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Saif Ali Khan says he differs with Kangana Ranaut on nepotism

Ranaut's Rangoon co-star says the 'nepotism rocks' comment at the recent IIFA awards function was just a joke.

Our Correspondent

Actor Varun Dhawan has already issued an apology for his part in the 'nepotism rocks' jibe at Kangana Ranaut at the recent International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in New York, but Saif Ali Khan, another participant in the little skit, has shrugged it off as a joke.

While one was not surprised to see Dhawan and filmmaker and TV chat-show host Karan Johar making such a joke, Khan doing it was something of a shock, especially since he worked with Ranaut in his previous film Rangoon (2017) and she had spoken highly of him as a gentleman and a classy person.

Khan, though, insists it was all in good humour. "To me at IIFA it was just a joke and nothing more should be read into it," he told the website FirstPost.com. "But now I feel had we given it more thought, we could have really finished this ongoing public discourse on nepotism more decisively."

Khan said he has a slightly different view of nepostim than Ranaut. “I respect Kangana tremendously for what she has achieved, for coming up the hard way," he said. "We are a mutual admiration society. She also agrees that despite having illustrious parents, I, too, had an uneven beginning in Bombay.

"I understand what Kangana means by her stance on nepotism, though I have a slightly different take on it. People knew who I was because of my parents, but that didn’t necessarily give me an easy ride. Look at the spate of terrible movies I have starred in and you know that phase lasted for a long while.

"We are privileged also in terms of getting an opportunity to meet a producer, which in itself is an advantage. But beyond that, only your talent can sustain you. There are also many star kids who are actors and directors whom people aren’t so interested in because they perhaps lack the talent.”

The actor, who will be seen next on the big screen in Akshat Verma's directorial debut Kaalakaandi, said nepotism should not be confused with camps. “What Kangana might be talking about is that people generally promote their own people," he said. "Which is disturbing, but not that much different from, say, the studio system where a Universal or a Paramount promotes their lot. It’s actually business. Nepotism is [US president] Donald Trump putting his son at the helm of things instead of someone more suited for the job."

It would be interesting to know what Ranaut makes of the IIFA 'joke' and Saif Ali Khan's point of view. Watch this space.

Related topics

IIFA Awards 2017