It’s finally official. Superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s elder son Aryan, now 21, won’t be joining his father’s profession. In his eagerly-awaited conversation with legendary talk show host David Letterman on the latter’s Netflix show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, SRK very clearly spells out the writing on the Mannat wall: Aryan is not interested in acting. And the reason given by Khan makes all the sense in the world. “In India, it’s like, okay, if you’re a movie star’s son then you might become a movie star. He looks nice and he’s tall. But I don’t think he has what it takes perhaps and he realises it himself but he’s a good writer.”
SRK adds, “He (Aryan) doesn’t have what it takes to be an actor and he realises that too but he’s a good writer. I think wanting to be an actor has to come from within. Something you really need to do and find a set of skill that helps you do it and learn it. But I think I realised it from him when he said that to me. He came to me and said, ‘I don’t think I want to act.’ His issue was, which I think is practical and honest, he said, ‘Every time I’ll be compared to you and I don’t want to be in that position.”
Aryan has perhaps learnt his lesson from Abhishek Bachchan, who after 19 years in the film industry, is still compared to his father, the mighty Amitabh Bachchan. Now we have Harshvardhan Kapoor grappling to get a slice of his father Anil Kapoor’s glory. Going back to earlier times, Dev Anand’s son Suniel Anand, Rajendra Kumar’s son Kumar Gaurav, Jeetendra’s son Tushar Kapoor and Raj Kumar’s son Puru Raj Kumar were rejected by the audience. However, Dharmendra’s son Sunny Deol, Mammootty’s son Dulquer Salman and Biswajeet’s son Prosenjit have made a place and name for themselves in spite of their father’s formidable figure casting a shadow over their careers. In fact, Prosenjit has long ago exceeded his father’s fame and recognition. “It is all to do with your own talent and karma, and nothing to do with whose son you are. Audiences may initially go see your film because of your father or mother. But after that you are on your own,” says Prosenjit.