Nepotism is everywhere, not just in Bollywood. But, Bollywood has valid reasons to promote nepotism. One of those reasons is you.
It will be criminal for us to forget the sudden and untimely demise for a young and promising talent who had every potential to become the next big thing in Bollywood. Sushant Singh Rajput’s unfortunate end has again revived the old debate on nepotism that was once stirred up by Kangana Ranaut, another “outsider” who has seen the tougher days.
Despite the unforgiving bitter denunciation by the audience, those who rule the roost would return to some star kid or the other. We tell you why Bollywood kingpins find it safe to invest in a Khan or Kapoor kid than look outside.
They get trained actors
A star-kid who has grown up on the sets and studios understands how to play with the lights, flirt with the camera, use screen space to their benefit, and have mastered other technicalities at an early age. A director doesn’t have to handhold the newcomer through the basics of filmmaking. He has had a lot of at-home training in these intricacies already.
Financial benefits for filmmakers
If Rakesh Roshan casts Hrithik Roshan for all his movies, or Salman Khan appoints his brothers and brother-in-law at various positions in film-making, can you really blame them? Not only do they save crazy money they would have to shelve out if a director or an actor was appointed from outside, but they also get to share the profit all by themselves.
The family loses no money and almost every penny earned adds to the net profit. This is not unfair from a business standpoint. Ghar ka paisa ghar mein rahega.
Known strengths, known weaknesses: easy casting
A director father or brother who has known his kid all his life is well aware of his strength and weaknesses. Due to this familiarity, bringing out the best in a newcomers’ performance becomes easier for the man behind the camera. Working to those strengths will help in the casting process.
Polished and prepared
A ‘nepo-kid’ arrives at the audition all prepared. She has had a dietitian to plan her diet, a workout trainer, a stylist, and a make-up artist. The seasoned parent has not only coached her on acting but tipped her on looks and styling as well, which are undeniably significant for stardom.
Capitalising on the bloodline
That a star kid will inherit the gifts of his successful parents is never promised. What is guaranteed is the hype surrounding him, and the initial footfall at the theatre. Filmmakers struggle to sell a total stranger to the audience, but, no matter how much we common people cry ‘nepotism’, the moment a star-kid is introduced, we swoosh to the theatres.
Hype created by fans
A star kid musters up a sizeable fan following even before their debut. The paps follow them like shadows, adding to their monetary value; brands want to sign up deals with them. They feature in commercials and easily blend into the entertainment culture of common households. Suhana Khan has no Bollywood movies to her name, but every Hindi cinephile knows her. The filmmaker casting her would want to trap on these leads. Blame them for what?
Struggle years saved
We can’t deny that the star-kid always gets his foot into the Bollywood door easily. The struggle to get into the industry has been done by the preceding generation; the offspring gets the benefit of it. Why hate? They start off early and they have a longer shelf-life at their disposal. Most of the “outsiders”, like Irrfan Khan, lost out on their golden years in their struggle to make an identity. Only a few are as lucky as Kangana Ranaut.
Bollywood is nothing but a big family in itself. Everyone is somehow related to someone. If one is not at all related to a big shot, he will in the next few generations. For instance, Kunal Khemu is now part of the great Pataudi family. This will come in handy if his daughter decides on pursuing acting in the future. A distant relative or a family friend in the industry won’t want to upset another one if he is looking to launch his child. He knows, the favour will be returned in one way or another.
The “inheritance” factor
If a child inherits his father's business, property, savings, what is so unfair in a star-kid inheriting his star parent’s stardom? Now, whether he can take this stardom to greater heights or plummets from it is hooked on their own capability. Both Aditya Chopra and Uday Chopra inherited the magnitude of Yash Chopra in the business, but only one could build on it.
Nepotism never ensures success
You can promote, push, force a star-kid all you want, but in the end, it is the talent that will guarantee success.
Just look at these star-kids who have faded into oblivion. Read here: 11 failed 'celebs' prove that a surname is useless without talent
Whereas on the other hand, there are several ‘outsiders’ who have climbed the ladder of success in Bollywood in spite of not having a background or a relative in the industry.