Rohan Mehra stayed away from Bollywood for most part of his life and the debutante says it is one of the reasons he discovered his father, actor Vinod Mehra quite late.
Rohan, who makes his Hindi film debut with “Baazaar”, says he does not feel pressured by the comparisons drawn between him and his father, who passed away before his birth in 1990.
“Comparisons will be made. I don’t feel the pressure. It doesn’t annoy me. All the more, I’m flattered. This is all very surreal to me. I’m discovering this man really late in my life.
“I started discovering him when I was 21. I never knew him. My mother was four months pregnant with me when he passed away,” the actor told in an interview here.
He grew up in Kenya’s Mombasa with his mother, Kiran, sister Soniya and grandparents.
“For the first 21 years of my life, I was away from Bollywood and Bombay. I don’t think anyone in Mombasa personally could say they knew Vinod Mehra. Had I lived in Bombay, there would have been that pressure,” he says.
Rohan says he strives to be like his father, Vinod Mehra who has films such as “Anuraag”, “Nagin”, “Jaani Dushman” and “Ghar”, among others to his credit.
“He was such a charismatic, handsome and great actor. Those are the qualities I look to be. I want to be more like him. I appreciate that he has diehard fans. I will give them a little reminder,” he says.
The actor says he read some tweets where people said he does not resemble his father who was “well-built” and clarifies he lost weight for his role as stock market greenhorn, Rizwan Ahmed.
“It would be silly to see someone with a huge chest walk into the stock market to get a job from Shakun Kothari (played by Saif Ali Khan),” he adds.
Rohan, 27, says he is glad that unlike other star kids, he had to fight for people’s interest.
“I wanted to have some leverage before I could speak to people and they could speak about you. You need that. You have to have something to show for what you’re doing. I think that’s the way it should be.”
The film, directed by Gauravv Chawla, was earlier aiming for a December 2017 release.
The actor says the delay cast a shadow of doubt on his Bollywood entry but patience carried him through.
“There were times I wondered ‘What’s going on? When is the film going to release?’ I have already waited for so long.
“With the little bit struggle that I did in landing a job in Bollywood, I think you develop some more patience. You start trusting the process more. Also I had a great mentor in producer Nikkhil Advani. I knew if he wasn’t worrying, I shouldn’t.”
Also featuring Chitrangda Singh and Radhika Apte, “Baazaar” releases Friday.