Sooraj Pancholi
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I want to make my parents proud: Sooraj Pancholi

By HT

Mumbai, Jan. 18 -- Sooraj Pancholi, who was introduced by Salman Khan in his production Hero (2015), is now looking forward to be a part of an action-romance project. HT Cafe caught up with the young actor for a tete-a-tete.

How would you describe your equation with Salman Khan? Did you always want to be an actor?

I call him sir. He is my boss and more than a mentor. Acting was always my first choice. In fact, my first audition was for Kai Po Che (2013). But I was too young for the role as I had just turned 18. I wanted to be an actor, but I'd never told my family [about my ambitions]. They knew as I was involved in martial arts and dance. However, we never discussed it.

Do you feel star kids receive more opportunities than other actors?

Salman sir and my father are friends because of the industry, but they are not close friends. My parents are not from film families. Also, they were never that outgoing. You would never see them at events. They never promoted themselves. My mother never walked the ramp nor did my father promote himself by posing for magazines covers. People know me as their son but I have done everything on my own.

So, is there more pressure now?

The pressure is there. I want to make my parents proud. I am not doing this (movies) for anyone else or for myself, it is for them.

Does the challenge to prove yourself begin after your first film?

In your first film, you don't know what you're doing. You follow exactly what the director says. Then, when you watch the film, and see where you can improve. An actor can only get better with every film [he does].

Do you consult your parents before signing a film?

I never take a script to my parents. I first decide if I want to be a part of a film, and then I share it with them. They don't choose my films. In fact, they don't even know what projects I am doing or what meetings I am scheduling. It is my choice. Sometimes, I discuss it with my mother.

What do you think sets you apart from your contemporaries?

It's my journey and how I started it. It was a bumpy ride, but it will be a good one. It is not easy to face the world when you have gone through so much. I think my USP is my journey.

Do you feel more mature than others of your age owing to your unfortunate experiences and also because you've been staying alone for some time now?

I used to stay with my grandparents when I was young. When they passed away, I stayed back in their house. I stay there even today. I meet my parents every day. Staying alone has made me more independent.

What does independence mean to you? It means taking your own decisions and learning from your mistakes. And maturity?

I wouldn't say I am more mature than everyone else. But, I have seen life in a different way. I wouldn't want any of them to see what I have seen. It has made me stronger and wiser. I have learnt to be more careful.