Chunky Panday and Ananya Panday

Chunky Panday has opened up about the ongoing insider versus outsider debate in Bollywood and how his daughter, Ananya Panday, is often targeted for being a star-kid.

  • Last Updated: September 16, 2020, 10:18 AM IST


The death of Sushant Singh Rajput, who got off to a successful career in Bollywood without any godfather, reignited the talks revolving around privilege and how tough it is for an artiste to survive in the industry without any film connection or a famous surname.

The tragic incident has also caused a wave of nepotism debate wherein many celebrities and star-kids have become the target of massive online trolling. Now, Chunky Panday, whose daughter Ananya, among other star-kids, is facing social media outrage for allegedly riding on the privileges of an insider, has opened up about how he’s been dealing with all the personal attacks being made on the young actress.

“If someone does say something, we have to just take it in our stride. What else can we do? There’s no other solution to this. Being an actor, celebrity or a film star, it has some plus points and some minus points. Right now, people have gone a little too sensitive because of the whole situation (coronavirus pandemic) we are in right now. It has made people anxious and insecure. It has done that to me. I’m 57 and I wouldn’t say that I’ve been through the greatest of career but a career of 33 years and if I can have these emotions then I can imagine what younger people must be going through. These are not ordinary times. So, one has to have a little empathy. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. I actually don’t give it too much energy myself because I feel in times like these you need to engage in things that keep you happy,” said Chunky.

Netizens and a number of celebrities have pointed out that while insiders get “easy access” to the industry, the outsiders have to struggle to even get a foothold in, thereby, prompting a raging debate on insider versus outsider.

To which, Chunky said, “This has always happened. This is nothing new. Rivalries have been happening since forever. Things have been said about each other. If you pick up a 50-year-old magazine, you’d find the same dialogues there. All these debates have happened before also in many ways. Right now, it’s more because people have nothing else to watch because of such extraordinary times. People are just glued to their television sets. There’s no end to this.”

When asked about the intense social media scrutiny that actors are often subjected to, Chunky said, “Social media is a tool and you need to use it as a tool. You can’t get personal about it because you are using it to put your pictures out there. Basically we used to have publicists and PRs, but today you don’t need all that. Social media is not a part of your body. It’s just the way you look at it. You can’t get emotional about it. It’s a nice way to communicate with people and you have to keep it to that. And, it’s all in your control what you put out.”

Chunky Panday is currently seen in ZEE5’s Abhay season 2, which has been widely praised by both audiences and critics alike. In the show, Chunky plays a psychopath killer on the loose.

Talking about it, the actor said, “He is a very sweet uncle who lives next door. You feel sorry for him the way he walks and bargains with a vegetable vendor. Kids normally tease him. You feel bad and you love him but when he flips then you don’t want to be 100 km near this man. It’s a three-dimensional character. Normally when you play negative roles, you are negative from the first frame to the last frame. So, this was something very new for me.”

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