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Soni Razdan vs The Internet: Topic Of Debate

Soni Razdan vs The Internet: Topic Of Debate - Nepotism

Image instagrammed by Soni. (courtesy: SoniRazdan)

New Delhi:

In recent years, nepotism has emerged as a topic of widespread debate and discussion in Bollywood. While many  “outsiders” have expressed their concerns of being shortchanged due to nepotism, star kids often find themselves defending their “privilege”. Now, with three star kids — Agastya Nanda [Amitabh Bachchan’s grandson], Suhana Khan [Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter] and Khushi Kapoor [late Sridevi’s daughter] — having made their debut in the Netflix film The Archies last week, the nepotism debate has come under the spotlight once more. Notably, celebrated copywriter Freddy Birdy recently shared a note on the topic on his Instagram timeline. In his post, Freddy Birdy wrote, “The people who moan on and on, on social media about nepotism are people whose parents had careers they would want to stay a million miles away from.” Veteran actress Soni Razdan, who is also the mother of the Bollywood actress-producer Alia Bhatt, seconded his opinion while reacting to the post. Following Soni’s endorsement of the post, numerous individuals responded with their objections to nepotism. Without holding back, Soni addressed each comment with detailed responses. Let’s take you through the contents of the comment thread, one by one.

First, reacting to the post Soni Razdan wrote, “Does a child have first right of refusal to a parent’s profession ? Dentists children never seem to get any flack for becoming dentists… also I totally get the feeling. I was an outsider too trying to break in. Wisest words I ever heard were – the world doesn’t owe you a living. If you can’t deal with what it entails find another profession,” accompanied by wink, smile, and shrugging shoulders emoji.

Questioning Soni Razdan’s dentist analogy, one user wrote, “Only if he is a decent dentist. If he / she makes your gum terribly sore in just teeth cleaning I don’t think he will get repeat customers. I have seen nepo dentist not doing so well but terrible nepo actors do get REPEATED a lot more.”

“That way this industry is totally dependent on the audience in fact. It’s you who decide. No like… no see … it’s done and dusted. No more movies. (Unless daddy is funding your movie again and again that’s a different story and not at all about getting preferential casting ops) so it’s basically the same everywhere. You might get a foot in the door but that door has to have a very good reason to open,” wrote Soni in response.

To this, the same commenter argued, “Agreed.. but unlike before when a Friday could make or break any actor but now with streaming rights and other avenues for cost recovery.. this clear definition of talent defining longevity is also blurring.. but you are right that now a days they might get opportunities for a longer period than before but ultimately if they can’t act then jobs will dry out.”

Another user tagged Soni and wrote, “What mam to become a dentist you need to study a lot harder, you have to pass exams , but to become an actor you don’t have to go through all this.”

Explaining how acting takes a lot of effort, Soni shared, “Aaaah. To become an actor you have to have a skin so thick it takes rejection after rejection like it’s almost cool to be rejected – but look like you have a skin made of the finest silk. You have to sometimes starve because the time between one job and the next is so long. You knock on door that no one answers. Then when maybe you get a break your scene gets cut out. Finally you make it and then all you do is slog for 12 hours on set and sit in traffic to get there and back. You work out to look good but are so stressed about it you end up looking awful. You read horrid things about yourself and smile through it all as if you’re happy that so many nasty comments come your way. You learn lines, face a camera doing the most unnatural things, and try to make it seem like it’s all fresh and you’re doing it for the first time after the 25th take that the camera or the sound didn’t get right when you finally did. You stay in god awful places, shoot in 40 degrees and put wet mul mul on your face to stop it burning. But what did I say earlier ? If you can’t hack it go somewhere else. You get the picture. Actors don’t have it easy. It’s never easy. Try facing a camera and ‘acting naturally’ and you’ll see what I mean. Pressure. You just have to love this profession to be a part of it. You have to love it or you could never do it. Nah. It’s not easy.”

“Agreed mam completely, and I am sure you had it all and it us definitely not an easy job for sure , you were an outsider and for sure your journey included knocking doors and facing rejection after rejection, but star kids don’t go through this journey they face the struggle after landing a job unlike other professions. Like doctors study for 8 years then when they become doctors they work in nights sleep deprived, no time to eat food. But there is a difference between the struggle after facing the camera and before facing the camera. Star kids don’t have the kind of struggle at outsider faces , there is no denying it. And why people got angry on Freddy Birdy because we have a whole film industry begging to these debutant starkids to do a role in their movie, without even proving their worth whereas many strugglers full of talent are actually knocking door after door , begging for a small role. And the only struggle star kids face is the criticism that also till they prove themselves. Nobody criticizes Alia anymore because she has proved her worth, “ replied the user. 

Addressing this, Soni Razdan commented, “It is what it is. Star kids have a lot of expectations riding on them. That kind of pressure is also terrifying! But yes it’s hard to see someone get a role you could have had and done a better job with. But it won’t last if you don’t have ‘it’. And again as I said .. this is the nature of the beast. Best to stay away if it’s so hard to deal with.”

Expressing her disapproval over Soni’s remark, another Instagrammer asked, “So you really think Ananya, Suhana, Khushi, Janhvi and so many nepo kids have ‘it’? Aren’t they still getting movies and projects? I don’t think you’re correct here ma’am! Just accept that you are privileged.”

“I think they are all talented people! And so are many others. And thank god for OTT platforms now. So many more roles have opened up for so many more actors. In my youth it was just the films. Not even TV to start with. Can you imagine! Almost impossible to land a role,” wrote Soni, explaining her stance.

In the end, Freddy Birdy thanked Soni Razdan for the detailed comments. “Thank you Soni for answering more intelligently and patiently than I ever could,” he said.

Replying to Freddy, Soni wrote, “Ha ha Freddy what have you started here … but I’m enjoying chatting with these lovely people,” with a red heart emoji. To this, Freddy said, “How lovely and generous of you dear Soni. Thank you.”

Soni Razdan is married to filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt. She is best known for her work in the films Gumrah, Khamosh, Sheeshay Ka Ghar and Raazi.

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