They’re jumping out at us from the hoardings, peddling everything from Coke to coconut oil. They’re talking to us from the TVs in our living rooms and bedrooms — about their films, their alleged friends and undeclared enemies, their careers and their love lives. They beseech us to buy, to vote, to save water, to vaccinate our children.
Sometimes they are judging music reality shows, sometimes they’re dancing in them. We see them at premieres and fashion shows, marathons and cricket matches. They’re dancing at award nights, they’re commenting on the budget. And yes, they’re Guest Editors, too.
We can’t get enough of Bollywood and the stars. It’s 24/7 coverage, it’s saturation bombing.
And there’s a price to be paid for it. Ranbir Kapoor believes it’s the one big reason an actor’s shelf-life is getting scrunched by the day.
The numbers will bear Kapoor out. Dilip Kumar’s carefully controlled career lasted close to 50 years in one continuous spell, from Jwar Bhata (1944) to Saudagar (1991). Amitabh Bachchan’s career started with Saat Hindustani in 1969 and he plays leading man till today.
In contrast, Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan are now at the 21-year mark. Aamir Khan is a little better, at 25. It is unlikely the three Khans will match Dilip Kumar’s record. Ranbir Kapoor reckons he won’t even come close — he gives himself just 10 years or so. And he admits, “For an actor, 24x7 visibility is a huge temptation that you have to fight very hard to resist. But resist you must, or the audience will get bored of you very soon.”