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Peas in a pod: Bollywood actors working with close friends

Now that Ayan Mukherjee has signed a three-film deal with Ranbir Kapoor, it takes us back to the same question. Do stars prefer the comfort of working with their close friends over scripts and challenges? We cull out some classic examples...

It is said nothing is permanent in life but in Bollywood, the norms are a little different. Scripts are not a priority if actor-director duos, who are also good friends, want to work together. In fact, there are many examples that can attest to this fact. These duos make exceptions when it comes to adjusting their dates/schedules just so that they can work together.

And there are quite a few of these jodis’ that have stood the test of time. For them, working together is akin to being part of an extended family.

This has been happening since the early 1970s, when superstar Amitabh Bachchan and filmmaker Yash Chopra paired up several times, thereby giving the industry some of its biggest blockbusters.

Many top actors in the past went out on a limb to support their pal and associate themselves with a project launched by their director buddy — be it a lead role or even a cameo.

Ranbir Kapoor-Ayan Mukherjee

Ayan Mukherjee is one of the closest friends of Ranbir Kapoor. Ayan did not know Ranbir before working with him on 'Wake Up Sid'. They then got to know each other better during their second film, 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani'. Today, it seems like Ayan does not think of anyone other than Ranbir for his films.

Tigmanshu Dhulia-Irrfan

Filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia and actor Irrfan have been friends for a long time. They have had no godfather to speak of; each has struggled to gain a foothold in the industry. It’s no surprise that most of Tigmanshu’s films have had Irrfan playing some role or the other. Among their notable collaborations is the acclaimed film, 'Paan Singh Tomar'.

Shah Rukh Khan-Farah Khan

The superstar met Farah on the sets of 'Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa' (1994), when she was a choreographer and he was just an actor. The two bonded well and their friendship grew over time. So when Farah turned a director, it was a given that Shah Rukh Khan would play the lead in her film. In spite of a rift in between and stories of Khan’s disagreements with Farah’s husband, Shirish Kunder, the two are back together in 'Happy New Year'.

Ajay Devgn-Rohit Shetty

Rohit started his career at the age of 17 as an assistant director. He met Ajay Devgn on the sets of one of the films he was working on and soon their friendship blossomed. In 2003, Rohit made his debut as a director and he approached Ajay to be the lead actor in the film. Since then, the two have worked together in most of Rohit’s films. Together, they have delivered some of the biggest hits and no wonder, they are fondly referred to as the Jai and Veeru of the film industry.

Emraan Hashmi and the Bhatts

Emraan Hashmi, who started working with Vishesh Films as an assistant director, is now a favourite with the Bhatt camp. In 2003, Hashmi made his acting debut with Bhatt's 'Footpath', which was followed by 'Murder', a box office success. From then till now, the actor has continued giving preference to the Bhatts over other filmmakers; Hashmi even considers Mahesh Bhatt as his guru.

Akshay Kumar-Sonakshi Sinha-Prabhu Dheva

Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha and Prabhu Dheva may have become close friends only recently, but it looks like this triangle of friendship will go a long way. South director Prabhu Dheva has already delivered three hits with this duo playing the lead pair. His next, Singh is Bling, predictably has Akshay playing the role of Singh while Sonakshi has been cast as his leading lady.

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