New documentary series The Romantics, currently trending, is more than simply a showcase of film history – it’s remarkable for revealing that filmmaker Aditya Chopra is not, as Abhishek Bachchan once quipped, a “rumour.” Not only does the Yash Raj Films boss exist, he speaks on camera and is spoken about; turns out, he wasn’t always the camera-shy recluse that he is now. Among the many things we learnt from The Romantics was this – the young Aditya Chopra was the “team leader” of a group of star kids that included Abhishek Bachchan and Karan Johar, and that he was known, among other things, for winning dance competitions at birthday parties.
Unbelievable as this might seem, digest this – the person Aditya Chopra regularly defeated in these dance competitions was… drum roll… Hrithik Roshan, arguably the smoothest operator on any given dance floor.
In The Romantics, Karan Johar recalls attending these birthday parties and not enjoying them very much. “I would go once a year to his birthday party and there were a group of kids, they were all fans of Adi. He was their team leader and they would all speak a certain kind of Hindi film language that I was pretending to not like. So I would go home and tell my mom that I’m not going back, they are too filmy for me.”
Abhishek Bachchan was at the parties as well. “So obviously when we had birthday parties there was the inevitable dance competition. The dance competition was the domain of two people, two rivals, two opposite sides of style,” he says in The Romantics.
“Adi won every dance competition, year after year. And who was number two to him? Hrithik Roshan,” Karan Johar says.
Abhishek continues: “So the minute they walked into the party they would be looking at each other with that stare, it was almost like a Western showdown.”
Hrithik Roshan looks back at the Aditya Chopra-who-was. “It’s amazing, I don’t know what happened. He was supposed to be the one who grows up and does those moves. I really wish you can cut this with a video of one of his dances because they were pretty amazing. Sometimes it didn’t even look much like dancing but it was very amazing to watch. He had some kind of self-confidence that came from somewhere inside,” he says in The Romantics.
The Romantics, directed by Smriti Mundhra, is streaming on Netflix.
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