The blockbuster Koi Mil Gaya (2003) completed 20 years on August 8. Starring Hrithik Roshan and Preity Zinta in leading roles, this Rakesh Roshan-directorial is memorable for its performances, plot, music, and entertaining scenes and for being a rare sci-fi film of India. The character of Jadoo, the cute alien, was like the icing on the cake. The actors who played Rohit’s (Hrithik Roshan) friends were also lovely, especially Anuj Sharmma who was quite memorable as the Sardar kid, Bittu.20 Years of Koi Mil Gaya EXCLUSIVE: Anuj Sharmma aka Bittu Sardar talks about working with Hrithik Roshan and Jadoo the alien: “When his battery used to die, uski aankhein ghoomne lag jaati thi”
On Koi Mil Gaya’s 20th anniversary, Bollywood Hungama exclusively spoke to Anuj Sharmma, who’s grown up to be a dashing man and continues to pursue acting. He talked about his memories of working on the film, working with Hrithik (whom he fondly calls Duggu bhaiyya) and a lot more.
Did you remember that Koi Mil Gaya was going to complete 20 years on August 8?
I did. Every year, I keep getting calls. I am glad it’s still so relevant.
For the longest time, many of us believed that you were actually a Sardar since you were so convincing!
Yes, a lot of people thought the same. Before Koi Mil Gaya, I was a part of the TV show 'Apun To Bas Vaise Hi' with Satish Shah. In that show too, I was playing Bittu Sardar. That’s where the character came from initially. Rakesh Uncle gave the ‘tantana’ lingo which became so popular. That was not there in the show. He showed me how to do it. I was very good at copying people. I just copied him. As a result, a lot of people thought I was a Sardar. Even after the film, I essayed Sardar characters.
You worked with Hrithik Roshan extensively in the film. How was the experience?
I worked with him for 5 years, 3 years on Koi Mil Gaya and then 2 years as brand ambassadors of Rasna. That was a campaign I got because of Duggu bhaiyya. He specifically asked for me. My family got very close to the Roshans. They are one of the kindest people ever. Everything I know about acting, I have learnt thanks to him. I was 9 years old when I started working with him. As a child, there were certain memories at this age that always stay with you. Hence, a lot of his process just stayed with me. The discipline that he has is unreal. I have tried to pick it up from him.
4-5 months ago, I met Duggu bhaiyya. I got quite motivated by his performance in Vikram Vedha (2022). I keep talking to Rakesh uncle. I told him that I want to meet Duggu bhaiyya as I wanted to know his process. I am doing something along similar lines for my next. He told me to head to Filmalaya where he was shooting an ad. The last time I met him was when Agneepath was released in 2012. Hence, when he looked at me and the way he reacted, it made me realize that it’s been quite a long time!
You also shared some scenes with the evergreen Rekha…
I’ll share a funny incident. I remember I was 11. It was the third schedule of the film. There was a scene where I had to tell her, ‘Rohit ko maar rahe hai’. Now, I was the youngest of all the kids. She used to pick me up and roam around. One day, I didn't know what happened and I told her ‘Aunty, agar main bada hota, toh main aapse shaadi kar leta’! She started laughing. She immediately replied, ‘Main shaadi toh kar lungi par tune yeh baat Preity Zinta ko toh nahin boli?’. I was in love with that woman. It was amazing working with her.
How was it to work with Preity Zinta?
Initially, Preity di was very reserved and focused on her lines. Everybody saw a bubbly side of her but on the set, she was very silent. As we spent more time, we became so close. After the film got over, she became the brand ambassador for Perk XL. One day, Preity di’s manager called and informed us that she asked for me to be a part of the ad. Her manager even helped with the remuneration I got in return for signing a one-year contract.
Hence, I was very lucky to be around these people. I have gotten to work with them even after the shoot of Koi Mil Gaya.
Jadoo was a big attraction. Hrithik Roshan in recent interviews stated that it was tedious to shoot as it was an animatronic character…
There was an Australian couple called Lara and James. They had created Jadoo. It was absolutely remote-controlled. Sometimes, when Jadoo had to move his eyeballs, woh kahin aur dekh leta tha! Like an actor calls Jadoo from one side but he’s looking at the opposite side. Hence, it was very difficult for us to work with ‘him’. And when his battery used to die, uski aankhein ghoomne lag jaati thi. As kids, we used to wait for the battery to die and were quite fascinated to see that uski aankhein ghoom rahi hai! Nevertheless, he was adorable. I remember the rage around him.
We had gone to a multiplex in Thane for promotions. We were seated in a neighbouring screen which was playing Hungama (2003). Before the interval, we were supposed to go to the screen where Koi Mil Gaya was screened and interact with viewers. Just before the interval, viewers see Jadoo for the first time. I still remember how people reacted when Jadoo came on screen. The reactions were crazy, be it of parents or kids. They were moaning and feeling surprised. The rage was unbelievable.
Koi Mil Gaya’s sequels, Krrish (2006) and Krrish 3 (2013) took the story forward. Since you interact with Rakesh Roshan, did you ever ask him if Bittu can be reintroduced in the series as a grown up man?
Not really and I’ll tell you why. In Krrish, Rohit was around 60 or 65 years old. This means my character and the others who played his friends must be around 45-50 years of age. Hence, we anyway would not be apt to play that role. I’d rather be a part of this franchise with a completely new character. That would be more interesting and challenging than playing Bittu again.
I am working on a web show. It’s one of the most interesting characters of my life. Very soon, the announcement will be made.
More Pages: Koi Mil Gaya Box Office Collection , Koi Mil Gaya Movie Review
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