On 19th February 2017, every Indian learned the meaning of the word, ‘nepotism’. Star kids were accused of being ‘privileged’ and being mean to outsiders.
The word ‘nepotism’ took the Hindi film industry by storm, ever since Kangana Ranaut accused Karan Johar of favoritism towards star kids on one of the episodes of season 5 of Koffee With Karan. She called him
the flag bearer of nepotism!
When Kangana accused the bigwigs of the industry, they retaliated by saying that not every star kid has a glorious career in the movies and those who make it to the top, do so because of their talent and hard work.
star kids have been vocal about the privilege of nepotism, the problem still exists in the industry. If you’re wondering who are those star kids who failed to make it big in the Film Industry, don’t worry! We are here to make your life easier.
Here is the list of twenty second-generation actors who belong to the family of actors and directors but failed to make a place for themselves in the showbiz world;
Main Hoon Na fame actor, Zayed Khan is the son of Bollywood actor, Sanjay Khan. Being the son of a veteran successful actor, Sanjay Khan, Zayed Khan didn’t manage to garner that success for himself. He has been missing in action from the movies since his 2015 movie, Sharafat Gayi Tel Lene. Zayed has been a part of 19 films, best of which was
Main Hoon Na, and even in those films, he didn’t have a lead role in most of them!
Zayed Khan said that he can’t blame anyone but himself for the downfall of his career, it’s his indiscipline that stopped him from reaching the top during his career.
Fardeen Khan is the son of the late actor, Feroz Khan. Fardeen Khan began his career in 1998 with the movie, Prem Aggan and he was last seen in 2010 in the movie, Dulha Mil Gaya. In these ten years, Fardeen Khan starred in 26 movies and then he just disappeared and we didn’t see him anywhere in the last 13 years except for a few public appearances.
In a recent interview, Fardeen revealed that after his father passed away, he needed some time to process that and he had some health issues post his father’s death that kept him away from the movies for so long. Fardeen is scheduled to make his return with Visfot in 2023, but he still made sure to give us amazing movies like
No Entry, Life Partner and Heyy Babyy.
Son of one of the best filmmakers in India, Yash Chopra and brother of another successful filmmaker, Aditya Chopra, Uday Chopra’s movie career is not as big as one would’ve assumed at the beginning of his career. Recently in a Netflix documentary about the journey of YRF, ‘The Romantics’, Aditya Chopra and Uday Chopra opened up about Uday’s flop movie career.
Aditya Chopra said,
“Imagine a company like YRF who has launched so many newcomers, we could not make him a star. Why could we not do it on our own? The bottom line is, only an audience will decide, ‘I like this person, I want to see this person.’ No one else.”
The man himself, Uday Chopra said,
“Yes if you are born into a film family, there’s no doubt that there could be an easier time getting an audition or a break. But it stops there. When I started acting, I was very naïve. I didn’t imagine that people might not like me.”
Acting runs in his blood! Rajiv Kapoor belongs to a lineage of film actors, Prithviraj Kapoor, Raj Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, and Randhir Kapoor. If you come from a family of so many esteemed actors, naturally people would expect you to be as successful as them. Even though he wasn’t successful, nobody raised questions about Rajiv’s acting skills.
However many films he has been a part of his acting skills have always been appreciated. But the hard-hitting fact is that Rajiv Kapoor failed to achieve stardom, you may blame it on a lack of good opportunities or his poor choices, but the truth remains the same.
Soha Ali Khan
Princess of Pataudi, Soha Ali Khan is the daughter of veteran actress, Sharmila Tagore and sister of actor, Saif Ali Khan. Soha has very few hit films in her career like,
Rang De Basanti and Tum Mile are few of them. But she has a series of flop films! Even after being in the industry for 20 years, Soha Ali Khan hasn’t made it big even now. If one wonders what went wrong with Soha’s career? Then there isn’t one thing that you can pinpoint. Alas! It is what it is. Soha has started opting for web series on OTT platforms now and is coming on her own as an actor.
