Bollywood is known for nepotism and it is not only in jokes. Ask any struggling actor in Mumbai and they’ll tell you teary-eyed that the easiest way to make it big in the Indian cinema is to have been born in the Kapoors, Khans, or to any renowned movie personality. However, something that is often ignored is that these celebrity kids also enter with a predisposed pressure to surpass or at least match the level of their parents. Furthermore, having a Bollywood family is only the entry ticket. Once an actor or actress gets signed, then it is completely upon their talent that determines whether or not they will be able to continue the legacy of their parents, or even survive. Today we will talk about ten such celebrity kids who had their entry ticket handed to them in a plate, and yet they fell short of turning it into stardom for themselves.
Despite being born to Yash Chopra who is known for his magic spell as a producer. This buffed up lad could achieve little more than a notable female fan following. Even sadder is the fact that he made his debut from one of the all time beloved movies of King Khan, Mohabbatein, and still failed to make a mark. Like Abhishek, he only managed to make a name out of the Dhoom series, and pretty much lost his own appeal with one flop after the other like Neal ‘n’ Nikki and Pyaar Impossible. His failure can be traced back to two mistakes he made, and very early in his career. One, he focused more on building his arms muscles than his acting muscles. Well the trend of ripped heroes was on the rise and it wasn’t wrong of him to do so, but forced tank tops and shirtless scenes started giving him an annoying look from the very beginning. Two, he made some horrible film choices. While his father was producing deep story-lined movies, Uday went for movies like Mere Yaar ki Shaadi hai and Charas: A joint Effort – first one plagiarized, the second one only smart at the play of words in the title, and so on. He should have consulted his father. That’s all we can say.
This list could not have been complete without the junior Bachchan, still trying to make it big in the industry that eats out of the hands of his father Amitabh Bachchan. Although Abhishek has tremendously improved in his acting skills since his debut ‘Refugee’ in 2000, and has also managed to post a few moderate successes like Bunty aur Babli and Dhoom series, he is nowhere near to be the second Shahenshah or Jai of the Hindi cinema. The truth might be that it’s not that he is not a good actor, he just isn’t as good as Senior Bachchan and the film industry and Bollywood fans simply cannot stop comparing him to Amitabh. Although one mistake that he did make was to play the second fiddle in mutli-starrer movies. We all know how Arjun Rampal lost the front foot once he started taking secondary roles. Nevertheless, we wish him all the best and hope to see him grow.
While we are talking about the actors who remained unsuccessful despite getting a slot in Dhoom, one more name pops up – Esha Deol. She was born to parents who not only ruled Bollywood in their own time but will likely remain the shining stars of the Indian cinema forever – Dharmendra and Hema Malini. However, it seems that all she inherited was the looks of her mother, and none of the acting skills of either of her parents. The only exception to her career is her debut movie Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe, which also landed her a Filmfare award for Best Debut. But afterward she completely lost her grip on the cinema. Although her brothers Sunny and Bobby also gained moderate success, Esha quickly sunk to the poor actors list pretty soon after she entered Bollywood. While it cannot be said that Esha made her mistakes out of ego or attitude, but this has probably been her biggest flaw with movies. She always chose the pretty roles over character roles and failed to make her mark as an actor.
This lad had it worse than our previous two entries, because he not only has a heartthrob actor as a father, Jitendra, but also a leading director sister, Ekta Kapoor. Falling miserably short on both ends, Tusshar had his break chances multiple times, and he even appeared to be working hard, but still his luck got the best of him. His career seems to have just condensed to the movies that are made by Ekta, with only the exception of Golmaal series – and those too have made it big no thanks to Tusshar, but the whole bunch of other actors in the series. He had an explanation of his own on why he couldn’t make it big. In a candid interview with India Times, he said that his dream was to have a brand of his own for acting. He said that what mattered to him was to be in hit movies and have an association with the audiences, which he believes he achieved. Well then, as long as he’s happy, we are happy for him too.
