One more day. One more trending story about nepotism. Yes, nepotism gives star kids an unfair advantage and there should certainly be a more even-playing field.

But perhaps what we aren't talking about is why (and how) we are obsessed with Bollywood stars to begin with.
Bollywood is not Indian cinema, in fact, 'Bollywood' isn't even all Hindi cinema. It is a glamorous & shiny ecosystem that, let's be honest, we, as Indians, can never get enough of. We've always been more interested in celebrities & the idea of 'stars' than in movies themselves.
Less than 5% Indians watch Bollywood films in theaters (true story) ,but it would seem more than 50% of us want 'Bollywood gossip', if we can have it.

The truth is: your parents know more about what's happening in Taimur's life than in yours. ONLY because he's a 'star kid'.
This is what film studios capitalize on: the unending, publicity machinery that creates and feeds the monster that is Bollywood gossip, India's national pastime.

And this machinery depends not on 'actors' but on 'stars'. Because no one gossips about Pankaj Tripathi (thankfully).
There are several great actors in India but they collectively don't occupy 1/100th the space in newspapers, magazines, or entertainment websites that a 'star' does.

In fact, there's a separate category created for them - 'character actors' - to clearly segregate them from stars.
Our obsession with 'stars' (who live in a 'galaxy' removed from our own), becomes a big factor in who gets cast in multi-crore 'projects' by studios/producers.

The question is: who'd people pay to watch? Good actor they don't talk about or 'star' they can't stop gossiping about?
In Hollywood, studios create stars: they cast actors in 'summer films', because people show up for the promise of the blockbuster.

But in India, people show up for the 'star', who makes any film a blockbuster. Without stars, our best films - like Masaan - just about break even.
This is also the reason most aspiring actors in India are actually aspiring 'stars'.

For many (not all) of the best talent on TV, web, or indies, the final destination is that big budget Bollywood film.. not because it's the best film, but because it will turn them into 'stars'.
But they never get those films: because Bollywood is a business. So if you are putting 'x' crores of your own (or your studio's) money, would you rather cast a great actor who fits the script, or would you rather cast a star kid, who already has tonnes of inherited PR and gossip?
This vicious circle of 'nepotism' can and will be broken if we:
Stop obsessing about ‘stars’ & gossip.
Stop watching movies of star kids with less talent (*many* have failed this way).
Amplify the interviews and stories of actors you admire.
I've not written this thread to say that we shouldn't hold studios/producers accountable for casting/promoting good actors, but rather, to point out how so much of this is in our own hands.

So let's start putting our money where our tweets and memes are: SHOW UP FOR GOOD FILMS.
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