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B-Town actors who turned director for just one film

Several stars are moving into production as if it’s a natural progression. However, for some inexplicable reason, they have shied away from wielding the directorial baton. Aamir Khan is the only actor from the top league to have helmed a successful film. Interestingly enough, Arshad Warsi recently admitted that he’s keen on directing his much-delayed film. Not to discourage him but there have been some actors who tried their hand behind the camera but gave up after having only one film to their directorial credit...

Naseeruddin Shah
Naseeruddin Shah

Sole film: Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota: What If...? (2006)
The acclaimed actor recently confessed that he tried directing a film because he wanted to see whether he has it in him to helm a project. Nonetheless, Naseer was also candid enough to admit that he “failed miserably” in the experiment. To his credit, he has successfully directed a number of his theatre troupe’s productions.

Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher
Sole film: Om Jai Jagadish (2002)
There’s no doubt that he’s one of the finest in the business but he doesn’t seem very keen on wearing the director’s hat anytime soon. According to the National Award-winner, directing a film requires a lot of time — something his tight schedule doesn’t allow him, at least not in the near future.

Rishi Kapoor
Rishi Kapoor
Sole film: Aa Ab Laut Chalen (1999)
Arguably the busiest senior actor around, Rishi directed just one film starring Akshaye Khanna and Aishwarya Rai in the lead role. He too pointed to the fact that direction is “too much of hard work” requiring a great deal of involvement and stress. No wonder he hasn’t gone back to direction although it’s been almost 15 years.

Sunny Deol
Sunny Deol
Sole film: Dillagi (1999)
His first directorial venture happened just before the end of the last millennium and there is a strong buzz around that he might be reprising his role as a director with the sequel of Ghayal (1990). Let’s hold our comment and wait and watch.

Rahul Bose
Rahul Bose
Sole film: Everybody Says I’m Fine! (2001)
This particular actor, who is equally known for his social activism, was last seen in Kamal Haasan’s ambitious Vishwaroopam. Now, thanks to Anurag Kashyap’s support, the director in him hasn’t given up on his dream to adapt Mohsin Hamid’s Moth Smoke. In fact, he has spent six years on this particular script and has written 18 drafts so far.

Ajay Devgn
Ajay Devgn
Sole film: U Me Aur Hum (2008)
After the debacle that his directorial debut turned out to be, Ajay has chosen to maintain a rather dignified distance from director’s chair. Anyway, he is far more comfortable producing commercial films such as Bol Bachchan and Son of Sardaar.

Pankaj Kapur
Pankaj Kapur
Sole film: Mausam (2011)
The celebrated actor not only directed his son Shahid and Sonam Kapoor in this box-office disaster but also penned the screenplay as well as dialogues for the film.

Renuka Shahane
Renuka Shahane
Sole film: Rita (2008)
For the most part, the Hum Aapke Hain Koun actress has shied away from television as well as films. However, after her marriage, she entered her second innings as a filmmaker with a Marathi film. Her next directorial venture is a Hindi film written by Girish Joshi and stars Paresh Rawal.

Annu Kapoor
Annu Kapoor
Sole film: Abhay (1995)
So far, the National Award-winning actor has directed a film that earned him the Best Children’s Film award as well as the Best Director — V Shantaram Award. Abhay starred Nana Patekar, Moon Moon Sen and Benjamin Gilani.

Nandita Das
Nandita Das
Sole film: Firaaq (2008)
Popular for her work in the non-mainstream cinema, the actress directed the much-feted film on the 2002 violence in Gujarat. Since then, she hasn’t directed a single feature and served as the chairperson of the Children’s Film Society. She recently made her debut in theatre with Between The Lines.

Veterans did it too!

Vinod Mehra
Vinod Mehra
Sole film: Gurudev (1993)
He turned producer and director with this film starring Sridevi, Rishi Kapoor and Anil Kapoor. Unfortunately, he died of a heart attack in October 1990 before the completion of the project. The film was later released in 1993 after director Raj Sippy completed it.

Jagdeep
Jagdeep
Sole film: Soorma Bhopali (1988)
The very renowned comedian, who previously played Soorma Bhopali in Sholay, helmed a movie that borrowed its name from the legendary character. The film was a box office disaster but did relatively better in the state of Madhya Pradesh. In fact, it was a hit in Bhopal and other surrounding regions.

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