What was the first reaction of your dad when you announced you wanted to become an actor?
I never really told him I want to become an actor. It was more of a surprise to him because I was trying to explore the acting road through various auditions, which he was not aware of. Of course, as a father, he had a vision in his head if his son wanted to become an actor, but it was more on the lines of when I told him that I got this film, it was a bit of a shock to him. Post which it was him playing more catch up to the father-son conversations.
So were you always an acting buff then?
I was a movie buff for sure. Since a young age, I was actually exposed more to sets than films. Then there was a phase where I started really deep diving into the direction of the Indian film industry, a lot of styles of stories were being narrated. So at one point, I did take that step to take up acting as a career. But I knew that if this has to be done, it has to be done only with credibility. It can’t be done with any favours as such. So the first thing I had to do is go through that audition route and see how people are responding without them knowing whose son I am. And that was a very good journey. So for actually quite a few years I have been doing the auditions. ‘Govinda Naam Mera’ was the third audition I did for Shashank and I got it.
You mentioned visiting film sets during childhood, so how was it growing up as Ranjeet’s son?
It was a beautiful rollercoaster ride. As a kid, I hated films only because I kept seeing my father being killed in films. Whenever I used to watch a movie, I’m like, ‘Why? Why is this always happening?’ Then there was one occasion I thought maybe a saving grace would be with my mother. So, she had done two films a long time ago, and I said, ‘Alright, let’s give this one a shot.’ And, that turned out to be a horror film where she was killed by monsters. So for me, the film industry was just hell bent on killing my parents. So that was my childhood growing up in a filmy family. But when I was mature enough to understand that this is just a character my dad is playing, I started falling in love with it and started appreciating a lot more of what my father has achieved in the industry. So as a kid, it was more like, ‘Dad, why are you doing this?’ But later I was just awestruck of his achievements and even till date.
Do you feel it is easy for a star kid to make it big in the industry as compared to an outsider?
One has to be honest over here. Accessibility is there, no doubt about that. For me, what I consider a privilege is that my parents have given me a good foundation where I’ll never have to worry about rent, or about putting food on the table. The least I could do is put the rest out for myself.
How did you deal with the rejections?
Not badly. I have a few principles that have applied in my life. I feel my job is to just look in the mirror and be self-critical and see how it can improve. So rejection for me has always been information and what you do with that information is very important. Either you get depressed by it or you get upset by it, or you use it as a tool to better yourself. So rejections haven’t really been much of an issue to me.