Superstar Salman Khan says he is not launching Suniel Shetty’s daughter Athiya Shetty and Aditya Pancholi’s son Sooraj Pancholi with his forthcoming production venture Hero because they are “star kids”, but due to their talent and passion for acting.
“People are saying that we have launched them (Athiya and Sooraj) because they are star kids. But it is not like that. I have many friends, who have children, but I have not launched them. And a lot of parents come and ask me to launch their children.”
“So, we are not launching them because they are Aditya and Suniel’s kids. I have seen Athiya and Sooraj’s work and they are brilliant and good in what they do. They are very sorted,” Salman said during a promotional visit to the Millennium City with the lead pair on Saturday.
The 49-year-old actor, who is going all out to promote the film, went on to note that “if you see the film trailer or see them talking during an interview, you feel that they mean what they are saying”.
Taking a dig at himself, Salman quipped: “They are sensible unlike their producer, who at time goes off.”
However, it was not a cakewalk for Athiya and Sooraj to grab their debut film as Salman puts “Halwa nahi tha”.
“They had to go under several tests and auditions from action to dancing to acting. After all that they were finalised,” said the “Kick” star.
The close bond shared between the three was quite evident at the press conference as the trio joked and shared their experience of working together. Salman introduced them to the media as “Athiya ma’am” and “Sooraj baba”.
The debutants have often expressed their gratitude towards Salman for guiding them in public. And Salman also hopes the debutants make a strong foothold in the industry.
“I think both of them should do really well and grow bigger and get better with each film and every year,” said Salman, who looked casual in a black T-shirt and jeans.
Directed by Nikhil Advani, “Hero” is a remake of Subhash Ghai’s 1983 film of the same name and will hit the screens on September 11.
Salman also shared trivia related to the film, by saying that he had suggested Ghai to remake “Hero” with him as lead when the director had gone to the actor to narrate “Yuvvraaj”.
“Subhash came to me with a film and narrated it to me. I said ‘sir, don’t do this movie with me, but let’s do ‘Hero, which he had made a long time ago. I even suggested some changes and said ‘we can make a modern movie’. He said ‘no’ and we did ‘Yuvvraaj.”
“But after sometime, I saw Sooraj. He was working with me on ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ and I thought I should cast him before Aditya Chopra sees him,””Salman quipped, adding: “I thought that ‘Hero’ was good enough for me to do and ‘Hero’ is good enough for Sooraj baba to do”.