Why Universal TV Exec Bela Bajaria's Daughters Won't Follow in Her Hollywood Footsteps

The industry executive, along with her young girls Sofia and Rami, pose for THR's "Mothers & Daughters of Hollywood" portfolio

This story first appeared in the 2014 Women in Entertainment issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Ask Rami and Sofia about their mother, executive vp of Universal Television, and they're quick to offer sweet appraisals of lessons learned ("She's taught us to put 100 percent into everything," says Sofia, 11) and unfiltered adoration ("I'm proud that she does such a hard job and still has time for us," says Rami, 13).

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But their interest in showbiz may end there. "It's cool she gets to work with interesting people, and I like visiting the lot with my friends. But I don't think I'd want to go into entertainment," admits Rami. "It seems like everything is too different every day! I've always wanted to be a doctor." And Sofia? "I want to play soccer."

Such preternatural poise and self-confidence might come as a shock if you haven't spent time with Bajaria and her family (which includes her writer-producer husband, Doug Prochilo, and son Enzo, 7). The executive — who, like her kids, has a multicultural background — says their family doesn't do a lot of Hollywood stuff together, instead favoring weekends spent at soccer games, playing cards and catching up on The Voice.

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"I was lucky to grow up in a very close family, so we have a very strong foundation," says Bajaria, 43. "This job is challenging and fun. But when I go home and see those smoochy faces … that's it! Being a mother is the coolest thing ever. I hope they follow their dreams and never lose their compassion. There's a big landscape out there."

With a smile, Bajaria adds, "And I hope they always watch Universal shows — live and on TV."

Read more

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See Mothers and Daughters of Hollywood With Anne Sweeney, Susan Sarandon