Jiah Khan is maverick filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma’s latest muse. However, a look at Ramu’s heroines over the years shows that other than Urmila Matondkar, nobody has really hit it big time.
Here's a look at RGV’S famous protégés.
Ramu’s favourite muse and the one who benefited the most because of him. Urmila’s career got a shot in the arm with Rangeela, where Varma promoted her as a sex kitten.
Later, Urmila did a variety of roles in films either directed or produced by Varma — Daud, Satya, Kaun, Mast, Jungle, Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya, Ek Haseena Thi and Bhoot among others.
Interestingly, Varma did give her a de-glam look in Satya, which can be considered as a milestone in Urmila’s career.
Now, after a reported tiff with her mentor, Urmila makes a comeback to the Varma camp with Ram Gopal Varma Ke Sholay, where she does the item number Mehbooba Mehbooba with Abhishek Bachchan.
Today, Urmila is rated as one of the most talented and versatile actors in the industry and has managed to make a mark in both glam and deglam roles.
She made her debut in Varma’s directorial venture Mast with a supporting role, but it was his Company that made catapulted her to fame. Unfortunately, despite being a favourite with Varma (Road, Darna Mana Hai, Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon, Gayab, Naach and Mr Ya Miss), Antara is yet to cement her career. The actor, however, co-directed Mr Ya Miss with Satchit Puranik.
Nisha, who did a cameo in Sarkar, showed enough skin in her full-fledged debut James, which bombed before her mentor decided to remake the film as Shiva. Both didn’t work. Meanwhile, she did Mahesh Bhatt’s production The Killer, which also didn’t work. However, her biggest break has come in the form of Varma’s version of Sholay, where she plays Basanti, a role originally played by Hema Malini. It remains to be seen whether or not that salvages her career.
She should be grateful to her mentor Varma for whatever she is now. After featuring in forgettable films such as Ek Tha Dil Ek Thi Dhadkan, Rahul and Pyar Ishq Aur Mohabbat, she finally got the big break with the item song Khallas in Company.
Though the song gave her the Khallas girl tag, she couldn’t cash in on this and has hardly seen any successful films, barring the occasional Kya Kool Hai Hum and some petty roles in biggies such as Hum Tum and 36 China Town.
However, things seem to be picking up for her with the success of Don-The Chase Begins Again. The role to look forward to for her would be that of a female don in Varma’s production Shabri.
Ramu’s first muse — she starred in his debut film Shiva, which rocked the box office in the early ’90s. However, Amla could not settle down as an actor in Bollywood though she did settle down in life with her Shiva hero, Nagarjuna.