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Rohit Roy during an interview at a press conference at Palazzo Versace Dubai on September 9, 2020. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Bollywood actor Rohit Roy, who is in Dubai to film the web series ‘7th Sense’, denounced the vilification of Bollywood and rejected the theory that the industry is filled with substance abusers and egotistical power brokers.

“It enrages me to discuss something like this, Right now, it’s all about Bollywood bashing and that’s crazy. Just like any other industry, there are bad apples here too. It has now become fashionable to talk about issues like insider-outsider, nepotism and drug cartels ruling us,” said Roy in an interview with Gulf News.

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The actor spoke on the sidelines of a September 9 press conference held in the UAE to announce the details of ‘7th Sense’, a UAE-shot web series produced by Gaurang Doshi also starring South Indian actor R Madhavan.

“Think about it: Bollywood is such a small fragment in a country with a population of over 130 crores people [1.3 billion]. Trust me, only 13 people in this industry — like Hrithik [Roshan], Shah Rukh [Khan] and Akshay [Kumar] — can possibly control anything. But it’s not some cartel as it’s made out to be,” said Roy.

The self-made, Ahmedabad-born actor claims that Khan and he began his career in Bollywood around the same time in the early 1990s, but he doesn’t hold a grudge for not making it as big as the superstar.

“I am an outsider, but I have never used that card in my life … I didn’t become as big as Shah Rukh Khan because I didn’t have the talent to sustain my success or the vision to become a bigger star. It’s my problem, but nobody ever said they will not cast me because I am from a small town,” said Roy.

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Roy rates Dubai as one of the safest filming destinations in the world in the COVID-19 era.

The actor, who became an overnight star with the hit television drama ‘Swaabhimaan’ directed by Mahesh Bhatt, claims he made a string of wrong choices and that led to his career slowing down.

“I was ruling television but I simply did not have the vision to switch to cinema. I was full of myself and I believed that the whole country was looking at me and salivating at my talents. I felt I could not do no wrong, but I did everything wrong,” he said.

Roy, who rates Dubai as one of the safest filming destinations in the world in the COVID-19 era, is realistic enough to assign blame to himself for his career missteps.

“After being an actor for 25 years and then blaming others and outside forces is just not fair,” he said.

The actor claims that addiction is a social problem that exists among people across all ages and industries.

Roy also claims that he got trolled and hated for supporting Rhea Chakraborty, the prime accused in Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case.

“I had to take my post down because I supported Rhea Chakraborty ... All I said in my post was that procuring drugs does not make her a murderer or a conspiracy hatcher. Give her the respect that a young woman deserves,” Roy said. “But I had to take it down because my 77-year-old mother was disturbed at all the hate I got. The haters went hammers and tongs after me.”