At a time when a lot of Bollywood celebrities have come out and begun speaking about how the industry hinges on nepotism, groupism, and favouritism, another Bollywood star, Aftab Shivdasani, has given his point of view on this much talked about debate.
In an interview, he spoke about how he has done multiple films with filmmakers like Ram Gopal Varma, Vikram Bhatt, Karan Johar being a distant relative, and yet not being a part of any group and close to anyone. Talking about groupism first, he said, “This groupism was called as campism in the early 2000s where people were saying this one belongs to YRF, Bhatt or other camps.”
He added, “I was never subjected to this as I always worked with a wide spectrum of producers and I was friendly to all but never close. Therefore, whenever they had a role and they would call me then I would go and meet them.” He also went on to talk about Vikram Bhatt, Ram Gopal Varma, and Karan Johar.
Talking about these filmmakers, Shivdasani said, “I did 9 films with Vikram Bhatt, 5 or 6 films with RGV but I was never a part of their camps. It’s basically how you conduct yourself and I have been friendly to all. Karan (Johar) is even a distant relative of mine but I have never been close to anyone. I’ve been civil, nice and friendly to everyone and therefore I don’t have any enemies.”
He continued, “So I have never conciously gone into a camp or a group which is why I have kept myself away on the peripheries of this groupism vs campism ideologies.” The actor also spoke about declining multiple roles and films during the early years of his career. He said, “I have rejected a lot of films and roles. It’s like when they offer you a side role like a third or fourth lead then I wouldn’t have become a lead actor.”
He added, “So that’s what I have never comprised on but I have people who have offered me such roles as well. I feel I have the right to say no to something that I didn’t want to do. So I have politely refused the offers as the ego plays an important aspect here. If I just reject it like that then that person will obviously think about me having a perception about being the lead actor.”
The actor made his Bollywood debut as a lead actor in Ram Gopal Varma’s Mast in 1999 and went on to star in films like Kasoor, Footpath, Awara Paagal Deewana, Masti, Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega, Hungama, Ankahee, Shaadi Se Pehle, Kambakkht Ishq, 1920 Evil Returns, Grand Masti, and Great Grand Masti.
He’s also known for being one of the child artists in Shekhar Kapur’s 1987 blockbuster, Mr. India.