Richa Chadha may not boast of 'family connections' in Bollywood, yet she's climbed up the ranks by appearing in 'offbeat' films and has successfully managed to carve a niche for herself.
A few weeks ago, the actress delivered a TEDx talk and among the several topics she touched upon was Bollywood's notoriously nepotistic ways.
Come to think of it, the new generation of actors largely belong to Bollywood families — Alia Bhatt, Shraddha Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra, Varun Dhawan, Ranveer Singh, with the most notable exception being Kriti Sanon, who was launched in 2014, and Anushka Sharma, who made her debut 8 years ago.
While the industry has now opened up to outsiders, and Chadha's career itself is some evidence of Bollywood becoming more inclusive, the actress' grievances lie in the bias that exists and the difficulties that an outsider has to endure to make it to an audition, let alone getting a film.
She said, "It's not a level playing field. While I had to diligently finish my education, then move to Bombay and start the audition process. Whereas someone born into the industry, starts getting groomed in their puberty, trained in their late teens and finally launched in a tailor-made author-backed film, while the rest of us are still finding our bearings and learning the hard way."
She further added, "The industry provides an intense inner-circle-support system to their kith and kin. They recognise which angles work best for the camera, have gleaming teeth all while the perfect hairstyle is decided upon by the powers that be, through years of trial and error."
However, in the same vein, she also said, "The industry today is far more accepting of ‘outsiders’ than it has ever been. I chose this career knowing this reality. I get to take credit for my achievements I may not be a ‘star-kid’, but my civilian parents, IMHO, are still stars."
Watch the full talk here. If you want to directly skip to the nepotism bit, go to 15:35.
Also see on HuffPost: