Suniel Shetty
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Suneil finds his little girl safest with Salman!

Suniel Shetty

By HT

New Delhi, Oct. 21 -- A heartthrob of the 90s, Suneil Shetty is a proud daddy now, looking forward to the Bollywood debut of his daughter Athiya. The 53-year-old talks about his kids, why he takes up lesser projects now, and his relationship with fellow actor Salman Khan, who's producing his daughter's debut film.

Post 2010, you have restricted yourself to one or two films per year. Why?

I have been a part of over 100 films in my career. I have limited the number of films I do. Now, I will only do the roles that suit me and my age. Also, I did sign many films which did not release and now I don't want to regret my Fridays.

Both your children - Athiya and Ahan - are being launched by Salman and not by you. Why?

Salman is launching them because I haven't been a good producer. It is not about ego issues or business but the right platform and responsibility. He shares an amazing rapport with my children. Industry knows him to be a star-maker and he has made careers of many. Ahan is very young right now and will take some more time to understand this industry, unlike Athiya, who is now aware of how things work.

You share a great friendship with Salman. What's your take on his single status?

Salman has a heart of gold. He chooses to be where he is. I know him very well ... he will always stand by his friends and family, come what may. This industry has been really unkind to him.

SaSalman seems to be spending momore time with your kids than yoyou ...

ThThere can never be any ininsecurity about Salman spspending more time with my kkids. In fact, my daughter is most comfortable with Salman.

What kind of rapport do you share with your kids and what aadvice do you give them about BBollywood?

I'm more of a friend to them than a traditional father figure. I tell them to wwork hard and choose wisely.

Do you plan to produce or direct films in the future?

My last production, Loot (2011), didn't fare well at the box office. I feel I can never be a good producer or director. I did try my hand at it with films like EMI, Bhagam Bhag, but they weren't successful either. So I have decided to focus on running my restaurant in Dubai now.

From the current crop of star kids, who do you think is the next superstar?

I like all of them. Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Shraddha Kapoor and Tiger Shroff are like my own kids. Look at Tiger ... he was great in his debut film, Heropanti (2014). They are all making a name for themselves in Bollywood.