Is it just a coincidence or a well-orchestrated move? Bollywood actors and actresses -from the top league - are seldom seen playing siblings. Rarely do we come across a film where leading stars portray brothers and sisters. One such exception seems to be Ranveer Singh and Priyanka Chopra’s pairing up to essay brother and sister for Zoya Akhtar’s next. Interestingly, real-life cousins Ranbir Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor were touted to bag the roles but later backed out. Similarly, Tabu is said to be playing Salman Khan’s sister in Sohail Khan’s upcoming Mental.
Abhishek Bachchan and Asin
Film: Bol Bachchan (2012)
Verdict: Asin is known signing the dotted line only if she is paired opposite a popular actor. Turns out she didn’t mind playing an onscreen sister to Abhi. Set in rustic locations, they lose an ancestral property case following which they move to a new village - thus giving rise to several situations with comical touch.
Arjun Rampal and Deepika Padukone
Film: Housefull (2010)
Verdict: In Om Shanti Om, Arjun and Deepika were paired opposite each other while they were seen as siblings in the Sajid Khan comedy. In fact, Arjun plays an over-protective brother to Deepika’s spirited character in the comic caper. Needless to say, they were more convincing as couples interrupted by jealousy.
Salman Khan and Neelam
Film: Hum Saath-Saath Hain (1998)
Verdict: Back in 1992, Salman and Neelam were paired romantically in the not-so-successful Ek Ladka Ek Ladki. Six years later, Neelam went on to play Sallu’s younger sister in this Sooraj Barjatya’s family drama. Incidentally, Hum Saath-Saath Hain turned out to be Neelam’s last big banner project
Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Film: Josh (2000)
Verdict: One of the most memorable onscreen siblings in recent times, they made up for the lost chemistry later in Mohabbatein, Shakti: The Power and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas.
Hrithik Roshan and Karisma Kapoor
Film: Fiza (2000)
Verdict: Already a name to reckon then, Hrithik portrayed terrorist, a victim-of-circumstances in this Khalid Mohamed film. As his worried sister, Karisma ended up delivering one of the finest performances of her career. They haven’t worked together in a movie since.
Sushant Singh Rajput and Amrita Puri
Film: Kai Po Che (2013)
Verdict: In this screen adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s bestseller, Sushant plays an overprotective brother to Amrita in a typical Gujarati household. Spoiler alert: Moments after he comes to know about his hitherto secret sister’s affair with his best friend, he is shot dead - mistakenly - by another best friend.
Sanjay Suri and Juhi Chawla
Film: My Brother... Nikhil (2005)
Verdict: Sanjay and Juhi played understanding spouses in Sujoy Ghosh’s musical Jhankaar Beats. Two years later, the otherwise effervescent actress played a pragmatic elder sister to Sanjay’s HIV-infected character in this one-of-its-kind Onir film.
Prateik and Genelia D’Souza
Film: Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na (2008)
Verdict: Not all brothers and sisters share a warm relation. Some argue and fight on a daily basis! As siblings, Prateik and Genelia had their ups and downs in this film primarily focused on the latter’s affair with Imran Khan.
In the past as well, there have been instances when lead actors were essaying family members…
>> Ashok Kumar and Waheeda Rehman played beloved brother-sister in the aptly titled Rakhi (1962).
>> In Zameer (1975), Amitabh Bachchan and Saira Banu were melodramatic siblings.
>> Dharmendra and Meena Kumari did the same in Kaajal (1965) although they were lovers in other films they starred in together.
>> On the cusp of stardom, Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini starred as siblings in the thriller Gehri Chaal (1973).
Nanda agreed to play Dev Anand’s sister in Kala Bazar (1960) provided Navketan Films - headed by Vijay Anand then - promised to cast her opposite him in two films in the near future. As a result of this contract, they played the romantic pairs in Hum Dono (1961) and Teen Devian (1965).