Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, starring Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol, Katrina Kaif and Kalki Koechlin, completed ten years today. On the occasion, the actors and the makers got together for a table read on Zoom. They also reminisced special moments from the film. For instance, we learned that Katrina Kaif was terrified during the diving scene, though in the film, she is just the opposite as she played the calm and composed diving instructor.
Hrithik, on the other hand, saw the diving scene as ‘the film in one moment’, where his character Arjun emerges from the sea after conquering his fears. Speaking about the moment, he said, “For me, that was the entire film in one moment. Right from the time I heard the script, till we shot it, it was the target—it was the moment I was striving to reach. There were no words. Zoya was able to communicate the abstract into my mind. There was no real explanation. It was just something you understood, or you did not. I understood the moment, and it was beautiful on paper. We tried a lot of takes, but something was going wrong.”
Finally, Hrithik Roshan decided to get into the water. “The water was freezing, and I was protecting myself from the cold. So I was pretending to come out of it. The shot starts with me on the ladder of the boat. Finally, I said that’s what is making me hold back. I am not allowing myself to be impacted by the water. In the final take, I just went in. Zoya said, ‘Are you sure? The water is really cold!’ I froze. I came out, and it was exactly what that moment needed.”
Katrina Kaif added, “I was terrified. Everyone else were semi-pro divers. When we were shooting that underwater sequence where Hrithik has that epiphany, what actually was happening was that I was digging my nails into his hand because I was so scared. It was my first diving experience, like that.”
The team also laughed over the song “Ik Junoon”, where they all danced at the Tomatina festival. Hrithik Roshan recalled, “I didn’t have tomatoes for three or four months. None of us could tolerate the presence of a tomato after that song. The kind of smell that we suffered!”