Out with the old and in with the new. As 2011 comes knocking, so does the promise of new talent. And newcomers Nargis Fakhri and Girish Taurani, say industry insiders, may just be the hot new stars of 2011. 31-year-old Fakhri, who has already made headlines as filmmaker Imtiaz Ali’s new find, will be seen with Ranbir Kapoor in the film Rockstar. The son of Tips honcho Kumar Taurani, 23-year-old Girish, trained for four years and assisted his father on films before he signed his debut movie, being directed by Prabhu Deva.
A cross section of filmmakers, trade analysts and industry insiders came up with 11 names that promise to cause a stir in 2011. Filmmaker Karan Johar is launching two newcomers — Siddharth Malhotra and filmmaker David Dhawan’s son Varun. Actor Govinda’s daughter Narmmadaa, politician Ram Vilas Paswan’s son Chirag, South stars Anushka Shetty and Ileana D’Cruz, Delhi boys Nalin Singh and Imran Zahid and Punjabi actor Kulraj Randhawa are among the others to watch out for.
Film: Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar
Who is she? A former swimsuit model
Half Czech, half Pakistani and brought up in New York — Nargis was a professional model long before she featured in the 2009 Kingfisher calendar. She was also a contestant on America’s Next Top Model in 2004. "Nargis looks very promising. Her chances are bright," says trade analyst Komal Nahta. Photographer Atul Kasbaker says, "She is tall, she has Indian looks and is the kind of person you would want to get to know."
Film: Prabhu Deva’s untitled film
Who is he? Tips owner Kumar Taurani’s son
Girish will be launched by his father, in a film directed by Prabhu Deva, who made the 2009 hit, Wanted. He has been training for three years, learnt fight sequences in London and Bangkok and assisted on films. “I see a lot of dedication in him. He has been training hard to be a complete actor,” says scriptwriter Shiraz Ahmad.
Film: Film-maker Karan Johar’s untitled film
Who is he? A well known model
Malhotra assisted film-maker Karan Johar in My Name Is Khan is now coming in front of the camera in a KJO film. Sources close to Johar say “Karan is planning a launch pad for some promising young talent, including Siddharth.” Trade analyst Komal Nahta gives his vote to Malhotra as one of the newcomers to watch out for.
Film: One and Only
Who is he? Chirag is a former model
Chirag Paswan isn’t following in the footsteps of his politician dad Ram Vilas Paswan. Rather, he is all set to pursue his Bollywood dreams. The 28-year-old actor is set to make his acting debut with Tanveer Khan’s upcoming romantic film One and Only in which he is playing the romantic lead opposite actor Kangana Ranaut.
Film: Yamla Pagla Deewana
Who is she? A known face in the Punjab film industry, Randhawa has also acted in the Hindi TV series Kareena Kareena
Randhawa is making her debut with the much awaited film Yamla Pagla Deewana, which stars all three Deols — Dharmendra, Sunny and Bobby. Actor Bobby Deol who plays the lead opposite the actor says, “She is the only female lead in the film, so naturally, we chose someone who is a very good actor. Kulraj is a fresh face, very hardworking and professional. She will go very far in the industry.”
Film: Karan Johar’s untitled project
Who is he? He is film-maker David Dhawan’s son
The buzz around director David Dhawan’s younger son Varun is strong. Varun, who has been signed on for a Karan Johar production in 2011, also worked with Varun Dhawan and has served as an assistant to Karan Johar during the making of My Name Is Khan. Talking about his son’s debut, David Dhawan said, “Varun would surely be debuting in the year 2011. I hope for the best for him.” Trade analyst Komal Nahta, too, gives his vote to Varun as one of the most promising newcomer of 2011. He says, “I am really looking forward to see Varun’s debut in the industry. He is among the three people to watch out for — Siddharth Malhotra and Nargis Fakhri are the others.”
Who is she? A known south Indian star, she has acted in hits such as Pokkiri and Jalsa
D’Cruz will star alongside Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra in Anurag Basu’s upcoming film Barfee. The actor is known for her distinct style statement. “She is very sexy and has everything that it takes to be commercially successful in Bollywood. She is a fantastic actor,” says south Indian filmmaker Vikram Kumar.
Film: She has 3 untitled films in hand at the moment
Who is she? Ahuja is actor Govinda’s daughter
This 22-year-old has studied acting at the London Film Institute and already has three projects in hand. “I am very confident as I know what am I doing and really looking forward to it.” Talking about her, film analyst Taran Adarsh says, “I hope she has the talent of her father, but is more professional than him.”
Film: Rohit Shetty’s untitled film
USP: Already recognised in Tamil and Telugu film industries
Anushka already has a star status in both the Telugu and Tamil industries. And she is now all set to make her mark in the Bollywood. Shetty who made her acting debut in Puri Jagannath’s 2005 Telugu film Super alongside Akkineni Nagarjuna has been reportedly roped in to play the role opposite Ajay Devgn in the Hindi remake of the mega hit Tamil film Singam. She played the leading lady in the original too. Rohit Shetty, of the Golmaal series fame, will be directing the remake. Taking about her, south film-maker Vikram Kumar says, “She is glamourous, strikingly beautiful and a very competitive actor. She will surely do well in Bollywood.”
Film: Mahesh Bhatt’s film Chandu
Who is he? Zaid owns a media school in Delhi and has been close to Mahesh Bhatt’s circle for many years.
Zahid plays slain JNU student leader Chandrashekhar Prasad in the film. Bhatt met Zahid at a media workshop in Dubai a few years ago. Even before this film was complete, Bhatt decided to cast Zahid in Murder 2. About his decision to cast Zahid, Bhatt says, “He has a passionate personality, the right angst for the role, he is rooted and has a raw flavour.”
Film: My Friend Hitler
USP: A film on Hitler and India’s relations with him
He is the co-producer of the film and playing Hitler’s right hand man Goebbles. Nalin has already become a known name in north campus. Students have done a signature campaign congratulating him and the actor has announced that he will first screen the film starring Raghbir Yadav and Neha Dhupia in Delhi University. Producer Anil Sharma says, “I want to be credited for discovering Nalin and introducing him to Bollywood. Later, you will find many people claiming to have discovered him. He is here to stay and stay for long. The shy, tall, dark, handsome is the next super star and the best part is that he is a Delhi-ite.” Director Rakesh Ranjan says, “He is like a clay for the director, mould him and the rockstar is ready to rock and roll.”