With Diljit Dosanjh playing the lead opposite Kareena Kapoor Khan in 'Udta Punjab', we take a look at other actors from regional cinema who are all set to find a foothold in Bollywood....
Several faces from regional cinema make their Bollywood debut every year. This year being no exception, quite a few regional film stars are all set to try their luck in the Hindi film industry.
Diljit Dosanjh and Kareena Kapoor
Kareena Kapoor Khan starrer 'Udta Punjab' has Punjabi actor Diljit Dosanjh as her co-star. To his credit, Diljit is a leading name in the Punjabi music scene and his film 'Jatt and Juliet' (2012) is considered to be the most successful film in the industry's history. Reportedly, Bebo and Diljit bonded over food while shooting for Udta Punjab in Amritsar apart from other locations in the interiors of the state. The actor-singer treated the actress to home-cooked traditional meals in addition to taking her around the city to savour the local delicacies. Diljit is a self-confessed Kareena fan and claims that he couldn't believe his luck at getting an opportunity to work with the actress. He says, "God has been kind to me. I was offered a few roles earlier, but never wanted to do a Hindi film just for the sake of it. I wanted to essay a strong role as in Udta Punjab to make my Bollywood debut."
He adds, "Even at the height of success, Kareena is down-to-earth." During the shoot, Diljit gifted Bebo a traditional Phulkari dupatta and a heritage sword for her husband, Saif Ali Khan. He also composed and sang a song for her.
hitlist takes a look at other actors from regional cinema who will make their Bollywood debuts this year:
The Punjabi actor will be seen opposite Govinda's daughter, Tina Ahuja, in Second Hand Husband that releases next month. Gippy is an actor-singer who shot to fame with a song titled Phulkari.
Tina Ahuja (left) and Gippy Grewal
Tina's entry into Bollywood was due for long. She was initially slated to make her debut in 'Manchali' opposite boxing champ Vijendra Singh. The project, however, never took off. Later, Vinod Khanna's nephew, Akhil Kapoor, was slated to step in as her hero and the film was rechristened 'Tutak Tutak Tutiya', but that too did not happen. Tina is now finally making her debut in 'Second Hand Husband'. Talking about her co-star she says, "Gippy is a star in Punjabi cinema and a talented actor. I think that the audience today is looking for great stories that are told well and unconventional casting can work if the character fits the story. I get mails from Punjab every day with people telling me that they are looking forward to seeing us in the film. The audience wants to be entertained and are now open to films with newcomers and crossover stars as well."
The Kannada actor will make his Bollywood debut alongside debutante Anushka Ranjan in cinematographer-turned-director Binod Pradhan's, 'Wedding Pullav'.
Diganth (left) and Anushka Ranjan
The film is centered on a big fat Punjabi destination wedding and has been shot in Thailand and New Delhi. The film also stars Rishi Kapoor and Satish Kaushik.
Mohan Babu's nephew is all set to play a pivotal role in the Shraddha Kapoor-Tiger Shroff starrer, 'Baaghi'. Apparently, the makers wanted a fresh face that could essay a gray character and Sudheer fit the bill.
Sudheer Babu and Shraddha Kapoor
Some regional actors who made a mark in Bollywood only to disappear later...
>> Malayalam actor Prithviraj featured in 'Aurangzeb' (2013) and then in the Rani Mukerji starrer 'Aiyyaa' (2012). However, post these films, he didn't manage to bag eminent roles.
>> Bengali film import Saswata Chatterjee, garnered a lot of praise from critics and audience alike for essaying the role of Bob Biswas in 'Kahaani' (2012). His act inspired several Internet memes, but didn't do anything for his Hindi film career.
>> Telugu actor JD Chakravarthy who featured in the much-acclaimed 'Satya' (1998) was also seen in 'Bhooth Returns' (2012). However, since then he seem to have vamoosed from the Hindi film scene.
>> Bengali actor Parambrata Chatterjee was seen playing the cop opposite Vidya Balan in 'Kahaani' (2012). Though the actor was noticed in the film, it didn't help him secure Bollywood roles.
>> Bengali actor Prosenjit featured in 'Shanghai' (2012). Known as the Shah Rukh Khan of the Bengali film industry, he is yet to find a foothold in Bollywood.
>> Known to be vocal about his preference for the South, Tamil actor Siddharth began his Bollywood career with multi-starrer, 'Rang De Basanti' (2006). Though he sought much appreciation for his portrayal of the angry young man, Karan Singhania, his next Hindi film released only in 2010, followed by 'Chashme Baddoor' (2013).
>> Tamil actor, Vikram began his stint in Bollywood with Mani Ratnam's 'Raavan' (2010) where he played a cop and then featured in 'David' three years later. The actor is reportedly selective about the Hindi films he works in unlike his peers down South.