It has been a long-time tradition for kids from the film fraternity to follow their family’s legacy and enter into films. There have been many successful starts to come out of it and many not so successful ones. But over the last few years, the debate around nepotism has become much more intense within the industry. Especially after Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise last year, there has been a negative reaction towards star kids from the audience.
Even though Vardhan Puri’s parents did not belong to the film industry, his grandfather Amrish Puri has been a legend of the industry. Having debuted in 2019 with Yeh Saali Aashiqui, around the same time when there had been a lot of backlash around kids belonging to the film fraternity, does Vardhan think the tag of being Amrish Puri’s grandson, helped him more or held him back? “It obviously helped me because of everything I learnt from him. Being his grandson enabled me to get the best education about life, cinema, acting and theatre. It is the greatest privilege,” he asserts.
However, Vardhan adds that he has never been called a nepotism kid. “Nobody has pointed at me to say that I am a ‘nepo kid’. My grandfather passed away while I was very young and still in theatre. He was never there to influence any film’s casting or make any calls or go to offices to have me cast in a film,” he insists, adding that even if he had been here today, he wouldn’t have done that for him because he didn’t believe in it.” My grandfather felt that one needs to achieve what they desire on their own because if you get it on a platter, you’ll survive for only one film. You’ll fall flat after that because your legs aren’t strong enough to hold you. Your legs will get strong only after you climb up the hill of struggle. You have to have struggled to get somewhere that you value,” he shares.
Vardhan maintains that since his grandfather wasn’t even alive to ever speak on his behalf, there was no grounds for him to be labelled as a nepotism kid. “I think I am the guy who has given more auditions and screen tests than anyone else, be it insider or outsider. I gave numerous interviews after which I got the job of an assistant director, then I became an assistant writer. I did theatre for so many years where I performed so many plays and only after that, when I got the chance at films, it was because of my hard work not because I was Amrish Puri’s grandson. So, his name was always a privilege for me,” he asserts.
Although, Vardhan realises that things would have been different if the dynamic were a little changed. “Had he been my father, maybe I would have been accused of nepotism but my father was never a part of films. My parents became film producers because I became an actor. So, people can tell them that they are a product of nepotism as they became producers because their son is an actor, and they will be proud to say yes,” he signs off with a laugh.
Image source: Communique Pr, Wikipedia
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