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Kangana to Alia: Bollywood heroines ditch the glam diva for performance

An increasing number of Bollywood actresses are taking up tough and performance-driven roles in different films to prove their versatility.

bollywood Updated: May 19, 2016 08:24 IST
Prashant Singh
Prashant Singh
Hindustan Times
Alia Bhatt,Kangana Ranaut,Shraddha Kapoor
An increasing number of Bollywood actresses are taking up tough and performance-driven roles in different films to prove their versatility.

For the past few days, rumours about Shraddha Kapoor playing gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s sister, late Haseena Parkar, in a biopic based on her life, have been doing the rounds. The film, which will be directed by Apoorva Lakhia, will see Shraddha play a 20-year-old and a 60-year-old, as her character ages. Shraddha, however, refuses to “talk about this [film] right now”.

Of late, a number of other actresses, too, seem to be hell-bent on proving their versatility. So, while Alia Bhatt will be seen playing the role of a Bihari migrant in Udta Punjab, Kangana Ranaut will become a bank robber for Hansal Mehta’s Simran.

Sonakshi Sinha recently finished work on an action film, Akira. (Yogen Shah)

EAD: Watch: How Alia Bhatt prepared for her role in Udta Punjab

In director Ketan Mehta’s Rani Lakshmibai, Kangana will play a warrior princess. “She will be seen in a very different look in the film. It is a historical character, and she will learn sword fighting and horse riding for it,” says Mehta. Sonakshi Sinha’s next, Akira, is also an action film. On the other hand, Sonam Kapoor might also sign the Bollywood version of Run Lola Run (1998).

Kangana Ranaut will be seen playing a bank robber, and a fighter princess in her upcoming films. (Prasad Naik)
Shraddha Kapoor is likely to play late Haseena Parkar, Dawood Ibrahim’s sister, in a new film. (Hindustan Times)

Alia calls her upcoming film the “mother of all things different”. “When you get into a space like Highway (2014) or Udta Punjab, the point is to shock [the audience], and step out of your comfort zone. I have not done this film only because it is different, but also because I believe in my character and the film’s subject,” she says. Apparently, director Abhishek Chaubey was initially sceptical about casting Alia in the film.

Sonam Kapoor might be seen as the central protagonist in the Hindi remake of Run Lola Run. (Yogen Shah)

Industry experts, too, feel that actresses need to break out of their glam diva image once in a while. “Actresses have often tried to step out of their comfort zone. Vidya Balan and Rani Mukerji have done it in the past. But now, almost all the actresses have realised the thrill of doing ‘different stuff’. For how long can you keep doing the same thing?” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh. “It is great when actresses like Aishwarya (Rai Bachchan) do films like Sarbjit. Also, what’s heartening is that the audience is also accepting these actresses — and not just male stars — in such different roles,” he adds.

READ: Hugh Grant to star opposite Kangana Ranaut in Rani Laxmi Bai?

First Published: May 18, 2016 00:00 IST