They were once the leading men of Hindi cinema, ruling the box office and considered the nation’s heartthrobs.
Now, several veteran actors are playing on-screen fathers to the current crop of young stars. So, while Anil Kapoor will reportedly play a father to Ranveer Singh and Priyanka Chopra in Zoya Akhtar’s Dil Dhadakne Do, Govinda will be seen as Ranbir Kapoor’s dad in Anurag Basu’s Jagga Jasoos.
"I am just concentrating on doing good roles. So if a part excites me, I take it up. I have just returned from South Africa after a superb shoot. The kind of respect and warmth I received from everyone — including Ranbir, Katrina (Kaif) and Anurag — is amazing," says Govinda.
They aren’t the only ones.
Last year, Jackie Shroff played Arjun Kapoor’s father in Aurangzeb. In the past, he has been seen as Kareena Kapoor Khan’s on-screen dad in Yaadein (2001).
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Sanjay Dutt, too, attempted something similar in the Imran Khan-starrer, Kidnap (2008). On the other hand, Rishi Kapoor has played a father to several young actors, including Ranbir in Besharam (2013).
Experts aren’t surprised.
"Earlier, too, senior actors changed gears and played fatherly roles, so it’s not something new. I am sure that all actors understand that they can’t keep playing youngsters forever," says film-maker Sanjay Gupta.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh also agrees that this is a natural transition. He says, "They are fathers in real life, so it’s clear that they can’t be running around trees. They have to age [on the big screen], but gracefully."
And the younger lot of stars are excited about teaming up with these veterans.
"I am excited because we all have been influenced by Govinda on some level — as an actor and a dancer. That he will play my stepfather is really an exciting opportunity for me," Ranbir said.