Suniel and Athiya Shetty
Dad Suniel Shetty on why he wants his daughter to take up more comedy roles...
Nayandeep Rakshit (DNA; July 13, 2017)

Suniel Shetty started his film journey as an action hero, but it was the comedy film Hera Pheri that worked for him at the box office, and also brought him critical acclaim. No wonder, the actor swears by the genre, and is keen that daughter Athiya also take the same road. The actor explains why he wants his daughter to find a strong foothold in this genre, which he feels is perfect for her “mastikhor” personality.

Just be funny!
Suniel feels that Athiya needs to explore this particular aspect of her personality as an actor, “I want her to do comedy, comedy and more comedy because she’s very good at that. That’s something, I feel, she has not explored as yet. She’s damn good at it, she’s at it all the time.” Suniel feels working with directors like Anees Bazmee, David Dhawan or Priyadarshan enhances the actor in you. He adds, “That is the part of her that I would want to see more on screen. So, when it comes to an Anees, David or Priyadarshan, I would say don’t even think, I would say: Just do it.”

What Athiya wants...
While Suniel wants Athiya to explore the comic space, Athiya has something else in mind. “I want to do an action film,” she says. Her father feels that he doesn’t have much influence over Athiya’s choices, but she disagrees. “I genuinely take his opinion and feedback very seriously. I involve him right from the time I am offered a film or approached for it. I tell him straightaway. Even when I signed Mubarakan, the only person who I knew would understand this space, is him. He was like, ‘Please sign it right now’.”

Being Basanti
Many actors of the current generation are now trying their hand at comedy. When asked which iconic character he would want his daughter to play, Suniel says, “If there’s a remake of Sholay, she can play Basanti like nobody’s business. I’m not kidding. She will be the perfect Basanti. And she won’t even need Dhanno (laughs).”

Please the audience
Suniel also feels that commercial movies are the best way for the audience to get to know a new actor. “The audience only gets to know you when you do that kind of film — whether it’s a Katrina Kaif, or a Priyanka Chopra. When they did fun films, they got noticed. The fashion world is okay, but the audience and the masses get to know you when you do a film like that.” The actor adds that his daughter has always had a naughty streak to her personality. “She’s mastikhor. As a child, she would imitate people in a second.”