Zoya Akhtar Slams Media For Nepotism, Says It’s “Heartbreaking” To See More Than Half ‘The Archies’ Cast Getting Ignored

Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti recently said that it is the media's fault that star kids are highlighted and blamed them for ignoring the other cast members of ‘The Archies’.

Nitika Sharma
Written By: Nitika Sharma
Updated: November 14, 2023 | 15:24 IST
The Archies
Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti recently said that it is the media's fault that star kids are highlighted.

Zoya Akhtar’s much-anticipated directorial The Archies’ has been making headlines ever since it was announced. One of the main reasons behind the teen comedy film’s popularity is the cast featuring all new faces. The Netflix movie, based on the iconic Archies Comics, marks the debut of Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter Suhana Khan, Boney Kapoor’s daughter Khushi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan’s grandson Agastya Nanda. It will also introduce us to several other new faces – Mihir Ahuja, singer Aditi Saigal (Dot), Vedang Raina and Yuvraj Menda. Zoya Akhtar recently spoke about the controversy surrounding nepotism in the movie’s casting.

In a new interview with Film Companion, Zoya Akhtar suggested that the media is being hypocritical about the nepotism debate in the film industry, because it chooses to focus on star kids.

Citing ‘The Archies’ as an example, Zoya Akhtar pointed out that most of the attention has gone to the three celebrity kids – Agastya Nanda, Suhana Khan and Khushi Kapoor – and not the four other newcomers.

“This is my fifth film, this is not my first rodeo. You’ve seen my work, and I cast to what I think will work for the film, and will work for when you’re doing a theatrical for your budget. You have to balance it out. This was a Netflix film, I had no pressure. I could’ve cast anybody, and honestly, I didn’t need to do anything for once,” she said.

She added, “What I find fascinating is this, there were seven kids on that poster. Netflix and Tiger Baby put seven kids on that poster, and the media only spoke about three, and then turns around and tells us about nepotism. Actually, you’re the one not giving the other four attention. You robbed their moment, that’s just heartbreaking to see. You took away their moment, I’m sorry, it’s your problem.”

Reema Kagti chimed in, “I’ve had a lot of people say to me, ‘You’ve cast these star-kids’, and I tell them, ‘We had seven kids in the trailer, do you know the other four’s names? Did you bother to look at them?’ Because we are very excited about them. What happened was actually quite sad about the other four, and for the three star kids.”

‘The Archies’ will be released on Netflix on December 7. It has been co-produced by Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti and Sharad Devarajan under their production houses Tiger Baby and Graphic India.

In the film, Suhana Khan will essay the character of Veronica Lodge, Agastya Nanda of Archie Andrews and Khushi Kapoor of Betty Cooper. Vedang Raina will be seen as Reggie Mantle, Yuvraj Menda as Dilton Doiley, Mihir Ahuja as Jughead Jones and Aditi Saigal as Ethel Muggs.

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