Every year, a new set of actors is launched in Bollywood. Some make their debuts with big-ticket projects, while others choose parallel, offbeat films. Even as a number of fresh faces prepare to make their debuts this year, we see how the newcomers of 2014 are faring.
Experts are unanimous in their view that only a few debutants from last year have made a mark. They list only five names — Tiger Shroff, Kriti Sanon, Fawad Khan (established in Pakistan, but only a film-old in Bollywood), Patralekha Paul and Rakul Preet Singh — who have bagged more projects after their debut.
The others seem to have no Bollywood offers in hand so far. This is in stark contrast to the past few years, where debutants have mostly gone on to bag several more films.
Trade expert Amod Mehra says, "If your film flops, like a few did last year, you go unnoticed. And here, people don’t have the time to reinvest in you. Heropanti (2014) did well, so the actors are getting offers. But it’s not easy to become a star. Varun Dhawan and Arjun Kapoor have immense popularity, but they, too, have to work hard to make it to the A-listers’ gang."
He also points out that actors such as Alia Bhatt, Shraddha Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sidharth Malhotra, Varun and Arjun, who were launched only a few years ago, have continued to do well.
And since they are only a few films old and are relatively fresh in the minds of film-makers, they have been getting preference over rank newcomers.
Exhibitor and distributor Akshaye Rathi attributes this phenomenon to 2014 being a bad year for Bollywood. "Last year, the overall success to failure ratio was bad, so there were not too many chances for young actors. That’s why only a few films with new casts did well," he says, adding that he feels Tiger and Kriti are the most likely to make it big among last year’s launches.
Trade expert Atul Mohan is of the same view. Pointing out that even big stars had a tough time in 2014, he says, "We definitely need young blood, but the risk factor involved in film-making nowadays is high. We had some impressive debuts recently, but only a handful have been lucky enough to bag more projects."
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