Very difficult to compete with superstar parent: Soha Ali Khan (IANS Interview)
New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) Her mother Sharmila Tagore is an iconic Bollywood actress of her times and brother Saif Ali Khan has been in the film world for over two decades. Soha Ali Khan says the going gets tough for star kids in filmdom as it is very difficult to compete with a superstar parent.
Asked if the journey in Bollywood becomes easier for those who come from film families, Soha told IANS: “The short answer is no, because everyone is ready to compare you. Most people want to bring you down. So you will never be able to do well in those comparisons. It’s very difficult to compete with a parent who has been a superstar.”
But the 37-year-old actress says, in one way, it is easier for star children as they at least get an opportunity.
“It is all about getting an opportunity, but then you prove yourself,” added Soha, who has been noticed for her work in films like “Rang De Basanti”, “Khoya Khoya Chand”, “Tum Mile”, “Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster Returns” and “31st October”.
She says even though she comes from a film family, she did not get a solo heroine launch.
“I’m a star kid and my mother is a superstar and my brother is a superstar, but I hope now people have understood it’s not like I got this amazing solo heroine launch. And it has not been easy. It has been a struggle and I have seen lots of failure,” added the actress, for whom movies like “Dil Kabaddi”, “Tera Kya Hoga Johnny” and “Mr Joe B. Carvalho” didn’t fetch great results.
Asked if she is keen to do a project with her mother and brother, Soha said: “It’s not for me to plan. A writer and director or producers have to come up with something that makes sense.”
Soha has earlier featured with her mother Sharmila in an English language film “Life Goes On” and has even featured along with Saif in various TV commercials. She found them fun to do.
“I know it will be fun working with them in a film, but it has to be a sensible script. And again, I want a good role in the film,” she added.
In her career, Soha — the daughter of Sharmila and legendary cricketer and former India captain Mansoor Ali Khan ‘Tiger’ Pataudi — has worked in Hindi, Bengali and English-language films. She feels that cinema, which was supposed to be an art, has become “100 percent business”.
“Since the 1970s, we have been making commercial cinema and non-commercial cinema. There were big budget films and smaller films that I have also been a part of, where making a lot of money was not the primary objective. Cinema is supposed to be an art. But I feel that it has unfortunately become 100 per cent business,” she said.
Soha said there was a time when box office figures didn’t matter to her. But that is not the case anymore. “Now I feel the atmosphere has become such that you can only work in feature films if you are commercially viable and you would only be cast if you are commercially viable. So now, box office success does matter to me,” she added.
Her 12-year journey in Bollywood, since her debut with “Dil Maange More”, has flown by, she reflected.
“I can’t believe that 12 years have gone by so quickly. I can’t believe I am as old as I am. The journey has been great fun. I really loved it.
“You shouldn’t compare yourself and your achievements with someone else’s success. It’s about what makes you content and I am really content.”
At the end of the day, she also admits that she is “not the most ambitious person”. “I don’t want to be constantly working. I don’t want to be in a rat race. I just want to do enough work to be financially independent and enjoy the kind of work I do,” said the actress, who is married to actor Kunal Khemu.
(Durga Chakravarty can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)