Divyendu Sharma had never thought of making it big in mainstream Bollywood. But one hit film,and the tide had turned for this Delhi-based actor who has with a degree from Film and Television Institute of India,Pune. His debut film Pyaar Ka Punchnama,where he played the loveable Liquid,endeared him to audiences. Soon after,David Dhawan signed him for Chashme Buddoor where he essays the character played by Rakesh Bedi in the original. I couldnt have asked for a better second film, he quips.
Like in Sharmas case,several others have made an impressionable debut in the last couple of years,though not necessarily as the central character.
Kiran Raos Dhobi Ghat last year saw two completely unknown actresses,Monica Dogra and Kriti Malhotra leave a mark. Today,they are flooded with offers. While Dogra is all set to play a quirky character in Bejoy Nambiars David,Malhotra was spotted at the Cannes film festival promoting her film Peddlers. Others such as Pitobash (Shor in the City),Vidyut Jamwal (Force),Raj Kumar Yadav (Love Sex Aur Dhoka),Kainaz Motiwala (Ragini MMS) and Poorna Jagannathan (Delhi Belly),too,are making further inroads in Bollywood after their first break.
Bollywood debuts in the last few years have mostly been of star kids,barring a Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma. However,that hasnt deterred actors with no film lineage or industry connections from trying. As long as you keep trying,there is hope that one day you will make it, says Pitobash,who was appreciated for his role in Shor in The City. His next releases are Shirish Kunder-directed Joker and Dibakar Banerjees Shanghai.
For most of these actors,the bigger challenge is not to get typecast. Motiwala,who played the title role in Ragini MMS,says,After the movie released,I got several offers for horror films or sex-based films. Finally,Motiwala bagged Chalo Driver where she plays a chauffeur. Sharma,too,went through similar experiences post his appearance as Liquid. I preferred to wait. I did not want to make the wrong choice, says Sharma,who is doing a film called Rave. Yadav,after doing two hard-hitting films,LSD and Ragini MMS,is shooting for Abhishek Kapoors Kai Po Che,based on Chetan Bhagats 3 Mistakes of My Life.
Some of these actors,however,have their own comfort zone. Dogra,who has a music career to fall back on,plans to do only niche cinema. Vidyut Jamwal,who was seen as John Abrahams nemesis in Force,is keen on sticking to action movies. He confirms to have signed his second film,which is also action-packed,but refuses to divulge any more details.
While most of these actors are happy being part of small or medium-budget films,they certainly wish to work with big banners some day. Till that happens,they are excited about the way their lives have changed. The filmmakers and audience recognise me. Thats a huge high for an actor, says Motiwala. The very fact that you are considered for roles and inundated with offers,shows that the industry has seen that spark in you, says Jamwal.