Sooraj Pancholi Talks About Stuttering As A Child

Learn how this actor overcame stuttering by himself with no speech therapy.

The actor reveals how he overcame the problem

It may be nothing out of the ordinary for Sooraj Pancholi to deliver long-drawn dialogues for films, but that was not always the case. The actor says that he has had a history of stuttering, which is his best kept secret so far. He admits that he has struggled with the problem ever since he was a young kid, but has now almost overcome it. Sooraj, who made his Bollywood debut in 2015 with Hero — Nikhil Advani’s remake of the Subhash Ghai’s 1983 superhit film by the same name — says, “I still do stammer sometimes, but I’ve practiced hard and become conscious about it.” Sooraj adds that he only stutters now when he is with friends and his guard is down. “That’s when I’m more relaxed and not scared of being judged,” says he.

It’s been tough

Dealing with the problem has been tough for the actor but acting has been therapeutic for him in a way. “Long dialogues make me mindful that I need to get a fix on stuttering, and not fumble,” he says.

Nothing to hide

While actors may choose to hide their flaws, Sooraj prefers talking about the problem. According to him, a stutterer needs to admit that he/she has a problem instead of sweeping it under the carpet. “I see stammering as just a small issue in one’s head, and one can overcome it,” the actor says. Sooraj has had this attitude ever since he was a kid. He used his friends and other people mocking him to overpower stuttering. “You can take it the way you want — positively or negatively,” he says. While his friends made fun of him, Sooraj says that his actor parents Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab, and sister Sana Pancholi never pointed out the problem to him.

Didn’t care initially

In spite of being made fun of and constantly reminded of the problem, the 25-year-old Sooraj confesses that he didn’t care that he stuttered till he turned 17, and gave a career in acting a serious thought. “That’s when I became conscious and started thinking about speech, dialogue delivery, and so on,” he says. The actor states that he overcame stuttering by himself with no speech therapy or teachers coming to his aid. Sooraj says, “I live alone so I read out my dialogues or newspaper headlines very loudly. I think you are your own best teacher.”

Not nervous about talking publicly

Working on the problem has ensured that Sooraj is never nervous at media events or talking publicly. “I don’t prepare a speech. As long as I’m being myself, nothing else matters to me. If I have to stammer and get stuck, I will. It’s all right. We are all humans and all have flaws, and this is not a permanent problem,” Sooraj says, adding that he’s glad to have almost got rid of the problem. Sooraj is aware that Hrithik Roshan has had the same problem, too. “I think he’s the best example of how good you can be despite flaws. There aren’t many actors who can speak like him. He’s pretty perfect. That should be a motivation for people who stammer,” he says.