Best Bollywood actors of 2018: Ayushmann, Vicky, Pankaj score big

Best Bollywood actors of 2018: Ayushmann, Vicky, Pankaj score big

The year 2018 belonged to actors who helped bring quality content alive on the celluloid. Artistes like Ayushmann Khurrana, Vicky Kaushal and Pankaj Tripathi helped further spread the movie magic with their talent and honest portrayals of varied characters.

best actors vicky kaushal, rajkummar rao and ranveer singh
It has been a remarkable year for the Hindi film industry. (Photo: Ayushmann Khurrana/Instagram, Rajkummar Rao/Instagram, Vicky Kaushal/Instagram, Ranveer Singh/Instagram)

The year 2018 has been great for Bollywood, be it in terms of business or with regard to content. Right from January, thanks to Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone’s Padmaavat, to the Ayushmann Khurrana starrer Badhaai Ho in October; it has been a remarkable year for the Hindi film industry. And while a lot of things come together to make a film successful, one of the primary selling points of a movie are the actors. Here are some of the actors who stood out with their performances.

Vicky Kaushal

How can you even think of making a listicle of Best Actors of 2018 and not include Vicky’s name in it? And that too at the very top. From doing Netflix’s Lust Stories and Love Per Square Foot, to making his presence felt with the Alia Bhatt film Raazi, Vicky has been hard to ignore. And then he rounded off the year with Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju and Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan.

In Raazi, which was predominantly an Alia film, Vicky made the audience sit up and notice his charming, sweet and jazz-loving army man Iqbal Syed. In Sanju, the actor played the best friend of Sanjay Dutt, Kamli, who was ready to give up everything for his close friend. Vicky has been able to hold his own in a variety of roles; be it the impulsive and responsibility-shirking Vicky Sandhu of Manmarziyaan, or the unaware and naive Paras of Karan Johar’s Lust Stories.

Ayushmann Khurrana

Following Vicky close on the heels is, of course, the one and only ‘Dilli da munda’ Ayushmann, who has dominated the box office with two back-to-back successful and content-driven films Badhaai Ho and Andhadhun.


While in Sriram Raghavan’s Andhadhun, Ayushmann aced the act of a blind pianist who is caught in the midst of a murder; in the family dramedy Badhaai Ho, the actor was back doing what he does best– play the imperfect young man from Delhi who is in equal parts devoted and amused by his family.

Pankaj Tripathi

Pankaj Tripathi, slowly but surely, has managed to make everyone sit up and take notice of him, thanks to his believable performances. And 2018 has been good to him, what with Stree and Rajinikanth starrer Kaala making waves across the country.

In Kaala, the actor played Inspector Pankaj Patil; a man whose loyalty lie with the villainous Hari Dhadha, but who couldn’t help but be in awe of Rajinikanth’s Karikaalan. The balance in his expressions and the ease with which Pankaj played the character showed the audience whatever they needed to know of Inspector Patil. And of course, then Pankaj raised the bar higher with the horror-comedy Stree, wherein he essayed the role of a paranologist.

Rajkummar Rao

Rajkummar had a fabulous 2017 and his success streak continued well into 2018, owing to films like Stree and Love Sonia. Of course, he also gave the audience Fanney Khan and Omerta. While the last two films might not have raked in the moolah, one cannot take anything away from Rajkummar’s performance. Saying that Rajkummar immerses himself completely in everything he does reads like old news now.

Manoj Bajpayee

Manoj Bajpayee did a total of six films in 2018 alone–Aiyaary, Baaghi 2, Missing, Satyameva Jayate, Gali Guleiyan and Love Sonia. That alone in this day and age is a commendable feat in itself, but he raised the bar with his variety of roles. While Baaghi 2 and Satyameva Jayate were box office hits; Gali Guleiyan and Love Sonia showed us the true calibre of Manoj as an actor. In Gali Guleiyan especially, Manoj saved the day as Khuddoos, who is trapped not only physically, but psychologically as well in the recesses of his own mind.

Irrfan Khan

Irrfan had two releases this year – Blackmail and Karwaan. Both films as different as chalk and cheese. While Blackmail was a thriller, Karwaan, which also featured Bollywood newbies Dulquer Salmaan and Mithila Palkar, was a dramedy. Despite a talented cast, Karwaan survived for as long as it did thanks to Irrfan, both in terms of box office and with respect to the narrative. The lighter moments of Karwaan were the ones that lifted the movie from the depths of boredom.

Varun Dhawan

Varun Dhawan had an eventful 2018. While Sui Dhaaga proved to be box office success, October managed to spread movie magic via some original, thought-provoking and emotional storytelling.

Varun was especially stellar in Shoojit Sircar’s October. The actor’s portrayal of Dan was the right mix of sensitive, fragile and that powerful, inexplicable love that has the intensity to shake a person to its very roots. A job well done.

Ranbir Kapoor

Ranbir Kapoor only appeared in Rajkumar Hirani’s blockbuster Sanju in 2018. But that was enough. While the film and the filmmaker may have had to face ridicule for attempting to whitewash Sanjay Dutt’s image in the biopic, but the performances of the cast was appreciated by the audience as well as the critics. And not without reason.

From the sheer physicality to ‘being’ Sanjay Dutt to embodying the nuances of the film star, Ranbir really pushed the envelope for himself and for the movie as a whole.

Ranveer Singh

After courting numerous controversies, Padmaavat finally made it to the big screen, delayed though it may have been. The Sanjay Leela Bhansali broke box office records like no one’s business as it raked in Rs 302.15 crore.

One thing viewers couldn’t stop raving about was Ranveer Singh’s portrayal of Alauddin Khalji. While the movie and its script might have taken cinematic liberties, the fact that Ranveer stole the show was a point that no one missed.

Rishi Kapoor

Mulk’s Advocate Murad Ali Mohammed was a force to reckon with. At once fragile, beaten by societal prejudices and yet strong enough to believe in his own convictions. A complex, humane character that was portrayed with complete comprehension of the world he was a part of by Rishi.


In 102 Not Out, Rishi was tenable as the grumpy and perpetually dissatisfied Babulal Vakharia, giving the younger lot a run for their money.