‘I have no time for the boys’

Athiya talks about her upcoming movie and the special bond she shares with her father

Athiya Shetty is the latest from a Bollywood film family to make an entry into Mumbai’s fast growing movie industry. Daughter of veteran action star Sunil Shetty, Athiya is all set for a debut with fellow newcomer, Sooraj Pancholi, in the upcoming Hero and they certainly have their stars to thank — the film is being produced by Salman Khan and according to the actress, the cast and crew form quite the “dream team”.

“Sooraj and I have known each other since we were children. But we didn’t connect much. But now that we are working together, we have caught up on the old days. He’s a nice guy and sometimes I actually have to tell him, ‘don’t be so nice to me, be mean too’. He’s also very shy and I was the one who broke the ice first,” she reveals.

The actress also took out some time to explain how it was growing up in the Shetty household. “I’m a person who takes stress. I got that from dad. So when he comes up to me and says, ‘don’t stress’, I actually tell him, ‘hey, I got this quality from you’. “But my grandparents are the best. I can’t even imagine life without them,” she says. Athiya’s paternal grandfather suffered a paralysing stroke just as Hero went on floors. “He stopped talking and became totally inactive. But then I would take him out once a day and tell him about my life, the movie. And when I showed him my photos from the sets, there were tears in his eyes as he tried to kiss the photo. He’s very proud of me and I pray every day that he gets well soon.”

With a movie to promote, Athiya doesn’t have much time for, “boys”. “What do I think about relationships? Well, I believe there are three key ingredients to any relationship — honesty, trust and a feeling of equality. I have had what they call ‘puppy love’ but right now, there’s just no time for the boys. I’m not even interested. I’m focussing on my career and I’m really liking the freedom and space that comes with it. So yeah, nothing for now.”

The independent streak though started when the actress spent considerable time living abroad, all by herself. “Yes, that was the time when I became very independent. I learnt to make my own bed, cook, travel and more importantly, become self sustaining. Earlier, I would rely on people to help me out but after my stint, I’m alright solo.”

And finally the famous father. “He never did bring his celebrity status back home. All Fridays, good or bad, were calm and happy — despite his fortunes. I started watching his films quite early too. I remember I was five once when I saw him being killed on screen — I started howling. I think that movie was Border but yeah, I just couldn’t watch my dad getting beaten by all the villains. That was painful.

Any advice from him? “Not much, but he did tell me one thing, to never let success or failure really get into your head. He told me to find a balance between the two and told me to relax. That’s all I remember... and those words have kept me going.”

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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