She entered Bollywood without a godfather but actress Swara Bhaskar says her experience in the industry has been anything but nepotistic.
The 28-year-old actress agrees that there is an element of feudalism in the Hindi film industry but says she has never felt that people are prejudiced against her.
"Bollywood as an industry is based on relationships, it has always been star-driven and it has an element of feudalism. So, it would be difficult for an outsider but my experience of Bollywood is not nepotistic at all," Swara told PTI during a visit here.
"I think people, who have been most warm and nice are people like Karan Johar, Sonam Kpaoor and even Aditya Chopra. He has always been very responsive and helpful."
Swara's "Tanu Weds Manu" co-star Kangana Ranaut started the debate on nepotism by calling host Karan Johar the "flag bearer of nepotism" on his show, which led to a war of words between them.
The actress says Johar has always been very helpful to her and even agreed to launch the poster of her upcoming film "Anarkali of Arrah" on social media.
"Since the whole nepotism debate is going on, I just want to say that Karan has been a revelation to me. He is an industry elite but he has been a wonderful surprise. He launched our film's poster despite me not knowing him personally."
Swara says though Johar could not come onboard as a distributor, he was supportive of the Avinash Das-directed movie.
"His tweet added a certain credibility and gave visibility to our film. He is a very busy man but he replied to all my messages. When he tweeted our poster, people thought I had paid him. All I want to say is, I can't afford to pay him."
Swara says she does not agree with people who judge directors based on who they cast.
"People should have the freedom to cast whoever they want to cast. If Avinashji wants to cast me, then he should not have the pressure to cast Alia Bhatt or Shraddha Kapoor.
"Similarly, if Karan Johar wants to cast Alia or Shraddha, he should have the freedom to do that. He should not be judged for that. Sometimes that much openness is needed.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)