As three new star kids — Sasha Agha, Tiger Shroff and Tanuj Virwani (kids of Salma Agha, Jackie Shroff and Rati Agnihotri respectively) — get ready to make their debut, industry experts see if the new generation has the clout their parents did at their age.
From popularity among fans to box office success to career prospects, we bring together a comparative analysis of star kids and their celebrated parents.
Ranbir Kapoor - Rishi Kapoor
“All through the ’70s, Rishi was Bollywood’s youth icon. By 1982 his monopoly was challenged by the arrival of Kumar Gaurav, Sanjay Dutt and Kamal Haasan, but he remained a major star and kept receiving good offers,” says Dinesh Raheja, editor, Bollywood News Service.
Raheja is of the opinion that Ranbir, at this point, is a superstar.
He says, “At 30, Ranbir is the biggest star among his generation of heroes. Unlike his father, he has done more experimental films, such as Barfi! (2012). But to be fair, more such films are being made today. By 30, Rishi had a National Award under his belt whereas Ranbir has won other prominent awards, but not this one.”
Abhishek Bachchan - Amitabh Bachchan
“Abhishek has been constantly compared to his father, who is a legend. At 37, he has seen his fair share of success, but what Amitabh had at that age and continues to have even now is a lot more,” says senior journalist Rauf Ahmed.
He adds, “Amitabh is in a different class altogether, while Abhishek is more easygoing. Amitabh’s stardom is rare. However, it has to be noted that he was always expected to match up to his father instead of competing with his contemporaries.”
Hrithik Roshan - Rakesh Roshan
After making a successful directorial debut with his home production, Dinesh feels that at 38, Rakesh “consolidated his success with his sophomore outing, Khoon Bhari Maang (in his 39th year)”.
He says, “Once Rekha’s hero, he was now her director (though he did make a special appearance in the movie). Some of the biggest stars of the day like Madhuri, Anil and Jackie were keen to work in his forthcoming directorial projects.”
However, Dinesh adds that Hrithik, at 39, is one of the few actors who has become a part of the Rs. 100-crore club.
“He has yet to direct a film but is a highly paid, sought-after star. He also has three big films lined up,” he says.
Shahid Kapoor - Pankaj Kapur
One has been a character actor, while the other is an out-and-out hero. Trade expert Amod Mehra says, “Pankaj Kapur was never really a star. So at 31, he was still a character actor, who at that time was also hugely popular for his TV shows and offbeat films.
Shahid, on the other hand, at this age, is a star but is yet to achieve superstardom. Initially, it was his chocolate boy looks that led to him being perceived as the lover boy.” Amod believes that as an actor, Pankaj was definitely way ahead.
Arjun Kapoor - Boney Kapoor
Amod feels that Boney had to struggle at the start of his career, and he never really tasted super success in his heyday. He says, “It was in his late twenties when Mr India (1987) happened, which was huge.
But apart from that and Loafer (1996), his luck changed more recently with films like No Entry (2005) and Wanted (2008). Arjun, 27, on the other hand, has delivered a successful debut film (Ishaqzaade, 2012) and has a solid backing in the industry already. The boy has the potential to make it big.”
Actress Sonam Kapoor
Sonam Kapoor - Anil Kapoor
Sonam, 27, may have not delivered a solo hit yet, but the actor has always been in the news — whether for her fashion or her bold statements. Anil, on the other hand, says Amod, was a hard worker.
He says, “Anil got a lot of appreciation for whatever he did. At 27, there was no looking back for him. He was consistent. As for Sonam, she’s still finding her place. She looks good and is a decent actor, but she hasn’t got the ‘hit’ tag yet.”
Kareena Kapoor - Babita
While Babita was successful in her short career, Rauf feels Kareena is a star performer.
He says, “After marriage, Babita wasn’t around. So at 32, which is Kareena’s current age, Babita was taking care of her home. Kareena started young and has seen a fantastic run in the industry. She’s a natural, but she’s always in a hurry. Kareena has also been very experimental with her roles — whether it was Chameli or Dev (both 2004) and more recently Heroine (2012). Even though Heroine didn’t do so well, she stood out. She’s a very successful actor and is in a lot of demand even after marriage.”
Varun Dhawan - David Dhawan
“The kind of success David saw was rare. He only entered the industry around the age of 29, while Varun is much younger (25). But David never really had flops. Even his films that didn’t do exceptionally well saw an average box-office collection,” says Amod, adding, “Varun is fresh and full of talent. In his first film itself, he stood out. He’s a good dancer, too, but his acting is far better. He’s definitely here to stay.”
There’s a whole new generation of star kids raring to go. Some are turning actors, while others have chosen to go behind the camera. Whether they will achieve the kind of fame their parents did is yet to be seen, but here’s a list of those who are making their Bollywood debuts soon.
Jackie Shroff: Made his debut at 22 with Dev Anand’s film, Swami Dada (1980), but his first big film as the lead was veteran director Subhash Ghai’s Hero.
Tiger Shroff: At 21, he will make his debut with Sabbir Khan’s Heropanti next year.
Salma Agha: Made her debut around the age of 16 with veteran BR Chopra’s Nikaah (1982).
Sasha Agha: Will soon make her debut with debutant director Atul Sabbarwal’s Aurangzeb at 19.
Rati Agnihotri: She made her Hindi film debut at 21 with veteran K Balechandar’s Ek Duje Ke Liye (1981).
Tanuj Virwani: At 25, he will make his debut this year with debutant director Joe Rajan’s Love U Soniyo.