Daughter of superstar parents, Hema Malini and Dharmendra, Esha Deol couldn’t flourish in her film career like her parents. She entered the industry in 2002 with the movie, Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe and proceeded to be a part of 27 other films. But Esha’s film career faded sooner than later. Now Esha is referred to as a ‘forgotten Bollywood actress’ at the time when her parents are celebrated as actors even now.
Sikander Kher might have started his career as an actor in 2008 with Woodstock Villa but his association began with the film industry from a very young age. He is the son of actors Kirron Kher and Anupam Kher so he was aware of the nitty-gritty of the industry beforehand but this didn’t help him in establishing a successful career for himself.
Coming out of the failure of becoming a mainstream Bollywood hero, Sikander turned to web series and movies on the OTT platform to do what he loves to do, act in movies.
Sanjay Kapoor is the younger brother of actor Anil Kapoor, producer Boney Kapoor, and brother-in-law of Sridevi. He has been around for over two decades but he failed to make a mark in the industry like his family members. Sanjay has worked in around 30 films but ‘Raja’ with Madhuri Dixit is his only film that is memorable, mostly because of the song, Ankhiyan Milaun.
Sanjay worked with some big names at the peak of his career, yet his movie career didn’t flourish. In recent years, Sanjay has worked in many web series and OTT films, where he is getting his much-awaited due as an actor.
Popular actor Shilpa Shetty’s sister, Shamita Shetty set foot in the industry under the prestigious YRF banner with the 2000 hit movie,
Mohabbatein. But that didn’t work for Shamita’s career as post-Mohabbatein, she wasn’t a part of many hit Bollywood movies. To revive her failing career Shamita went to Bigg Boss OTT and Big Boss 15. “To start off with the best and then to suddenly see this drop. I started off with Yash Raj Films. Unfortunately, the industry wasn’t giving me more. So, as I said, things didn’t go exactly the way I would have liked it to go.” said Shamita about her journey in the film industry after her debut.
Son of actor, Jeetendra Kapoor and Shobha Kapoor and brother of producer & director Ekta Kapoor, Tusshar Kapoor set foot into the film industry in 2001 with the film, Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai. Tusshar failed to create his career as a lead actor in Bollywood but that doesn’t mean he isn’t talented. Tusshar’s work in movies like
Golmaal series, Shootout at Lokhandwala, The Dirty Picture, Shootout at Wadala, and many more are a testament to the fact that he is a good actor.
When Tusshar was asked about his career trajectory, he said,
“In the first film, there’s so much focus on making you so well. But after that, you’re on your own. No one is helping you stand up. You’re just surviving every day. And in that bargain, you make a lot of mistakes.”
Adhyayan Suman is the son of actor Shekhar Suman. Unlike his father, Adhyayan didn’t have a blossoming movie career. His film career began in 2008 with the film, Haal-e-dil and he was last seen on the big screen in 2022 in the film, Chup: Revenge of an Artist. In between he starred in nine other films but none of them worked in his favour. After facing multiple failures in his acting career, Adhyayan forayed into the world of singing to follow his passion for tunes.
He was last seen in the hit web series, Ashram on MX Player. In an interview he spoke about
Aashram and its impact on his failing film career, he said, “I’ve about 14 web shows and a few films in the pipeline. I really appreciate these times because there was a time when I had nothing in my hand. The last 5-6 years have been tough but after Aashram everything changed and I am just thankful now.”
Where is Kunal Goswami? One might even wonder, who is Kunal Goswami? Well, he is the son of the veteran star, Manoj Kumar who set out to walk in the footsteps of his father and become a successful Bollywood actor. Kunal debuted in 1981 with a big-budget film Kranti which also starred Dilip Kumar, Vinod Khanna, and Shashi Kapoor.
After his first film, Kunal was a part of three other big films but all three of them faltered at the box office. Kunal couldn’t follow the legacy of his father but he didn’t lose hope and entered the TV industry and met with failure there as well. At last, Kunal decided to quit acting and ventured into the catering business where he met many successes.
Puru Raaj Kumar
Son of the legendary icon, Raj Kumar, Puru Raaj Kumar was launched into the film industry in 1996 with the film, Bal Brahmachari, opposite the box office favorite, Karisma Kapoor. To everyone’s dismay the film was a total washout and began Puru’s struggle to make a place for himself in the hearts of the audience.
