They say that getting a foothold in Bollywood is anything but easy. More often than not, newbies have to struggle a lot before they bag a movie. That said, the industry has also seen a fair share of names who have managed to debut in plum projects. Some of these films have been funded by big banners, while some others have seen the rookies share screen space with leading names from tinseltown. Either way, dream debuts have been a reality for some of the youngsters. Of course, not everyone has been able to make the most of the opportunities that have come their way.
Newcomer Pooja Hegde is all set to debut in Ashutosh Gowariker’s ambitious project, Mohenjo Daro, opposite Hrithik Roshan
After all, success in B-Town isn’t for everyone. So even as model-turned-actress Pooja Hegde grabs headlines for making her debut in Ashutosh Gowariker’s Mohenjo Daro opposite heartthrob Hrithik Roshan, hitlist takes a look at other actresses whose debut vehicles were promising Bollywood films that featured big names from the industry. Some have hit the bull’s eye while many of them didn’t really make it...
Dream debut with: Shah Rukh Khan
Deepika Padukone: This Bangalore beauty made her big screen debut with a convincing double role opposite King Khan in Om Shanti Om (2007). Over the years, the leggy actress has grown by leaps and bounds and 2013 was her most successful year till date, as it saw her deliver four hit films back
Anushka Sharma: Hailing from an army background, Anushka managed to make waves with her very first film, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008). Since then, she has starred in six films though her last release, Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola, was a dud. She has now turned film producer with
NH10. It’s her first film under
Gayatri Joshi: The tall, good-looking actress, who was earlier seen in TV commercials, had a dream debut in Ashutosh Gowariker’s Swades (2004). She even impressed the critics with her acting chops, only to get married and choose a life of domestic bliss over an acting career.
Dream debut with: Akshay Kumar
Lara Dutta: This former Miss Universe debuted opposite Akki in the same film as Piggy Chops. Her performance in the film was also appreciated. Post her marriage to tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi, she has become very choosy with her scripts and has also turned producer with Chalo Dilli.
Priyanka Chopra: The former Miss World debuted in Bollywood in 2003 with the film, Andaaz. She starred opposite Akshay Kumar in a role that fetched her good reviews. Today, the actress-turned-singer is one of the most sought after names in the industry.
Bipasha Basu: This Bengali bombshell made her Hindi film debut opposite Akshay in a suspense thriller, Ajnabee, and it helped her earn recognition early on. Of late, she’s developed a penchant for horror films and has also dabbled in fitness and fashion.
Dream debut with: Salman Khan
Sonakshi Sinha: Actor-turned-politician Shatrugan Sinha’s daughter debuted in the hit film, Dabangg (2010), alongside Salman Khan. Her rustic belle act seems to have made a lasting impression on filmmakers as she continues to get cast in similar roles. That said, her histrionics in Lootera (2013) did garner positive reviews.
Sneha Ullal: A Salman Khan discovery, Sneha was popular for her uncanny resemblance to Aishwarya Rai. The petite actress made her Bollywood debut in Lucky: No Time for Love (2005) and was later seen in films such as Aryan (2006), Kaashh... Mere Hote (2009) and Click (2010). But now she seems to have vanished from Bollywood.
Daisy Shah: After working in the South film industry and as an assistant choreographer, Daisy made her big screen debut opposite Salman Khan in Jai Ho, the first hit of 2014. Though the film did well, her performance wasn’t well received by film critics and there’s no word on her second film either.
Zarine Khan: She has spent quite a lot of time fielding questions about her resemblance to Katrina Kaif. Unfortunately, her film career is nowhere close to that of the Dhoom 3 actress. Despite debuting opposite Sallu in Veer (2010), she hasn’t been able to capitalise on her dream debut.
Bhumika Chawla: After making a mark in the Telugu film industry with critically acclaimed movies, Bhumika set her eyes on Bollywood. She made her debut opposite Salman in Tere Naam (2003), but she didn’t follow it up with more Bollywood projects, instead choosing to do projects down South.
Dream debut with: Saif Ali Khan
Vidya Balan: As of today, the Bobby Jasoos star is known for her women-centric choice of movies. Morever, what’s worth noting is that even her Bollywood debut in a Vidhu Vinod Chopra film Parineeta (2005) — alongside Sanjay Dutt and Sanjay Dutt — had a strong feminine character to boot.
Dream debut with: Aamir Khan
Asin: Like most successful actresses from the South, Asin too has tried her luck in Bollywood. Her debut film was the hugely successful Ghajini (2008) that starred Aamir Khan. While the actress continues to do Hindi movies, it has been a while since her last Bollywood release (read: Khiladi 786, that was out in 2012).
Gracy Singh: Gracy as she made her dream debut opposite Aamir in the Oscar-nominated Lagaan (2001). She appeared opposite Sanjay Dutt in Munna Bhai MBBS (2003) and opposite Ajay Devgn in Gangaajal in the same year. However, she could not replicate her success and has appeared in some not-so-memorable movies since then.
Dream debut with: Ajay Devgn
Tamannaah Bhatia: Following a spate of hit films in the South film industry, Tamannaah made her Bollywood entry with Sajid Khan’s disastrous project, Himmatwala (2013). She then starred in Humshakals (2014) and Entertainment (2014).
Kajal Aggarwal: Another leading lady from the South film industry, she is known more for her Telugu movies than the Hindi ones. However, she did make a grand debut opposite Ajay in Rohit Shetty’s blockbuster, Singham. She followed it up with Special 26 (2012) and her next Bollywood project will see her pair up with Sharman Joshi.