Casting a younger actress opposite an older actor is quite the norm in Bollywood. From the initial years of Hindi cinema, till today, an actor teaming up with an actress much younger to him, seldom raises any eyebrows. But, a role reversal of sorts seems to be taking place for some time now.
Change in pattern
What started off as a one-off thing is gradually becoming a trend. The year 2013 saw Kareena Kapoor Khan (34) star opposite Imran Khan (29) in Gori Tere Pyaar Mein, while this year saw Priyanka Chopra (30) team up with Arjun Kapoor (27) and Ranveer Singh (27) in Gunday.
In the next one year or so, Katrina Kaif (30) will be starring opposite Aditya Roy Kapur (28) in Fitoor; and will also be seen teaming up with Sidharth Malhotra (29) in Nitya Mehra’s untitled next. Similarly, Priyanka will again be working with Ranveer in Bajirao Mastani. Likewise, Huma Qureshi (28) has been cast opposite Varun Dhawan (27) in Sriram Raghavan’s Badlapur.
“First of all, the age difference between the new pairs isn’t very big. Secondly, today’s actresses maintain themselves so well that they can give the youngsters a run for their money. And most importantly, new-age film-makers won’t think about such things if a script requires a particular pair,” says producer Ramesh Taurani.
Probably that’s why, besides Priyanka-Ranveer, Bipasha Basu (35) will again be seen with a younger actor, Karan Singh Grover (32), in her next, after working with Pakistani actor Imran Abbas Naqvi (32) in this year’s Creature 3D. Likewise, Vidya Balan (36), too, will team up with Emraan Hashmi (35) in Mohit Suri’s Hamari Adhuri Kahaani after last year’s Ghanchakkar.
“Age has nothing to do with chemistry. It’s all about getting into the character,” Vidya had told IANS. She romanced 27-year-old actor Ali Faizal in Bobby Jasoos.
However, male actors don’t consider the age factor an issue. Arjun, who starred opposite Priyanka in Gunday, said around the film’s release: “Rather than being intimidating, Priyanka is inspiring as her body of work speaks for itself.”
Trade experts, though, reveal that the trend isn’t entirely new. “Even Asha Parekh worked with a younger Rajesh Khanna in Aan Milo Sajna (1970),” says trade expert Amod Mehra, adding,“Older actresses work with younger heroes because it makes them look young, and gets the attention of young fans. Plus, in big heroes’ films, they get smaller roles, while they get meatier parts with younger heroes.”