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Bachchan, Kapoor, Bhatt: Do these last names get a shortcut to stardom?

Ranbir-Kapoor-Abhishek-BachchanEver since I started covering the Hindi film industry, I have heard artists complaining how tough it’s for “outsiders” to succeed in showbiz and what a cakewalk it is for star kids. Contrary to popular belief, however, star kids too have to slog it out to win star status – and it’s a journey where only a few succeed.

The success to failure ratio of youngsters from film families just goes to prove that the legacy edge is nothing more than a myth.

Consider some of the actors who came riding on the shoulders of their family names: AbhishekBachchan, KareenaKapoor, RanbirKapoor, HrithikRoshan, FarhanAkhtar, Uday Chopra, Tanisha Mukherjee, EshaDeol, Fardeen Khan, Zayed Khan, Puru Raj Kumar, Riya and ReemaSen, Twinkle and RinkieKhanna, Neil NitinMukesh and ShahidKapoor, to name a few.

Only a handful like Hrithik (son of actor-filmmaker RakeshRoshan), Kareena (daughter of RandhirKapoor and Babita, and granddaughter of the legendary Raj Kapoor), Ranbir (son of actors Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh) and Farhan (son of writer-poet JavedAkhtar and Honey Irani) have sparkled on the film firmament and attained star status.

The rest have bitten the dust despite the often persistent backing of their illustrious families.

Take, for instance, Uday Chopra, the son of Yash Chopra, a filmmaker with a magic wand who founded the prestigious Yash Raj Films (YRF) banner and created several blockbusters and catapulted the likes of Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan to superstardom.
But the master craftsman couldn’t write the same success saga for his son with his production ventures Neal ‘n’ Nikki or Mere Yaar Ki ShaadiHai.
It won’t be wrong to say that Abhishek too met the same fate as Uday. Even at 71, Amitabh sets standards for all and sundry, but son Abhishek, who proved his mettle in highly appreciated films like Yuva and Guru, is yet to enter the same league.

Yes, star kids enjoy an advantage as they have easier access. But getting an easy entry into the industry and becoming a box office favourite are two different things – the first clearly does not guarantee the second. Ultimately, audiences embrace talent.

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