Till date, he has launched as well as mentored several young talents entering B-Town. And now, as Salman Khan is set to introduce two new faces — Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty — in his production venture, Hero, the star insists that “freshness” is the need of the hour. “I think you need to do that (back newcomers) to get fresh faces [in the industry]. I genuinely believe that the freshness of a new face adds a lot to the movie,” he says.
But in a competitive industry like Bollywood, doesn’t the entry of newcomers make him insecure? “There’s no insecurity at all. We can’t live with such insecurities. It is not worth it. You shouldn’t be insecure about anything in life. Whatever is in your destiny, you will get it anyway. I just have to work towards it,” says Salman.
However, even though he has mentored several actors, including Arjun Kapoor, Varun Dhawan and Sonakshi Sinha, among others, the 49-year-old feels that he is still not an expert in this domain.
“What expert? Itna tension ho raha hai (I am so tense),” says Salman, adding, “It’s not about the film; it’s about Sooraj and Athiya. Their future and careers are at stake. There have been some films, which haven’t worked, but the hero and heroine have. And then, some movies have been hugely successful, but the actors in it haven’t done much [in their careers]. So, we will get to know everything on Friday,” he says.
Salman Khan during the recording of his song for Athiya Shetty, Sooraj Pancholi-starrer Hero.
At the same time, Salman maintains that while, at times, being a star kid might facilitate things, there are occasions when it is a disadvantage as well.
“For example, if Karan Johar hadn’t approached Varun (for a role in Student Of The Year; 2012), thinking that his director-father (David Dhawan) will launch him, Varun might have still been waiting in the wings,” says Salman,
Salman Khan says that choosing Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty for his film had nothing do with the fact that their fathers have known him for years.
“There are a lot of people who are actors, and I know their children. But I haven’t launched them. So, it’s got nothing to do with them being Suniel’s (Shetty) daughter or Aditya’s (Pancholi) son. It is directly related to the two kids,” says Salman.
Now, as the film nears its release date, Salman admits that he is as nervous about the movie as he would be for any of his own acting projects. “After all, I have produced the film. They (Sooraj and Athiya) have been accepted [by people].
Now, it’s my job as a producer to make sure that the audience comes to the theatre, and watches the movie. Athiya and Sooraj are very tense. It’s about their careers. Whatever destiny the film has, it will decide their fate too.
They (the parents of the newcomers) must be feeling the pressure as well, as it’s their kids’ first film,” he says. Ask Salman if he would be guiding his protégés even after the release of the film, and he says, “They don’t need any guidance. They will be guiding me instead (smiles). They are smart. They are already reading scripts of other films. So, they know exactly what they want to do. If they ever get confused, we are always there for them,” he says.