Prakash Jha, Karan Johar, Imtiaz Ali, Kunal Kohli: Bollywood directors who turned actors

Updated: Feb 27, 2020, 10:39 | Nikita Wagh
  • Prakash Jha: Prakash Jha is known for helming political and socio-political films such as Mrityudand (1997), Gangaajal (2003), Apaharan (2005), Raajneeti (2010) and Satyagraha (2013). He made his acting debut in his directorial 'Jai Gangaajal' where he played the role of dishonest police officer BN Singh.

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  • Imtiaz Ali: He has helmed films such as Socha Na Tha, Jab We Met, Love Aaj Kal, Rockstar, and Tamasha. But did you know he has played the role of Yakub Memon in Anurag Kashyap's Black Friday?

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  • Kunal Kohli: The Mujhse Dosti Karoge!, Hum Tum, Fanaa, Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic director made his acting debut in 2018 with the film Phir Se..., co-starring Jennifer Winget.

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  • Tigmanshu Dhulia: He is one of the rare directors of the Hindi film industry who have impressed the audiences with their directing and acting chops. The Haasil, Charas, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, Paan Singh Tomar director has acted in a number of films, most notably Anurag Kashyap's Gangs of Wasseypur series, Milan Talkies, Hero and Shah Rukh Khan's Zero.

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  • Mahesh Manjrekar: He made his directorial debut with the Sanjay Dutt-starrer Vaastav: The Reality, which released in 1999. He went on to direct films such as Astitva (2000), Kurukshetra (2000), Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rehta Hai (2000), Ehsaas: The Feeling (2001), Tera Mera Saath Rahen (2001), Hathyar (2002), Pitaah (2002), Viruddh... Family Comes First (2005), et al. However, he equally gained fame with his roles in films such as Kaante, Pran Jaye Par Shaan Na Jaye, Plan, Run, Slumdog Millionaire, Wanted, Dabangg, Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota, Total Dhamaal, and the latest one being Dabangg 3.

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  • Farhan Akhtar: The man who directed the urban hit Dil Chahta Hai has proved his credentials as an actor in films like Rock On!!, Luck By Chance, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Karthik Calling Karthik, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, et al.

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  • Anurag Kashyap: Apart from being an acclaimed director, Kashyap has done cameos in a number of movies. He was hilarious as the writer in Luck By Chance. His other works as an actor include Soundtrack, Shagird, I Am and Akira.

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  • Amole Gupte: Using his killer looks to great effect, Gupte, who was the creative director of Taare Zameen Par, came up with some superlative negative performances in Kaminey and Stanley Ka Dabba. His standout effort though was as the hilarious, conniving Mantri in Phas Gaya Re Obama.

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  • Farah Khan: Choreographer-cum-director Farah Khan made her debut as an actor in the film Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi, which also stars Boman Irani and was liked by audience and critics alike.

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  • Nagesh Kukunoor: The filmmaker has acted in most of the movies he has directed. Kukunoor played the lead in Hyderabad Blues and Hyderabad Blues 2. He was also seen on-screen in Rockford, 3 Deewarein, Bollywood Calling and Dor.

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  • Karan Johar: Karan Johar, who has directed iconic films like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, and Student of the Year, also turned actor for a few films. Some of the well-known films Karan Johar acted in are Kal Ho Naa Ho, where he played a customer in a cafe, Shaandaar, where he played himself, and a major role as the main antagonist in the 2015 film Bombay Velvet, where he played the role of Kaizad Khambatta.

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  • Sudhir Mishra: The Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi director played the bad guy in Madhur Bhandarkar's Traffic Signal and did so with great conviction.

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  • Nishikant Kamat: He directed the critically-acclaimed Mumbai Meri Jaan, based on the 2006 Mumbai train blasts, and also essayed a small role in the film. He was also seen in Prawal Raman's 404.

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  • Anurag Basu: The Murder director portrayed the character of a Bengali doctor in Onir's I Am.

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About The Gallery

They're not just experts behind the camera but are also brilliant in front of it. On Prakash Jha's birthday today, we take a look at Bollywood directors who have acted in films