Tiger Shroff: Watched Hrithik Roshan's song every night before sleeping
Even as they play rivals in War, Tiger Shroff recounts how he trained in dance by aping screen idol, now co-star Hrithik Roshan
"We are at war on and off screen," grins Tiger Shroff, referring to the past fortnight that has seen War co-star Hrithik Roshan and him wearing t-shirts mocking each other. Their equation be what it may in the Siddharth Anand-directed actioner, it's a different story altogether when the camera is not rolling. "I have looked up to him all my life. My equation with him is that of a guru and shishya," gushes Shroff, turning into a fanboy.
The actor discusses that shooting with his childhood idol turned out to be a learning experience, just as he had imagined. "He is an extremist who pushes himself to levels that are unheard of. Besides being a giving actor, Hrithik also has the mind of a director. He thinks of the film in totality. I was lucky to be directed by him in a few scenes as well."
Ask him if he remembers his first meeting with the actor, and he harks back to 2006 when Roshan was a superstar, and he, a star-struck 14-year-old. "A mutual friend took me over to his place to work out at his gym. He was happy to see me because he had known me since King Uncle  — he was an assistant director on the film, and my dad [Jackie Shroff] featured in it. I have little recollection of having met him then because I was a toddler. Our next meeting was at an awards show where he gave me the Best Debutant award. We even danced together on the stage."
Hrithik Roshan. Pic/AFP
A shared love for fitness and dance and an inclination for action-oriented roles bind the two together. Ask if the similarities are coincidental, and Shroff admits that it has been a studied move on his part. "Subconsciously, I made decisions [that made me similar to him]. For instance, I knew I wanted to dance like him. So, I used to watch one song of Hrithik every night before sleeping. I would go to sleep thinking of the steps. The next morning, I would recreate those moves. That was my training."
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Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff, Vaani Kapoor celebrate the success of War