Shriya Pilgaonkar: My journey has not been a typical star kid journey; I have never experienced hate on social media because of nepotism – Exclusive – Times of India

Despite being the daughter of superstar parents Sachin and Supriya Pilgaonkar, entering the film industry and making her mark was not a cakewalk for Shriya Pilgaonkar. The young diva, who is currently ruling the OTT world with her brilliant performances, has seen her share of struggles and faced rejection. In a freewheeling conversation with ETimes, Shriya opened up about carving her own path, things she learnt from her parents, and her bond with them. Excerpts…
How difficult was it to break the stereotype of being a starkid?

It was always important for me to carve my own niche. I have never compared my journey to anyone else’s. I have never come from an entitled space or taken my privileges for granted. In fact, I have always moved away from any kind of entitlement. It is a very big compliment for me when people tell me how well I have carved my own path.

Also, my journey has not been a typical starkid journey. I am very happy about it. It has been a step by step and organic journey. I have never experienced any hate on social media because of nepotism or something like that. People have seen my journey with all its ups and downs. For me, I have always focused on doing good work. I don’t consider my career to be 10-15 years old. I think of it as a 50-60 years long career.

Earlier, actresses were made to feel that they had a shelf life. But now it is not like that. I am here to stay, which is why I don’t make decisions out of fear. I am here for the long run.

Do you have fond memories of accompanying your parents on the sets of their films and shows?

I have, but not too many. When I was growing up, I was heavily into sports. I was a competitive swimmer, so most of my time would go into training. But yes, when my father was directing ‘Tu Tu Main Main’, sometimes when he needed a neighbour’s kid on the show, I would come and act. I think I was always comfortable in front of the camera. Even on stage, I have always had a performer’s instinct. I realised I wanted to act much later.

My parents have so much experience that I love to hear their stories. They have so much to share. I feel like I have a film school at home with both of them. There is a lot that I am constantly learning from their experiences. I am also quite fascinated with the process of filmmaking. Even as an actor today, my eyes and ears are open to understand what’s happening behind the camera.

Who are you closest to at home—your mom or your dad?

I am actually very close to both of them. I have a different kind of relationship with both. My mom is someone I share everything with. We are both very protective of dad. My father and I actually hang out together a lot. We share common interests. We both love food and discussing films. My dad and I are more like friends, while my mom is a confidante to me. She is quite stricter than he is. With each other, we are all very expressive, strong, and vulnerable. My parents have always emotionally strengthened me. I have learnt from them how to conduct yourself with grace, to be emotionally strong, and to have a certain perspective towards their work.


We all know Sachin and Supriya Pilgaonkar as wonderful actors. How are they as parents at home?

They are very simple people at their core. My mom is a perfectionist. She tells me if she likes something, but she will also be quite blunt and honest when needed. My father has a little more gentle way of saying things. Despite being quite active at work, they have always been present as parents and have been involved in everything as parents. At the same time, they have also raised me to be independent. They have never overprotected me. They have always encouraged me to go out and learn. I am the person I am today because of them. I am happy when I make them proud. Even when it comes to my work, I will always consider their feedback. They would never tell me what to do, but they would always help me ask the right questions in the process. They give me honest opinions, which come from them being artists and not just parents.

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