Entertainment Progeny

Sometimes it is amusing to note that none of the entertainment progeny (descendants of entertainers) have made it big in a non-entertainment field. Not anyone that I have come across so far. I am referring here to actors and actresses in the film world.

Why is that the second generation of Bollywood actors mostly hail from filmy families ? There are others who have sprouted from nowhere, and are trying to establish themselves with no roots and no background, but they are a minority.

It appears that the Bollywood regalia is just like the major political party of India – it believes in sustenance of its future by virtue of the children coming up from the previous generation of actors. It is no wonder that acting quality has declined due to the heavy dependence on past glory of a “daddy” actor. There are many examples one can cite, but for want of decency I am not going to name anyone.

I see very few Bollywood movies, but save one or two exceptions, I find that brand new actors without any pedigree tend to do well. May be there is the heavy pressure on them to prove their acting capability and establish themselves as actors, bereft of any support that could come from established actors and channels. There are some very fresh faces on their own, which is a pleasant sight ! I like to see independent actors make it to the limelight and not be stymied in their attempts to make it big in Bollywood.

The curious thing is that there seems to be no gene in the actors’ progeny that makes them an engineer, or a doctor, or a chartered accountant. I cannot understand why, except to surmise that the parental and environmental pressures are too high to deviate from the “chosen” field of acting. There is always the “beauty” factor, the progeny always look good, or better than their daddy or mommy. Many such factors could be at play, the most inevitable being that which forces the kid to conform to a pattern that is already well set.

So, there has to be a clash between the progeny and the independent fresh faces, right ?

Surprisingly, there is none whatsoever. There is competition and insidious forces could be at work. However, it is the public who make the right choices. If they like an actor, they are going to vote with their feet at the theatres. The selection is made in the minds of the teeming youngsters who make up the bulk of the mall/cineplex/movie population these days.

There have been many a flop at the box office last year where the action was from the progeny, and similarly there have been several box office successes coming from the independent actors.

It is puzzling to think about why the top actors did not produce an outstanding surgeon, or an IAS (Indian Administrative Service bureaucrat) Officer, or an entrepreneur ?


Vijay Srinivasan
12th February 2012


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