apart from being one of the highest-paid actors in Bollywood.
Having taken the difficult path to stardom, Hrithik realises the immense hardships that others less fortunate than him have to go through. Consequently, the actor actively supports several philanthropic causes and believes in setting an example for others.
Among his several philanthropic pursuits, Hrithik set up a charity foundation in 2009 for handicapped persons. In 2015, he became the brand ambassador for UNICEF.
The actor, who delivered smashing hits such as Koi Mil Gaya (2003) that earned him two Filmfare Awards of Best Actor and Best Actor (Critics), Krrish (2006) and Krrish 3 (2013), has been one of the most versatile ones around, always preventing himself from being typecast.
He delivered sterling performances in Dhoom 2 (2006), Jodhaa Akbar (2006), Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) and Agneepath (2012). Despite the much-hyped Mohenjo Daro not delivering to his expectations and rumour mills churning overnight over his alleged affair with actress Kangana Ranaut, the star remains unfazed and looks optimistically to another promising year in Bollywood.