Immediately after returning from his family holiday in South Africa, Akshay Kumar started shooting for his new film, Toilet – Ek Prem Katha, alongside a new co-star — Bhumi Pednekar. Interestingly, it’s not just Akshay, but a number of other top male stars are also set to work with younger heroines.
Salman Khan is working with Chinese actor Zhu Zhu in his next project, Tubelight. Parineeti Chopra is also believed to have been finalised for the Ajay Devgn-starrer Golmaal 4, while Ileana D’Cruz will star alongside Ajay in Baadshaho. Moreover, even as rumours suggest that Alia has been approached to star alongside Aamir Khan in Thugs Of Hindostan, she will also be seen with Shah Rukh Khan in Dear Zindagi.
Alia says, “For the kind of role and story it is, the casting is completely apt. Now, I am really excited that people are also excited to see both Shah Rukh and me together. They want to see the film, and there’s an air of positivity. Right now, I don’t think anyone can pinpoint as to what kind of a movie it is.”
Watch: Love You Zindagi - Dear Zindagi
Tubelight director Kabir Khan feels that “Zhu Zhu is a fantastic actress with a strong screen presence, and she and Salman will make for an interesting on-screen couple”. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to work with Salman. I have seen his films, and I’m very much charmed by his talent,” says Zhu Zhu.
Experts strongly believe that the “novelty and surprise factor” work for such castings. “A new, never-seen-before pair leads to a lot of intrigue and freshness. It definitely increases people’s curiosity, simply due to the fact that they haven’t seen those two actors working together,” says exhibitor-distributor Akshaye Rathi.
Demand of the script
Interestingly, of late, a number of younger male actors, too, have worked with older female stars. So, if Arjun Kapoor worked with Kareena Kapoor Khan in Ki & Ka, Aditya Roy Kapoor starred opposite Katrina Kaif in Fitoor. Likewise, Ranveer Singh worked with Priyanka Chopra in Gunday (2014), while Ranbir Kapoor starred alongside Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.
Rathi feels that a script influences the casting calls. “Ultimately, it all boils down to the script and, more importantly, the demand of a storyline. So, a male actor can be younger or older than his female counterpart and vice versa,” he says. Trade analyst Taran Adarsh adds, “But such castings have to be done smartly, so that it doesn’t look forced.”