Remember the adorable girl in the song Musu Musu Hasi? Yup, that’s Rinkie Khanna, daughter of Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia – two super hit stars of their own time. Her downward spiral of acting career is a proof that you can have it all – looks, connections, beautiful voice – and still fail at the box office if you lack the basic ingredient of acting skills. Rinkie has acted in a number of films but none of them managed to make a mark on the cinema. Eventually however she chose to live a simpler life and moved to UK after marriage. The actress’s interviews back in the day shed some light on how she tried her hands at the movies but once she became a mother she decided to bid farewell to cinema for good.
Tanisha had so many role models for acting in her family. She is the daughter of beloved actress Tanuja, sister of the film industry’s all-time favorite Kajol, and second cousin to the Bollywood queen Rani Mukherjee, and yet she failed to make any name for herself. She entered the cinema with a bold note, prepared to take any role that she was offered, but having everything except acting still meant no success for the this young actress. Trying to keep her screen presence alive, she entered the Big Boss reality show, but even that did not seem to earn her any brownie points. It is perhaps not difficult to see why she failed in her career. She seemed too eager too early to match the success of her family members and she tried to do so by taking blunt roles with a lot of skin and not so much character growth on screen. Her movie choices have also been doubtful, especially considering the choice of her co-stars for the first few movies. Let’s be honest, no matter how great your acting is, unless you don’t have an equal partner to play on screen, it will fail.
This is a heartbreaking entry to this list, because Fardeen is not only blessed with oh-so-hot looks but he has also been seen to try his hand with everything from being a good lad in Khushi, to an evil mastermind in Fida, to a comedy role in Heyy Baby. Being born to the veteran actress Mumtaz and admired actor Firoz Khan, Fardeen had an easy entry into the movies world. His primary pitfall can be that he established a graceful and stylish image for himself and then refused to step out of his comfort zone. Even if he played the scenes of a heartbroken lover, his hair were always on point and he was still slaying in a torn dress shirt having been beaten up by a mob. The truth is acting requires versatility and stardom requires far more than that. However, the response to all his movies that did not have other actors to push the success, told him just one thing; Bollywood di gali vich No Entry!
Vinod Khanna’s son made his debut with a bang. His first movie Earth is still remembered in the cinematic industry, but unfortunately for Rahul, that is his only movie that is remembered. The down to earth actor could not manage to post a single success since his debut and now he has slowly faded away altogether. Let’s hope he decides to come back with another bang. That won’t be very bad, right?
Do you remember seeing the trailer for Love Story 2050 and wondering to yourself how on earth Hrithik Roshan became so young again? Well that was not Hrithik but the son of art director Harry Baweja and producer Pammi Baweja. Perhaps he should have stuck to direction or production as well if he wanted to be part of Bollywood, because his two more movies What’s your Raashee? and Victory were as massive flops as his debut. We haven’t heard of him since and can only hope he has dropped his Hrithik-like cloak and is planning to re-enter the cinema in a different capacity. It is disappointing that he realized that his comparison with Hrithik will be harmful for him. Harman said on record multiple times that he is being constantly compared to the Krrish star, but he still chose to smile, dance and chuckle in the exact same manner as him. The point being that even if he was originally as Hrithik, he could have created an online persona that was individualistic. Isn’t that what acting is all about?
Third actress in the generation and still a terrible actress at that, Riya Sen is the daughter of Moon Moon Sen and granddaughter of the popular Bengali Actress Suchitra Sen. Riya’s sister Raima Sen has still posted a better film record than her, while Riya could only become known for the looks she had inherited. Her movie choices are also somewhat substandard because instead of experimenting with a wider range of parts, she stuck herself to the movies that were plain about a pretty girl in the lead. Also, her scandal with Ashmit Patel did not help her career either. With Bollywood increasily becoming competitive and directors and producers pulling as much weight as the actors, it is important for actors and actresses to make sure that their films will not come under undue fire. But after all is said and done, who knows, she still could have made a better career in a character role.
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