Sara Ali Khan, daughter of Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh, has made a stunning admission that she was the beneficiary of Bollywood’s nepotism, but she needed to prove her worth to stay relevant in the industry.
Speaking in her first ever interview, Sara told BBC in London that she was constantly under pressure to justify her privilege, accorded to her by virtue of being a daughterof two famous names in the Hindi film industry. So did she concede that she had an advantage over other aspiring but struggling actors because she was the daughter of Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh? “Yes, I do,” Sara replied matter of factly.
Referring to the growing conversation over nepotism in Bollywood in India, Sara Ali Khan said, “This is becoming a conversation back home more than it was before. this word nepotism that people talk about. I don’t think I can run away from that. And I think it will be wrong and even hypocritical of me to say that it (nepotism) doesn’t exist.”
Confessing that there were a lot of perks of being a daughter of two big names in Bollywood, Sara said that the biggest perk for her was the ‘access’ to top filmmakers in the industry. “What it does is that it allows this for instance. I am sitting with my mother in London. We’ve come to see my brother, who we haven’t seen in a while. I am sitting here in the BBC office talking to you. That’s the privilege,” she told the BBC correspondent interviewing her.
Talking about nepotism, she went on to say candidly, “I could go to Rohit (Shetty) sir’s office and say ‘sir, would you please consider me for Simmba?’ That’s a privilege. So the access that my parents have worked so hard to enable me to have is not something that I can deny or something I can run away from. But, having said that, which almost sounds like I am getting defensive, which I am not. The tonality of the conversation about nepotism back home has become slightly harsh.”
Stating that she hated to be referred to as a star kid, while she had easier access in getting into the industry, ‘if you are not good, you are going to be out soon.’ Sara conceded that she was in a relatively special position since she had signed two films with big names and banners even before audience had any opportunity to test her acting skills.
“I am myself shocked that I am in this predicament. But, if I am being honest, I am carrying this burden and little bit of pressure. I am done shooting for the second film without anyone being able to see my acting in the first. I am aware that that is going to be seen by many as unearned opportunities. And when that happens, the pressure is even greater,” she stated.
Sara said that she needed to prove to herself ‘more than anyone else’ that she was worthy of the opportunity given to her.
Sara Ali Khan’s debut film Kedarnath will release next month. Directed by Abhishek Kapoor, the film also stars Sushant Singh Rajpiut, who Sara referred to as her mentor during the shooting.