Newcomer Athiya Shetty, who is making her Bollywood debut with ‘Hero’ opposite another star kid Sooraj Pancholi, told Indian Express.com in an exclusive interview about how difficult it is being the daughter of Suniel Shetty.
“Being a star kid is tough. You get the platform and the visibility but you also get criticised for the littlest of things. People pinpoint these things, criticise it deeply and rip you apart because you are a star kid. They feel you should know everything before coming into the industry, ” said Athiya Shetty.
Refuting popular notion that star kids have it easy, Athiya said: “That is not the case. We have to work equally hard. We have to work harder at times because you have a father and mother at home who are actors and are very successful and you want to match up to their expectations and what people expect you to be.”
While Salman Khan has taken Athiya and Sooraj Pancholi under his wings, father Suniel Shetty has just one advice for his daughter. “My father is not preachy and never gives me any acting tips. The only thing he wants me to follow is punctuality. He once told me,’you reach the sets at 8 but there are other people who have been there since 6 in the morning setting up things. They are the real heroes and you have to respect their time,'” shared Athiya.
Interestingly, Athiya Shetty had never expressly told her parents about her acting ambitions. “I always wanted to be an actress ever since I was three years old. I used to dance in front of the mirror to the tunes of Madhuri’s ‘ek do teen’ and recite Kajol’s dialogue and act like Poo from ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.’ I also did theatre and drama in school but never told my parents that I wanted to be an actress. They were blissfully unaware but they always had an idea that I wanted to be one.”
Talking about how she landed her debut film, Hero, Athiya revealed, “I was at the gym training with Yasmin Karachiwala where Salman’s older sister Alvira spotted me. She told Salman and Salman approached my dad and told him that they were looking for a new actress opposite Sooraj. Dad and me agreed and that is how it happened.”
‘Hero’ directed by Nikhil Advani is going to release on September 11.