Bollywood is ruled by the stars. The brand value of the movie is determined by the number of stars in it. And thus, most of the mainstream cinema consist of A-rated stars. But in this race of creating movies for multi-crore business, aren’t our filmmakers overlooking the true talents of cinema. It won’t be an overstatement to say that there are some side actors/actresses of Indian cinema who are loved more than the lead roles itself. Let me throw a pretty reminder for you.
1. Radhika Apte
This name deserves by all means to stay at the top. Do you remember her debut? No, not in the Shor In The City, Radhika Apte made her debut with Wah! Life Ho Toh Aisi back in 2005. She played the role of Shahid’s sister in the movie. We failed to notice her, but if you rewind your tapes and watch the movie again, you will see that Radhika was extraordinary even while playing a side role. We hope to see many brilliant performances by Radhika in future.
2. Manu Rishi
You will remember this face from Dibakar Banerji’s Oye Lucky Lucky Oye as Abhay Deol’s side-kick. But does he really deserve to remain a side-kick? His brilliant performance in Phas Gaye Re Obama is critically acclaimed. And despite these many efforts, he still remains in the shadows. The lovers of good theatrical skills want to see more of him in Indian movies.
3. Tahir Raj Bhasin
Villains are seldom loved. But when they are, they are praised more than the protagonists itself. Pradeep Sarkar’s Mardaani gave us one such antagonist who came as good as Rani Mukherjee is in the movie. Tahir Raj Bhasin made our blood boil in the super-negative character he played in the movie. But that’s what villains are for.
4. Surveen Chawala
We already saw her in a woman-centric movie, Hate Story 2. Not that her performance wasn’t upto the mark, but she wasn’t seen in any other Bollywood movie as a lead role. Though she was successful in moving a different kind of audience with her non-commercial movie, Parched. We would love to watch her in a role that matches upto her acting skills.
5. Anand Tiwari
As soon as we see his face, we’re reminded of Go Goa Gone. But this face got prominent with Tata Tea Commercials Jaago Re. He did many other likeable roles in Udaan and Kites. He was one of the few best things about Sonam Kapoor starrer, Aisha. Though he is at his best in every role played by him, but Byomkesh Bakshi is surely his Magnum Opus.
6. Manish Chaudhary
If you follow Nikhil Advani’s TV series, Prisoner of War, you might have already fallen in love with the actor he is. Apart from this, he was critically acclaimed for the role he played in Socha Na Tha as Abhay Deol’s elder brother. He is one of the few actors who doesn’t need to act to play a role. He simply absorbs the character within himself.
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7. Amrita Puri
Seen in only a handful of movies in Bollywood, Ms. Puri deserves to be more than just a side-kick. If you really want to see her work, you can tune into TV series, Stories By Rabindranath Tagore. Presently she is working with Purab Kohli and Manish Chaudhary in Nikhil Advani’s TV Series, Prisoner of War. She truly deserves to be in the lead roles in mainstream cinema.
8. Deepak Dobriyal
Omkara, Gulaal and Tanu Weds Manu. There’s no single movie that could be the best of his career. He is beyond perfection in every single of the movies. Not that he lacks the skills, but the mainstream cinema is only up for the brand value. We just wish that our Indian cinema drops the money-making business and start making movies worth pondering. And of course, seeing these ‘Side-Actors’ in the lead roles.