Life’s not that great for lookalikes of Bollywood personalities, as many of them find themselves typecast as comedians
They may have got a glimpse of stardom, but just looking like their favourite heroes is not enough, say Bollywood’s ‘duplicates’, who are tired of being seen as nothing but comedians. “Today I am here because of my looks. But I have a regret that I have been typecast as a comedian. No one understands that I am an actor first. I have never been able to come out of this comedian tag,” Kishore Bhanushali, a Dev Anand-lookalike, says.
“Whenever I see Rajpal Yadav or any actor in excellent roles, I feel that I could have done justice to that role as well. But I can’t because whenever I come on stage, I have to make people laugh. That’s what they expect,” he adds. Bhanushali, 43, has acted in movies such as Dil, Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi and Karan Arjun, among others.
According to Anand, a Govinda-lookalike, it’s difficult to get rid of the comedian tag. “It hurts when you look into the mirror and wonder about your identity. You’re trapped in a certain image — we talk like them and behave like them. But this is what gets us our bread and butter,” he says.
Raju Rahikwar, actor Shah Rukh Khan’s lookalike, says, “All lookalikes should get good work. Just because we are duplicates, it does not mean we should be given work that is not good enough. Sadly, though, that’s not how things are. We get most of our work from theatre.”
Amitabh Bachchan’s duplicate Rajkumar shares his secret wish. “I would like to have a picture with him. I still don’t have one. Apart from this, I would also love to perform in front of him. I just wish that it happens one day. It would be the biggest day of my life,” says Rajkumar, who doesn’t regret being typecast. “I know I have lost my identity. But no one forced me to do so. I am here because I wanted it like that. It’s God’s gift to me and because of this face, [that] my house is running. I don’t feel bad at all because it is my profession,” he says.