They not only laughed their ways to the box office, but also impressed with their stellar performances. Here are the actors who made 2015 their own.
The chocolate-boy image started to irritate me: Varun Dhawan
Not many actors can boast of five hit films in three years. But Varun Dhawan, who made his acting debut with film-maker Karan Johar’s Student Of The Year (2012), has managed to achieve this feat. This year, too, the young actor maintained his success ratio, even though he experimented with varied roles.
The 28-year-old started 2015 on a high note with Badlapur, in which he was seen in an all-new avatar. Ditching his boy-next-door image, the actor essayed a character that was dark and intense. “My last release in 2014 was Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, and everyone had labelled me a chocolate boy. Somewhere, that had started to irritate me. So, Badlapur was my way of changing that image,” says Varun.
Just a few months later, the actor transformed himself into a dancer in director Remo D’Souza’s ABCD 2. He says that he wanted to prove that “dancing in India is not just limited to ‘latkas’ and ‘jhatkas’”. Finally, he ended the year with a big-budget project, also starring Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Kriti Sanon. “I wanted to do a comedy, and I was happy that I got a chance to do one with one of the biggest directors in Bollywood — Rohit Shetty,” says Varun.
Still have butterflies in my stomach: Deepika Padukone
It won’t be wrong to say that Deepika Padukone is unstoppable. After starring in four of the highest-grossing films of 2013, the actor tasted success yet again in 2014 with Happy New Year. And 2015 has been no different for her. Deepika was not only part of grossers like Piku and Bajirao Mastani, but was also lauded for her stellar performances in the two films.
“It (success) has been driven purely by my passion for my work. I still have butterflies in my stomach when I read interesting scripts, and I get nervous when I read a difficult part, because I don’t know how I am going to take that on,” says the actor, adding, “I am in that phase [of my career], where I am excited about the work that I have done, but I feel I have a lot more to give.”
In 2016, Deepika has a lot more in her kitty, but she refuses to let any pressure hamper her spirit. “When you are working on a film, it’s important to feel light and as if you are starting afresh. I hope I never get too bogged down by expectations,” she says.
On the personal front, she also showed courage, and spoke about battling depression in an interview to HT Café. She even started a foundation that aims to help people deal with the condition.
The trend continues for Salman Khan
Salman Khan continued his reign over the box office in 2015, with two of his films becoming the biggest blockbusters of the year. Ever since Dabangg (2010) released, Salman has been riding the success wave. So, while 2014 saw him deliver hits such as Jai Ho and Kick, Salman ruled the roost in 2015 with grossers like Bajrangi Bhaijaan (BB) and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo.
The superstar points out that at this stage of his career, he does not sign a film to please others. “Now, I don’t want to do movies just for the sake of doing them. Earlier, when my dates were available, I used to think, ‘Let’s do a film.’ Once I also considered a project, thinking, ‘I should do the film else my friendship will get ruined.’ But now, things aren’t like that,” says Salman, who also turned producer in 2015 with BB, before launching Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty in his home production, Hero.
I’m gratified for the good things: Irrfan Khan
2015 has been a great year for Irrfan Khan, not only because his films were successful commercially, “but also on the experience front”. His chemistry with Deepika Padukone in director Shoojit Sircar’s Piku was really appreciated. On the other hand, his effortless acting in the Aishwarya Rai Bachchan-starrer Jazbaa, his earnest portrayal of a cop in Talvar, and his impressive act in Qissa, earned him acclaim. Not only in India, Irrfan also made an impact in Hollywood with pivotal roles in The Amazing Spider-Man and Jurassic World.
“The opportunity to work on different genres provided me with some variation and versatility. Also, working on Jurassic World, which is one of my favourite franchises, was a great experience. I’m thankful to everyone who contributed to my career in 2015. I’m gratified for the good things. The fame and name I’ve earned on the international arena was a process of consistent hard work and determination,” says Irrfan.
In 2016, he is looking forward to two more international films — The Song Of Scorpions and director Ron Howard’s American thriller Inferno, which is based on Dan Brown’s novel by the same name. In the film, he will share screen space with Tom Hanks.
(Compiled by Jigar Shah, Shalvi Mangaokar, Prashant Singh and Kavita Awaasthi)