Sanjay Leela Bhansali Launches Niece Sharmin Segal in New Film Malaal, Sparks Nepotism Debate
Malaal marks the Bollywood debut of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s niece Sharmin Segal and Jaaved Jaaferi's son Meezaan. Directed by Mangesh Hadawale, it is set to release on June 28.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali with Sharmin Segal and Meezaan Jaaferi. (Image: Instagram/Meezaan Jaaferi)
Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who is introducing his niece Sharmin Segal and Jaaved Jaaferi's son Meezaan with his home production Malaal, on Saturday said it is an emotional moment for him to launch the two newcomers.
In the past, Bhansali launched Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor—both children of lead actors—with his 2007 film Sawaariya.
With another pair of industry kids getting launched at the hands of a major filmmaker, questions on nepotism couldn’t have been avoided at the film’s trailer launch on Saturday. However, Sharmin said industry kids might get an easy start but there was a continuous pressure on them to prove their calibre.
"There is nepotism in every field. Those who have connection in the film industry it is bit easy for them, they get the first opportunity easily. But they have to work very hard. The pressure is there on every film. One should not misuse the opportunity," Sharmin said.
Meezaan added, "I have to prove myself. It's only the hard work and talent that helps."
On launching Sharmin, Bhansali said, "I am extremely emotional right now, Sharmin was 85-90 kg earlier but she always wanted to be an actor. She has worked hard for what she is today. I am introducing Sharmin and it is a big deal for us."
The filmmaker was also in awe of Meezaan, whom he called the star of the century. "Four years ago, Sharmin was assistant on 'Bajirao Mastani' and I said bring someone for costume trial and she got Meezaan. When he entered, I was like a star has arrived," Bhansali said.
"It is two years of hard work and tolerating me. They are very strong kids. We have laughed together and I have also fired at them," Bhansali said.
Sharmin revealed that Bhansali advised her to focus on her work and not think of fame and success. "I have taken passion for cinema from him. I like living someone's else's dream," Sharmin said.
Meezaan said Bhansali told them to maintain a distance from the social media and use the platform close to the release of their film. "He wanted that our work should speak for us. What and how does it matter to people where and when I am going to the gym or anywhere else," he said.
The film is a love story directed by Mangesh Hadawale and produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishna Kumar and Mahaveer Jain.
Malaal is set to be released on June 28.
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