With Ekta Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor collaborating again after Ek Villain (2014), the producer insists that she cast Shraddha solely for her talent and not because she’s a star kid. Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Ekta Kapoor said actors are chosen because they “sell” and not because they are star kids.
Shraddha Kapoor will be playing the role of Badminton champion Saina Nehwal.
“This industry has no formula other than economics. Nobody is nobody’s friend; nobody wants to help anyone out here. People out here are selfish. If someone signs a star kid, it’s not because they want to help them or any kind of nepotism. It’s just because they sell. That’s why I signed Shradha Kapoor too. The day they will stop selling, no one will be ready to sign them. It is a very tough industry to survive in. Too much finance goes in and there are very high risks here. They may hang out with their friends but if the actor doesn’t sell, they won’t sign them. At the end of the day, you think about your own money. That’s just how it works,” she said.
Ekta Kapoor is known for being brutally honest and for speaking her mind. However, while she may deny pandering to nepotism, she has been accused of the same few times. In a 2014 interview with Mumbai Mirror, Masaan actress Richa Chadda said that being “associated with the big filmmakers” is a big plus to survive in the industry. “It surely makes a huge difference as they are clued into the industry’s network and ensure you get more eyeballs. Even I would like to be associated with the big filmmakers but the choice is not mine. They are the ones to pick and choose,” she said, adding that the nepotism in Bollywood would “anger anybody”.
Earlier this year, when Sania Nehwal was asked whom she’d like to see on screen as herself, Saina said Deepika Padukone’s name. “Her father has been a badminton player and I have seen her playing badminton. She used to play really well. She can do justice to the role and I really wish she can do the role.”
Deepika, however, is not a part of this biopic.
The debate around nepotism gained traction when Kangana Ranaut, in Karan Johar’s chat show Koffee With Karan, accused Johar of being “the flagbearer of nepotism” in the industry. Many Bollywood celebrities have come out either denying it or agreeing that it exists. Trapped actor Rajkumaar Rao recently admitted that nepotism forced him to watch non-talented actors’ work. Alia Bhatt, on the other hand, recently said that she didn’t choose where she was born, and hence shouldn’t be accused of nepotism.