The young guns of Bollywood have been bang on in firing their shots on the big screen, if the 2014 box office collections are any indication.
Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt are among the many young stars who have had a successful 2014. Pic/Rane Ashish
Fresh-faced actors set the box-office coffers ringing this year, marking the arrival of the new order in B-Town. What's better, they are willing to experiment through a variety of roles and genres, unlike their industry seniors who tend it play it safe. hitlist takes a look at some of the young actors who appear to be long distance runners...
Shraddha Kapoor, 25
Films in 2014: Two
Current project: 'ABCD 2'
Lowdown: Call it luck or sheer hard work, but the sprightly actress has had a whopper of a year. 'Ek Villain' was the second Rs 100-crore film for her, after 'Aashiqui 2'. She followed it up with 'Haider', which also did good business apart from earning critical acclaim.
Sidharth Malhotra, 29
Films in 2014: Two
Current project: 'Brothers'
Lowdown: After a dream debut in the multi-starrer 'Student of the Year' in 2012, he had his solo release this year — 'Hasee Toh Phasee'. He was cast opposite Parineeti Chopra in the rom-com, which did average business at the box office. And then came 'Ek Villain' in which he played more of an anti-hero than a hero but the film catapulted him into the Rs 100-crore club.
Kriti Sanon, 24 and Tiger Shroff, 24
The duo stepped into Bollywood with Sajid Nadiadwala's 'Heropanti'. The audience extended a warm welcome to them with their film breaking all debutant-starrer records for the first day as well as the opening week. Both of them have new projects for 2015.
Arjun Kapoor, 29
Films in 2014: Two
Current project: 'Tevar', slated to release in January 2015
Lowdown: He started this year with the grungy and raw 'Gunday', which garnered decent collections and received appreciation. He made a complete switch in his next film, '2 States', playing an intelligent, urban dude, which not only added to his female fan following but also the box office numbers.
Alia Bhatt, 21
Films in 2014: Three
Current project: 'Shaandar'
Lowdown: She dared to go de-glam in Imtiaz Ali's 'Highway' and successfully so. Her last two releases, '2 States' and 'Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania' did massive business at the box office. She is considered among those few actresses who have the potential to shoulder a project on their own. Her crowd-pulling ability is obvious from the collection of her films.
Aditya Roy Kapur, 29
His last release, 'Daawat-E-Ishq' failed to work at the box office. Nevertheless, he continues to be one of the most sought-after actors in the industry, his current project being 'Fitoor' opposite Katrina Kaif.
Filling in the blanks
There was a vacuum in the film industry until last year, as all the bankable stars who could get a good opening because of their star value were all 40-plus, except Ranbir Kapoor, who is very selective about his films anyway. But with films like 'Ram-Leela', '2 States', 'Ek Villain' and 'Humpty…', we have seen that younger stars have the ability to get a good opening if their film has a good trailer or catchy music. They do not have a huge fan base yet, like the Khans or Akshay Kumar or Hrithik Roshan, so they need to deliver at least two to three hits annually over the next two years to enter the top league. But they have made a strong case for themselves in 2014.
Shailesh Kapoor, media observer
There's room for everyone in the industry, but there is no doubt that in recent times the young brigade has created a strong impact at the box office and found an acceptance with the audience. It is indicative of the viewers' growing receptiveness to fresh faces and new cinema.
Tanuj Garg, CEO of Balaji Motion Pictures
Youth for youth
It has been proved that the younger stars of Bollywood can deliver big time at the box office. Youth forms the biggest chunk of the cinema audience in India and this is not limited to metros. And in 2014, there has been greater acceptance of younger actors by this category of audience.
Prabhat Choudhary, of a marketing and communication agency
The 'fresh' formula
Forty-plus actors need to play their age and not 25-year-olds on screen. Besides, today's cinegoer is in the age bracket of 12 and 32 — that's why films of the young actors are working at the box office. All credit goes to Karan Johar, who started the trend of introducing fresh faces with Student of the Year. It encouraged other filmmakers to do the same.
Amod Mehra, trade pundit
A fine balance
Change is inevitable and necessary for the film industry to grow. Of course, the Khans are evergreen and will also be there. Since they are very selective about the films they do, the youngsters have filled the vacuum by choosing various kinds of roles and stories.
Ramesh Taurani, producer