Abhishek Banerjee, now better known as Hathoda Tyagi of the hit web show Paatal Lok, has finally found his footing in the entertainment industry. The casting director and actor, who has done numerous blink-and-miss appearances in films over the years, remains unaffected by the ongoing nepotism debate in the film industry and only believes in counting the advantages of being an outsider.
Talking to Hindustan Times about nepotism in Bollywood and how being an outsider worked for him, he says, “It is definitely a drawback but it is also a blessing. There is no pressure, my family name is not attached to me. Even the smallest of success becomes glory for me. Doing Stree and Dream Girl, they were glory moments for my family. Here, even if the son has a small achievement, the family is happy.”
Watch: Abhishek Banerjee talks about Paatal Lok, nepotism
“But if I was a star kid, the pressure would be 200%. I had to do good and would have to be in successful films, only then my family name would shine and they will say ‘beta achcha kar raha hai’,” he adds.
Not many would recall spotting Abhishek as the pickpocket in No One Killed Jessica or as the chemist in Go Goa Gone. His debut appearance in Rang De Basanti became a trivia several years after its release.
Ask him if he has lost a role to an insider or a star kid and pat comes a reply, “I never auditioned for any lead role, that dilemma never happened. I never came to Bombay to be a hero. I always wanted to be an actor. Even if I play the protagonist, I will treat it like being an actor. That pressure was never there. I know I am not in a competition so my heart will never be broken.”
Abhishek considers the entertainment industry like any other business and claims Abhishek Bachchan-starrer Guru might be a good example to understand the concept of how a business works. “If someone is new in the industry, they need to start thinking. They need to be more innovative and more hardworking. If the family is not in the business, any business, one has to make his way through.”
He opens further on why the opportunities are more in number for star kids and insiders. “It’s about commerce, when you are putting some amount of money and you need to be sure that you will get some kind of returns. The audience likes to see someone to whom they are familiar with. The familiarity quotient is huge which makes them get the job.”
Abhishek refuses to get disheartened by the star kids around and him and is well aware that it is him who needs to work hard. He says, “If you start thinking that players are already in the cricket field, how will I get there? If you start thinking like this, you will stop working hard. It is you who make your name, it is not your money or your family. No matter whose child you are, you will have to work for yourself. If someone will inherit his father’s shop or follow their footsteps in the army, it will happen. You don’t need to have a problem with that, we need to work hard towards it so that we can also find our place in the industry. They are more than ready to accept us. There are so many big names who have no one related in the industry but are doing so well. They (outsiders) slowly make relations inside the industry over a period of time. If someone’s child wants to do something, you can’t stop them, you will be as supportive as any other parent.”
(Author tweets @ruchik87)
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