Over the years, Bollywood has been a male-dominated industry. And actresses have, for the most part, played second fiddle, their job mainly being restricted to adding a dose of glamour or domestic drama. However, now, more than ever before, exceptions have emerged.
Actors like Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Vidya Balan have carved a niche for themselves. But as the big names become choosy about their roles, a new army of actresses have come to take their place.
Here are four leading ladies who have, slowly but surely, managed to gain multiple projects and, as a result, chock-a-block calendars.
In the last one year, she has had only one release, Shootout At Wadala (Kangana didn’t promote the film since she was unhappy with the makers). Kangana has been lying low in terms of social appearances. But what’s interesting is that over the next year or so, she suddenly has nearly half a dozen films coming up.
Coming up: Sunny Deol-starrer I Love New Year, Karan Johar-produced Ungli, Vikas Bahl’s Queen, Hrithik Roshan-starrer Krrish 3, Vishwas Patil’s Rajjo and Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Revolver Rani.
The half-Czech, half-Pakistani model made her acting debut opposite Ranbir Kapoor in Imtiaz Ali’s much-talked-about film, Rockstar (2011). She’s been missing from the big screen since then. She was supposed to do Akshay Kumar’s Khiladi 786 (2012), but that didn’t work out. The only way we know she’s around is because of her ads and the parties she attends.
Coming up: Phata Poster Nikla Hero (special appearance), John Abraham-produced Madras Café, David Dhawan’s Main Tera Hero and the remake of Shaukeen, starring Akshay Kumar.
The Goan girl, who found stardom down south, was finalised for Anurag Basu’s Barfi! in 2010. But since the film took time to get completed, she had no option — despite being all over the media — but to bide her time. Immediately after Barfi!’s release last year, Ileana was flooded with offers. She is now so busy in Bollywood that she hasn’t signed another south Indian film since.
Coming up: Shahid Kapoor-starrer Phata Poster Nikla Hero, Main Tera Hero, Saif Ali Khan-starrer yet-untitled rom-com, and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gabbar.
Priyanka Chopra’s cousin made an impressive debut with Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl (2011) before playing lead actress in Ishaqzaade (2012), which earned her a Special Mention at the National Awards. After the success of Ishaqzaade, however, she didn’t sign a new film immediately. It led people to wonder why she didn’t have any films in her kitty. But that seems about to change.
Coming up: Maneesh Sharma’s yet-untitled next, Karan Johar-produced Hasee Toh Phasee, Shaad Ali’s Kill Dil, Habib Faisal’s next with Aditya Roy Kapur.
In business as usual
Since last year, Deepika has tasted back-to-back successes with Cocktail (2012), Race 2 and her biggest hit till date, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani.
Coming up: Shah Rukh-starrer Chennai Express, Rajinikanth-starrer Kochadaiyaan (Tamil), Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Ram Leela, Homi Adajania’s Finding Fanny. She might even bag Karan Johar and Imtiaz Ali’s next films with Ranbir Kapoor.
After making her debut with Dabangg (2010), except Shirish Kunder’s Joker (2012), none of her films have flopped at the box office.
Coming up: Vikram Motwane’s Lootera, Akshay-starrer Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Again, Saif Ali Khan-starrer Bullett Raja, Prabhudheva’s Rambo Rajkumar, the Thuppaki remake, Arjun Kapoor-starrer Okkadu remake, John Abraham-starrer Welcome Back.
The reigning queens of Tinseltown
Her last release was Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012).
Coming up: Dhoom:3, Bang Bang with Hrithik Roshan.
Kareena Kapoor Khan
Post marriage, Kareena was spotted in the ‘Fevicol’ item number in Dabangg 2.
Coming up: Prakash Jha’s Satyagraha, Punit Malhotra’s Gori Tere Pyaar Mein, Emraan Hashmi-starrer untitled film.
Her last major role was in Barfi!
Coming up: Zanjeer remake, Krrish 3, Gunday, the Mary Kom Biopic, Milan Talkies.
Vidya hasn’t had a release in a year (except an item song in Ferrari Ki Sawaari; 2012).
Coming up: Ghanchakkar opposite Emraan Hashmi, Farhan Akhtar-starrer Shaadi Ke Side Effects.