After failing to establish himself as a lead actor, Puru took up negative roles and supporting roles to continue working. Following this he never got a role as a lead in any movie and remained a supporting actor only. Puru was a part of some hit movies like LOC Kargil, Umrao jaan,
Veer, and Action Jackson but how many of us took notice of the superstar Raj Kumar’s sons in these movies? Probably a handful.
‘Starkid’ Shahdaab Khan is the son of veteran actor, Amjad Khan, who worked in close to 132 films in 20 years. As opposed to his father, Shahdaab worked in only a handful of films. He began in 1997 with the film, Betaabi and vanished after his 2002 film, Bharat Bhagya Vidhata only to make a comeback with the movie, Romeo Akbar Walter in the year 2019. In these 22 years as an actor, he has worked in only seven films!
Speaking about his father and his effect on his career, Shahdaab said,
“When your father or your parents are around in this business, then you have all the right people in your corner grooming you. But when they aren’t there, you’re worse than somebody coming from outside. My father passed away 30 years ago, so I’m Shafaab Khan on my own completely.”
Karan Kapoor comes from the first family of Bollywood, the Kapoor family. He is the grandson of Prithviraj Kapoor and son of Shashi Kapoor. Regardless of this fact, he had an average film career. He starred in only five films namely, Junoon, Sultanate, Loha, Afsar, and 36 Chowringhee Lane, in his 20-year Bollywood career.
After facing a defeat in his acting career Karan changed his path and moved on to make it big in the photography world! Today, he is among the most renowned photographers in India and has worked on numerous International projects as well.
Another example of connections in the film industry failing to make one prosper in their film career is, Luv Sinha. Luv is the son of legendary actor, Shatrugan Sinha and brother of actress Sonakshi Sinha. Without any doubt, even before entering the film industry, Luv had many close friends and connections here but that didn’t help him in garnering love from the audience right from his debut film, Sadiyaan in 2010. He went on to do one more film,
Paltan in 2018 and will be seen next in the 2023 upcoming film, Gadar 2.
Twinkle Khanna is the daughter of one of the first Bollywood superstars Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia. She was launched into the movies in 1995 with the movie Barsat. Dimple has been a part of several films despite of which she did not make it big in the industry like her parents.
If we have to talk about what was the reason that came between Twinkle’s success as an actress, then the lady admits by herself that it was her poor acting skills. She has said multiple times that she was bad at what she was doing.
Where is the ‘
Love Story 2050’ actor Harman Baweja? Harman Baweja is the son of an Indian film director, Harry Baweja. You might know him from movies like, What’s Your Raashee?, Dishkiyaoon, Victory, and It’s My Life. His debut film came out in the year 2008, in these 15 years, Harman has been a part of only 5 films and none of Harman’s movies was a success at the box office. Ever since his last flop, Harman has not been working on any upcoming film, he was only spotted at film parties, movie screenings, and captured by the paparazzi at random places.
Brother of superstar Aamir Khan, Faisal Khan’s first two films were a disaster! They failed miserably at the box office and weren’t a hit among the critics as well. In an interview with Bollywood Hungama, Faisal revealed that work stopped coming his way after a series of flops. He even turned to some directors for work but his career didn’t see the light of the day. He also said,
“Then work stopped coming my way because the market thought that none of my films were getting made or being released. Then I turned to the TV, and I did a serial called Aandhi. Then, because my films didn’t release, I decided I didn’t want to do any smaller films, I stopped working, as an actor. I just gave up as an actor.”
Younger sister of super successful actress, Kajol, and daughter of filmmaker, Shomu Mukherjee, and actress Tanuja, Tanisha Mukherjee grew up in the lap of the film industry. So one would expect that she would also have an illustrious film career but what went wrong? When Tanisha was asked this question in an interview, she said,
“You have to have a strong sense of who you are, and that person will come out on screen. Those are the people who will make it, those who have a strong sense of self. Maybe I didn’t make it, because I didn’t have that.”