Sooraj Pancholi: ‘Nepotism tag makes me angry because people think you don’t work hard’

Sooraj Pancholi will next be seen in the upcoming biopic on Hawa Singh, known as the father of Indian boxing.

Actor Sooraj Pancholi says while it is difficult for everyone to make their space in Bollywood, star kids have an additional challenge of dealing with hate in the age of social media.

Pancholi, son of actors Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab, said the fact that some people believe that he is a beneficiary of nepotism often makes him “angry”.

“I wouldn’t say it’s easy for anyone. Only the good and the best will remain, the rest will not be able to sustain in the industry. It has happened to the best people from the best family… The nepotism tag does sometimes make me angry (because) people think you don’t work hard,” Pancholi told PTI.

What has also contributed to intense scrutiny of actors from film families, Pancholi said, is the emergence of social media which can be stinging in its criticism.

“The industry is not the same anymore. There’s a certain kind of dislike for some people from the film family anyway. So it is very difficult. Social media has taken over. Everyone’s a critic now and hate can spread in a second,” the actor said.

Pancholi, 30, made his debut with filmmaker Nikkhil Advani’s 2015 action-drama “Hero”, which was backed by superstar Salman Khan and veteran director Subhash Ghai.

He has since featured in two more films — 2019 drama “Satellite Shankar” and “Time To Dance”, which opened in the theatres last week.

The film, directed by Stanley Menino D’Costa, paired him opposite actor Katrina Kaif’s sister Isabelle Kaif.

Pancholi said though he loves the action genre, he is keen to experiment as an actor.

“My genre is action. I love action films and I’ve been trained specifically for that. But with OTT platforms, I want to take up all kinds of roles. I want to do a serious drama or even a negative role. I don’t want to be typecast as just an action star.”

Pancholi is currently prepping for his upcoming biopic on Hawa Singh, known as the father of Indian boxing.

The actor said the film, based on the true story of the iconic heavyweight boxer, will show him in a new light.

“You’ll get to see a different me. I don’t think anyone expected me to do a film like this, so I’m excited for people to watch the film. There’s a lot of intense physical preparation for it which I’ve started,” Pancholi said.

A recipient of the Arjuna Award and the Dronacharya Award, Singh dominated Indian and Asian Boxing in his weight class for a decade.

The film will be directed by Prakash Nambiar and produced by Sam S Fernandes and Kamlesh Singh Kushwaha.

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