Sidharth Malhotra made his acting debut with Dharma Productions’ superhit college-caper Student of the Year (2012). But not many people know that he struggled for years before bagging his first project as an actor.

Before beginning his acting career, Malhotra tried his luck in modelling and later assisted Karan Johar on My Name Is Khan (2010). Talking to a publication, he says that he never thought it was possible for an outsider to foray into such a competitive world of Hindi cinema. His comments come in the wake of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s tragic demise a couple of days ago, and the debate it reignited on the topic of nepotism.

“I never thought when I was a teenager that it was possible to become a Bollywood actor coming from Delhi with no connections to the films. They (parents) were not shaping me up to an actor but to become a good human being, I would say. And I mean this with utmost humility and not saying that I am a perfect example, but just to say that there are some basic qualities, I think I have inherited from my family and that is what I keep giving to people,” he says.

The actor had previously spoken about nepotism. “I think even if you are from a film family, eventually it is a very performance-based profession. You cannot drive an audience to a theatre based on your family – either people accept you or they don’t. I think I can say that after working in the industry for a few years, the accepting phase is over. Now, it is the performance phase – I need to ensure that my films are getting box-office numbers and that I choose the right characters to portray, which I will be remembered for.”

Sidharth Malhotra will next be seen in Dharma Productions’ Shershaah, co-starring Kiara Advani. The new official release date of the film is yet to be announced.