By – Sayak Karmakar
The tables are never even in Bollywood. The tragic end to the journey of ever-smiling and cheerful Sushant Singh Rajput halted the life of millions of Bollywood lovers. It was also a significant setback for thousands of outsiders who dream of achieving big in the showbiz arena.
The following days, after the tragic demise of our beloved Sushant Singh Rajput, various articles from major publication houses and video clips of popular chat shows revealed how “NOT-SO FAVORITE” the star was in the kingdom of nepotism and favouritism.
The various big production houses and their favourite star-kids were so envious of Rajput’s rare talent that the star lost many films in the last few months, despite his last flick being a super hit at the box-office.
Sushant’s demise opened up the age-long debate persisting in the Bollywood world. Are star kids more privileged? Will outsiders ever have a chance to showcase their talent among the pool of infinite star kids? Will there ever be a fair play in providing opportunities to all actors, irrespective of their family backgrounds?
The truth is that the tables will never be even for all in the world of Bollywood. For star kids, auditioning for a role is a challenge; for outsiders- getting a chance to go to the audition centre is also a matter of luck and sheer hard work. Star kids are groomed and prepared from their early teens to sustain their hereditary family business.
Their lifestyle and lifecycle revolve around all major directors, producers, actors, designers, and media houses. They know the Bollywood entity’s crux and thereby are always a step ahead when it comes to auditioning for a role.
For an outsider, acting is all about theatre, drama, and school (which matters the most). They are unaware of the glamour quotient, and the starry attitude, which is required to please the eyes of the directors and producers.
In a Rajeev Masand round table conference with newcomer actors, Jim Sarbh just bamboozled Harshavardhan Kapoor when the latter, being a star kid, was defending on the nepotism debate. Jim was straight forward in telling the fact that the star kids get auditioned for lead roles, while the outsiders have to wait for years to be cast as the brother of the hero.
Bollywood production houses and prominent directors are fixated around glamour. So, while star kids coming for auditioning in an Audi gets all the attention, outsiders arriving at the audition in shared auto-rickshaw and sweat patches all-around their clothes, are often in the limelight of ignorance.
In one of her interviews, Kangana Ranaut ridiculed the fact that actors are rejected for their roles because they can’t speak English or have sweat patches in their clothes. The fact is a universal truth running in the life of cinema.
We see mediocre actors launched by Dharma Productions, and through all PR activities, these below-average actors become stars overnight. Whereas, one of the finest actors, currently in the Hindi Cinema industry, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, had to struggle for 15 years to get a lead role. This debate will never be over without addressing media houses.
The various media houses are also responsible for this uneven table. The superstars of Bollywood pay millions on PR activities and media houses to make their kids into the limelight, years before they plan to make their filmy debut.
These stars are spoon-fed into Bollywood lovers’ brains, which helps these children acquire star status far before their actual debut picture. So, the tables are never even for the star kids and the outsiders.
While the former gets all the privileges, the latter works hard and waits for one ray of silver lining to provide justice to their talent. Here, the role of self-made superstars becomes vital.
Actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, John Abraham, Anushka Sharma, Deepika Padukone, and many more have shown the Nepo-kingdom that talent also survives and thrives in the entertainment world.
However, these stars should take the responsibility to provide more platforms to the outsiders through their production houses. After all, we could never have witnessed the sheer talent that Ayushmann Khurrana possessed if Vicky Donor under John Abraham’s production house couldn’t have happened.