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These B-town actresses successfully charted their own path

Some Bollywood actresses have successfully charted their own path in a way that is admirable and inspiring

Actresses may come and go, but very few manage to leave behind an indelible impression on people’s minds, the way they conduct themselves on or off screen. hitlist picks four out of the many who have managed to break away from the industry stereotype.

Vidya Balan
Vidya Balan

Debut film: 'Parineeta' (2005)
Film: Though often criticised for her dressing sense and her weight, Vidya relies heavily on her talent and with good reason. This South Indian actress embarked on her career with a stint in the popular sitcom, Hum Paanch, and is today known for playing strong female protagonists in her films. Through her roles, she has broken the traditional mould of a Hindi film heroine. It was only fitting then to see her get honoured with a Padma Shri.
Quote Unquote: “I have realised that people will always say what they have to say. I cannot please everyone. I will do what I want to do and be happy.”
FYI: Unlike many of her peers, who are known to hit back at their critics and the media with harsh words, Vidya maintains a zen-like stance towards criticism.

Kangna Ranaut
Kangna Ranaut

Debut film: 'Gangster' (2006)
USP: Known for doing things differently, this actress is forever
ready to experiment — right from her early days. Hailing from a small district in Himachal Pradesh, she hasn’t shied away from taking risks. She has played unconventional roles in films such as Fashion, Rajjo, and the just released Queen.
Quote Unquote: “I struggled like everyone else initially. With time, I have matured and now I am comfortable in the place I am in.”
FYI: She is perhaps the only leading actress to admit that she has taken English lessons.

Alia Bhatt
Alia Bhatt

Debut film: 'Student of the Year' (2012)
USP: This two-film old actress exudes charm and though she’s only 20 years old, she seems to know what she’s doing. Not only does carry herself well, but she has a mature head on her shoulders. She is funny, adventurous and not afraid to laugh at herself. Currently basking in the praise for her performance in Highway, she is on the lookout for roles that challenge her.
Quote Unquote: “I don’t want to stay stuck in a mould. I’d rather learn new things every single day on the sets.”
FYI: A self-confessed narcissist, she is said to blame her family for this trait.

Parineeti Chopra
Parineeti Chopra

Debut film: 'Ladies vs Ricky Bahl' (2011)
USP: She was this girl-next-door when she worked in the marketing department of Yash Raj Films, but today she has come a long way on her own steam. She initially aspired to pursue a career in investment banking, but turns out that wasn’t meant to be. Not only is the actress actively involved in humanitarian work, but she has also garnered a significant number of endorsement deals and is now counted among the most promising contemporary actresses in India.
Quote Unquote: “I’m very happy with the response I have got, it feels great and I still get surprised by it all at times.”
FYI: Yet to star in a male-dominated film, this spunky actress refuses to ‘tone’ down her ‘bindass’-ness.

Kalki Koechlin
Kalki Koechlin

Debut film: 'Dev D' (2009)
USP: This Indian film actress of French descent is charming and witty. Unlike her contemporaries, she has always been candid about her life. Every time the media enquired about her separation from husband Anurag Kashyap, the actress kept her cool and answered the questions, instead of evading them. Recently, she has also been vocal about women’s issues such as crimes against women, their role in marriage and common misconceptions about them.
Quote Unquote: “You remember Draupadi? She was married off to all five Pandavas. She garlanded only Arjun, but they told her you have got to marry all of us. Five husbands! That can’t be fun. God knows I have enough trouble with one,” she said as part of her monologue at a recent event.
FYI: Kalki lives her life out in the open and never hesitates to call a spade a spade.

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