The ‘Nepotism in Bollywood’ debate has been going on for quite some time now. Like all industries, it does exist in the Indian Film Industry too and no one can deny that. Nepotism exists in Hollywood as well, Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie are both second generation actors. Nevertheless, showbiz is still a mass medium and stardom is still measured by the box office and not industry clout. In other words, being a second generation actor does not guarantee stardom. At the same time, it is multiple times more difficult for an outsider to even land a role in movies. Also, the competition is cut throat and an actor, either outsider or insider, always has to be on their toes for sustaining in the movie industry. Over the last one decade, I have observed that the number of outsiders entering the Movie Business has definitely increased but only a few get their due or any subsequent projects, even after delivering successful movies and praiseworthy performances. So here is Whims and Quirks with 5 movie actors from non film backgrounds who deserve way more recognition, fame and also major film projects.
1) Adah Sharma
Adah Sharma started her career with the box office hit 1920 that was released in 2008. Not only the film was successful commercially, she received unanimous praise for her acting credit in the movie. It was a very demanding character of a spirit-possessed girl and required her to display her histrionics in her very first outing. Even after such an impressive and more importantly successful debut, she had to wait for three long years for her second movie Phhir. Due to lack of good roles from Bollywood, she soon shifted her focus to South India and did achieve some success and recognition there. Today she is a part of the successful Commando film franchise and is quite popular on Instagram among the masses. Now here is a talent who proved her mettle as an actor in her very first outing, is a great dancer, is phenomenally fit but still has been largely overlooked by Bollywood. Also, she is one of the wittiest actors I have seen and all her interviews are super entertaining. I hope she gets more movie projects and Bollywood does justice to her immense talent.
Notable Films – 1920, Commando 2, Commando 3
2) Diana Penty
Diana Penty made her debut with the musical hit Cocktail in 2012. She received wide acclaim for her character Meera and was even nominated at various award functions. Like Adah Sharma, Diana too had to wait for 4 long years to land her second movie, Happy Bhag Jayegi (2016), which too was successful at the box office. On top of that she played the titular character in the movie. Any other actor would have been flooded with offers after two consecutive hits but that was not the case with Diana. In a career of 8 long years, she has only done 5 movies so far out of which 3 have been hits. It is a mystery why she does not have enough work even after so much success.
Notable Films – Cocktail, Happy Bhaag Jayegi, Pokharan
3) Ileana D’Cruz
Illeana D’cruz, I would say had nothing short of a dream debut in Bollywood with Barfi (2012), so much so that she walked away with all debut awards the following year (over Alia Bhatt). She has subsequently given multiple hits like Rustom, Raid and Main Tera Hero but still doesn’t have major movies with meaty roles in her kitty. With her talent and experience (in the South Indian Films), she should have been a front runner by now. Hers is another career that baffles me, as anyone with four clean hits should have entered the A-League by now. I hope Illeana bags more movies from here on and gets her due in Bollywood.
Notable Films – Barfi, Rustom, Raid, Main Tera Hero
4) Rajat Barmecha
Rajat Barmecha debuted with the critically acclaimed movie Udaan in 2010. Though not a major box office success, Rajat received wide acclaim for his portrayal of a gritty teenager in an author backed role in his very first outing. With so much praise coming his way, Rajat should have signed at least couple of big movies post the release. But to everyone’s surprise, his movie career never really took off, so much so that he did not do any movie after Udaan. It has been 10 long years and it is high time that the Indian Film Industry realises Rajat’s potential as an actor and acknowledges his super promising debut.
Notable Films – Udaan
5) Vaani Kapoor
Vaani Kapoor too like Ileana had a dream debut with the Yash Raj Banner produced Shuddh Desi Romance (2013). She too was awarded at all award functions the following year as the movie was a major hit and also she had received critical acclaim. Unfortunately, she has not lived up to her initial success as in these 7 long years she has done only 3 movies (all under the Yash Raj banner). She has a major movie Shamshera in her kitty but dearth of offers from outside of Yash Raj Films has actually curtailed her stardom.
Notable Films – Shuddh Desi Romance, War
Honorable Mentions – Huma Qureshi, Mahi Gill, Yami Gautam, Sanya Malhotra, Mrunal Thakur, Tia Bajpai, Anupriya Goenka, Vidyut Jamwal
Authored By – Abinash Gupta
(Disclaimer – I do not own the rights to the images displayed on the page. The rights remain with their rightful owners. The images are sourced from various public online sources to provide references to the actors on the list.)