Khushwant Singh Literary Festival 12th edition | Neither my nor Amitabh Bachchan’s son could do well in their field: Raj Babbar – The Indian Express

“Neither my nor Amitabh Bachchan’s son could do well in their field as they both came to be called actors’ kids even before they could gain some maturity,” said Raj Babbar during the last day’s session of the 12th edition of the Khushwant Singh Literary Festival at Kasauli on Sunday.
The last day of the three-day lit fest saw Raj Babbar, actor-turned-politician, daughter Juhi Babbar and son-in-law Anup Soni, known for hosting CID, as they interacted during the ‘Light, Camera , Action’ session at Kasauli Club.
“I am not talking about the present days, but in 80s, when all the kids of film actors wished to be actors too early in their lives, much before their faces and expressions matured. They used to neither fall in the category of a child nor a grown-up, which led to their failure in the field of acting, the best examples being all the child actors, who when grown up, failed as actors. This was my learning from the Bollywood industry, that if they want to come in this field they should first be grown-ups enough with mature faces, expressions and feelings. My son did the same mistake, and did not listen to me and entered into the film industry too early in his life. Same happened to Amitabh Bachchan’s son Abhishek Bachchan, that even before his face and expressions could be mature enough to act, he started to be known as Amitabh’s son. Had his face matured and had he been mature enough to enter industry, he would not have faced what he faced. A similar thing happened to my son Arya Babbar too. Same director, same producer who introduced Abhishek Bachchan, introduced my son Arya too but he failed,” said Babbar.
He added, “It was from these failures that I wanted to save my daughter Juhi. I wanted her to first study, learn acting and go out of the country for studies. But she did not go and luckily got a very good teacher in India only, a very renowned theater artist, who happened to be none other than her mother Nadira Babbar. Today whatever she has learnt in acting is from her mother Nadira. Though I wanted her to avoid going in this field of acting, but then I realised that she had a talent and she can do well in this field. It was then that I decided to launch her into the film industry.”
Talking during the session, Soni said, “When I married Juhi, Raj Babbar said I am giving you my son, not my daughter, and I promised to keep his ‘son’ happy. It clearly shows what a close relationship this father-daughter duo has. It was after the birth of Juhi that Raj Babbar got a lead role in a film. After Vinod Khanna, Raj Babbar was one of the lucky heroes who started their career as a villain but later turned into heroes.”
Soni added, “In the family a weird joke is made by the sons of Raj Babbar, Prateik and Arya, that had papa not done rape in the movie ‘Insaf Ka Tarazoo’, our house would have not run.”
Juhi Babbar during the session said, “I used to see papa less, as he was very busy with his films. But to date there has not been a single birthday of mine, where my father has not been present. Whichever country he was in, wherever he was shooting, he used to ensure he was with me during all my important events, so I can proudly say that he never let me miss his presence ever. We as a family ensure to be together during all events. We are not the kind of family that goes out during festivals, New Year Eves. Babbar family stays together in the house. We are all together in the house under one roof, and do not party out.”
She added, “I wanted to be an actor from very beginning but was afraid, as I was knowing it would not go well with papa. And when, at a point I expressed, this wish of mine for acting to my father, there was a lot of turmoil. But with the passage of time, he realised my talent. If you see those old days, in Bollywood, things were very different. One can find many actors in Bollywood who launch their sons, but Raj Babbar is the only actor in Bollywood, which I can proudly say, who launched his own daughter.”
Answering a question of Anup Soni, Babbar said, “I was very young when I was in class 8th, when I fell in love with acting. I always wanted to be an actor. It was first time, when in Patiala, from where I started becoming Raj Babbar. From Punjabi University, I met Om Puri, who showed me the way to the National School of Drama. I got selected there and from there, I learnt most of the lessons of life.”
“I left my daughter and wife Nadira in Delhi and promised them that I am going for a year and if something works out, good or else will come back to Delhi. Later, BR Chopra promised to sign a film with me and I finally shifted to Mumbai. I did around 14 films before ‘Insaf Ka Tarazo’ by BR Chopra, but they were all with very small roles. But ‘Insaf ka Tarazo’ was a big hit and gave me recognition as an actor.”


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