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Multiple roles once again gaining popularity in Bollywood

Be it one star playing double roles or three actors playing triple roles, a wave of multiple role films seems to have washed over Bollywood yet again

B-town has had an interesting equation with double roles in films. For instance, the ’90s saw the Khans dabble in the genre with Salman and Shah Rukh doing Judwaa (1997) and Duplicate (1998) respectively. But the 2000s didn’t warm up to this plotline.

Now it looks like Bollywood’s double role formula is going to return with a bang, especially after the recent success of Dhoom-3, which had actor Aamir Khan playing twins in it. Filmmakers are now dwelling on the multiple role formula either with original scripts or by remaking classics.

So while Shraddha is apparently playing a double role in Ek Villain, Jacqueline Fernandez has a double role in Roy. hitlist takes a look at stars who are doing multiple roles in their upcoming projects.

Shraddha Kapoor
The actress will apparently play a double role in Mohit Suri’s upcoming film, Ek Villain, which also stars actors Sidharth Malhotra and Riteish Deshmukh.

Shraddha Kapoor
Shraddha Kapoor is rumoured to be playing a double role in Mohit Suri’s upcoming film, 'Ek Villain'

Jacqueline Fernandez
Jacqueline Fernandez

Sri Lankan beauty Jacqueline Fernandez has a double role in Vikramjit Singh’s upcoming film, Roy, where one of her roles is that of a movie director. Besides Jacqueline, the film also has Ranbir Kapoor and Arjun Rampal in lead roles. Talking about her role in an earlier interview, Jacqueline had said, “It’s going to be very challenging, so I’m quite nervous about this film.”

Aamir Khan
Aamir Khan

Aamir Khan is apparently playing a double role in Rajkumar Hirani’s P.K. The 48-year-old will apparently play an alien as well as God in the film. This comes right after he played twin brothers in Dhoom 3 that released last December.

Anushka Sharma
Anushka Sharma

If sources are to be believed, actress Anushka Sharma will be playing a double role in Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet. The first of a trilogy, the film is supposed to be Kashyap’s long cherished dream that he has nursed for over nine years.

Saif Ali Khan, Ram Kapoor and Riteish Deshmukh
Saif Ali Khan, Ram Kapoor and Riteish Deshmukh in 'Humshakals'

Saif Ali Khan is not the only one playing a triple role in this film. Riteish Deshmukh and Ram Kapoor too are essaying triple roles in director Sajid Khan’s next project, Humshakals.

Double role blockbusters

>> Nargis in Anhonee (1952)
>> Dev Anand in Hum Dono (1961)
>> Dilip Kumar in Ram Aur Shyam (1967)
>> Rajesh Khanna in Aaradhna (1969)
>> Hema Malini in Seeta aur Geeta (1972)
>> Sharmila Tagore in Mausam (1975)
>> Amitabh Bachchan in Don (1978), Satte Pe Satta (1982) and Aakhri Raasta (1986)
>> Sridevi in Chaalbaaz (1989)
>> Salman Khan- Judwaa (1997)
>> Shah Rukh Khan in Duplicate (1998) and Om Shanti Om (2007)

First double role in Bollywood
The first double role in Bollywood was played by Ashok Kumar in the film, Kismet. Written and directed by Gyan Mukherjee and produced by Bombay Talkies during the Second World War period, the film is one of the biggest hits in the history of Hindi cinema. Ashok Kumar played the role of Shekhar and Madan in the film.

The golden era for double role films
Back in the ’60s, double roles were a novelty. The formula was a hit in the ’70s and ’80s, with Amitabh Bachchan doing several films in the genre — Don (1978), Geraftaar (1985) and Aakhree Raasta (1986), among others. In the ’90s too, double role films did well. Popular actors like Govinda bit the bait as did big-ticket actors like Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan.

Amitabh Bachchan in 'Don'
Amitabh Bachchan in 'Don'

Expert spea
>> Director David Dhawan, who did a lot of double role films in the ’90s, says that such films are not easy to make. “Having made a lot of double role films like Bol Radha Bol and Judwaa, I can safely say that it’s very important to have a good story in these films,” he says, adding that one must have interesting twists and turns in a double role film.

David Dhawan

“You cannot show the second person immediately, he/ she must appear a little later in the story. The characters then have to exchange places as well. I think the ’90s I think were a good time when a lot of double role films thrived,” he says.

Dhawan also feels that today’s multiple role films are not as tragic as the ones earlier. “Not anyone can pull off a multiple role. Of course, today the technology has improved tremendously. Earlier only masking was done, but today we have moved ahead of that,” he says.

>> Govinda, who has played double roles in films like Gentleman (1989), Bade Miyan Chhote Miyan (1988) and Anari No 1 (1999), among others, says, “Double role films can be very challenging and difficult.

Govinda

From acting to dialogue delivery to mannerisms everything has to be just right. And yes, I don’t think anyone can match Dilipsaab’s performance in Ram Aur Shyam.”

>> Filmmaker Vikramjit Singh, who is directing Jacqueline Fernandez in a double role in Roy, says that he has already done his homework for the film. “In my film, both her characters don’t come face to face, but it is still going to be difficult to shoot her scenes. That said, I am sure she will pull it off. New technology has made our lives easier now,” he says.

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