People are ruthless judging star kids: Adhyayan Suman
While his father, Shekhar Suman flaunts six-packs and is set for another round of Movers and Shakers on the tube, 24-year-old Adhyayan is still grappling with the competitive film business. The exclusive club of successful actors in Bollywood opens its hallowed doors to a few, and Adhyayan hopes to get in someday. Adhyayan has done three films so far and the fourth, Dehradun Diaries directed by Milind Ukey is set to release in April. He speaks to Rubina A Khan about the failings in his career, his rich-kid woes and how he intends to turn it all around soon.
Being Shekhar Suman’s son, the first ever superstar of Indian television, your career hasn’t shaped up as well as one would think. Why do you think that is?
I don’t agree that my career hasn’t shaped up well as I have had a moderate hit with Raaz 2 and Jashnn was critically acclaimed. Honestly, I feel that my career has just begun. It’s too early to classify it as a failed attempt. I do have a definite advantage of being Shekhar Suman’s son, but at the same time, I do have a lot of pressure too. People expect a star kid to be a winner at the box office from the first film itself, like their famous parents. They had the same expectations from me too. I feel that it takes a considerable amount of life experience to become a good actor. I started off when I was just 19. I am still learning and am not in any tearing hurry. I am waiting for the right script to come by and I promise you the day I get it, I will deliver!
After a successful film like Raaz 2 and a good performance in Jashnn, directors still haven’t taken your work seriously. Why is that?
Sometimes you just don’t have answers to some questions you yourself would like answered. I haven’t been able to figure out why... I haven't got the right scripts from established directors that any actor would love to work with. I have had some hard knocks and reality checks about the competitive film business – it’s made me patient over time. I feel good things will happen soon and I just need to stay focused in the mean time. I know God has a plan for me and it’s a good one!
You were 19 years old when you debuted in a sinker of a film, Haal-E-Dil which your parents advised you against, but you still went ahead and did it...
I speak from experience when I say that all the aspiring young actors out there should always listen to their parents, especially if they are from the film industry. I was foolish and stupid to go against my father and sign my first movie that left me with a mere special appearance in my debut film. I was shattered! He told me a billion times not to sign the movie without reading the script and I just didn’t pay heed to his advice. Big mistake! I have no one else to blame but myself for the disaster that awaited me once filming commenced in Ladakh. When I got the script for the shoot, I had four scenes in the movie. I literally died! It was such a low blow and I was in shock. I remember calling my father in tears, feeling absolutely helpless with the situation I was stuck in. I could have walked out of the film there and then, but it would have caused financial losses to the producer, so I decided to go with the flow and deal with the consequences.
Your liaison with Kangna Ranaut who you were seeing at one point keeps coming up despite you both having moved on. Why are you in the midst of anything that goes on in her life, especially controversies like Paris Hilton etc?
For the life of me, I am trying to figure out who creates these controversies! The further I want to get away from my past association with her, I am brought right back in, even when we have both moved on amicably in our lives. It was wonderful while it lasted and she has moved on in her life and done a terrific job with her career. I guess in this business some things you simply can’t control. I just laugh all these weird controversies off now. I just want to work hard and make my parents proud and be known only for my work and not my personal affairs.
What is the biggest disadvantage being a celebrity’s kid?
People are ruthless judging star kids. The expectations are too high. I feel there is this social angst against star kids and their privileged lives. Yes, we are born with a certain amount of luxury and material comforts, but that doesn’t make our emotions and insecurities any lesser or more than any other human being. There it just too much pressure and we aren’t measured with the same yardstick as other newcomers - it’s more microscopic. What they don’t understand is that we are as new as any other new actor and we are as frail or strong as them too. We have our share of struggle and have to work extremely hard to live up to the high expectations and the successes of our parents. I feel almost apologetic when people like to dismiss me off as Shekhar Suman’s son – they feel I am a lucky guy and it’s the easiest thing in the world for me to be in films. My father is star, but I didn’t choose this life, God did and people should understand that.
What is the one misconception about yourself you’d like to change?
Firstly, people think I’m extremely arrogant, which I am not! I am a very reserved person and find it difficult to make easy conversation with new people. People are extremely judgmental and sensitive in the film industry. I feel it’s a little unfair to judge someone you don’t know. People just assume I’m a rich man’s spoilt son. I am really not! I don’t party, I don’t spend my father’s money on drugs and alcohol. The last time I took money from him was before signing my first movie. It’s been five years since I took any money from him. My father had gifted me a BMW car recently only because he felt proud of my performance in Jashnn, but people misconstrued that a benefit of being a spolit brat. It made me sad, really sad so I decided to give it back to my father as I felt I don’t deserve it just as yet and the day I make it big, I will first gift him a luxury car and then drive one myself.
The rich kid image is what irks you the most. Explain why...
People tend to think that I don’t need to work as I have daddy’s millions and he will make films for me with his money. My father is rich, not me. I am just a diligent and hardworking newcomer. I am a hundred times more worried than any newcomer as I have to live up to my dad’s famous surname. Just looking at the vast body of work he has done in the entertainment business is enough to make anyone nervous, including me. I just ask people to cut me some slack and treat me like an individual and not judge me just because I come to work in an expensive car and am a famous actor’s son. I am very hardworking and passionate about my movies and it’s upsetting to be judged on the basis of the car you drive or the address you live in because I don’t own either.
You have lost your cool answering irrelevant questions at press conferences in the past. How have you changed in that aspect?
I was far too immature to handle what came my way, whether it was success, allegations or questions. I have no right to get angry in public just because I don’t like the question being asked. I am a public entity and people will question me on my professional and personal life. I have learnt to be polite and understanding now. I feel that it is important to make mistakes at an early stage in your career because unless and until you don’t make them, you wont know when not to make them in the future...its all a learning process. The biggest stars have made mistakes; I’m just a newcomer. I feel weird asking for work but I have learnt a lot from my professional mistakes and failures. Today, I would go to a director and ask for work without any hesitation. It’s work at the end of the day.
How do you propose to make right all the wrongs in your short career so far?
I am working hard on myself, on my physique, my dancing, my singing and learning new skills that will help me become a good entertainer. Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan are my idols and I follow them very closely as I aspire to be like them someday. They are amazingly talented and intelligent to be able to do so well even after 25 yrs of being in the business. It’s tough, but no one ever said being a successful actor was easy.
You have directed a short film It's Hard To Say Goodbye recently. What’s it about?
I directed, edited and wrote the screenplay of It's Hard To Say Goodbye recently. I love direction too so I keep trying my hands at it whenever I can. This short is the story of a girl who can’t accept the death of her husband who dies in the army.
Updated Date: Feb 21, 2012 11:33:52 IST