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Will the new generation of actors prove to be competition to the Khans?

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Bollywood has always witnessed a plethora of actors trying their luck to be the main hero on the big screen and to become the evergreen star. In the last thirty years, there has been an emergence of new faces which come from the film fraternity and many of them have connections in the industry.

Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Ajay Devgn and Akshay Kumar are the only actors from that era, who have got consistent success at the box office over the years. It is clear that the blockbuster and super hit tags have proved that even it is highly debatable among industry circles that it is just a tag, it is also a good measure of business for any actor about their longevity in the industry.

Today, these actors have an audience who are eager to watch them essaying different roles. Not an easy feat considering that they have been been around for such a long time in an industry which relies on the business of films for an actor to survive successfully. Each one of them have left their mark in Indian cinema. The famous Khan troikas of Aamir, Salman and Shah Rukh have tasted bigger success with their films at te box office as they worked with bigger production houses and top filmmakers in Bollywood. The result is today, they have an immense fan following across the globe and are in league and par with Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan in the history of Indian cinema. Hrithik Roshan has been doing well in last one and half decade and his choice of films have been conservative.

Bollywood is a very competitive industry. The destinity of every actor is decided every Friday. Good days and bad days are part of the game. Many newcomers have failed to capture the imagination of the audience and with prominent names like Rahul Roy, Vivek Mushran, Armaan Kohli, Ayub Khan, Ronit Roy, Faisal Khan, Puru Raaj Kumar, Kamal Sadanah and Kumar Gaurav, despite good beginning at their career, have disappeared without a trace from the big screen. Harsh but true. Signing up the first movie as a hero for an outsider is one challenge and maintaining consistent success over the years at the box office for both actors coming from filmy families or non-filmy background is altogether a different challenge. They have to continue to grow as a star, augment their fan base worldwide, obtain critical appreciation and enable the producers to recover their investment.

In the last five years, Bollywood once again saw a lot of young actors who came up with good potential but who will win the race to be the numero uno in this generation of actors will be interesting to see. Today with social media, actors are in deeper scrutiny from their fans, who are highly educated and influenced lot by Hollywood.

The Khan troika has been dominating the box office for many years and for the next six to eight years, their dominance is for sure. The younger actors have been doing well and leaving their mark but they are yet to leave a bigger imprint at the box office in all markets.

Let’s take a look at the most promising actors among the new generation.

Ranbir Kapoor
First Film: Saawariya (2007)
Last Film: Bombay Velvet (2015)
Next Film: Tamasha (2015)

He is leading the pack and has been accepted by the audience as an actor of great talent with movies like ‘Wake up Sid'(2009), ‘Ajab Prem Ke Gajab Kahani’ (2009), ‘Raajneeti’ (2010), ‘Rockstar'(2011), ‘Barfi!’ (2012) and ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’ (2013). He is the prime contender for superstardom from this generation of actors. Ranbir has done a variety of roles since his debut movie and has shown his versatility as a Bollywood hero. But he has also been part of the same number of flops, so his choice of movies has to be questioned. Last seen in ‘Roy’ (2015) and ‘Bombay Velvet’ (2015), his fans prefer him in romantic dramas. His pairing opposite Deepika Padukone in ‘Tamasha’ (2015) has already attracted a lot of buzz. He is yet to deliver a big blockbuster at the box office. Heroes in films are judged by their box office’s status and actors by their performances. The 32-year-old is the best from the new generation when interacting with the media. He balances between fun and maintaining distance with the media.

Ranveer Singh
First Film: Band Baaja Baarat (2010)
Last Film: Dil Dhadakne Do (2015)
Next Film: Bajirao Mastani (2015)

Known for his high energy, Ranveer Singh is another promising actor and his choices of films have been good over the years. ‘Band Baaja Baaraat’ (2010), ‘Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl’ (2011), ‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela’ (2013), ‘Gunday’ (2014) and ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ (2015) have performed decently at the box office. ‘Lootera’ (2013) may have got him rave reviews only and ‘Kill Dil’ (2014) was a flop. His biggest challenge and test at the box office will be Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ambitious ‘Bajirao Mastani’ (2015) made on budget above Rs. 100 crores (Rs. 1 billion) and releasing against Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Dilwale’ on December 18, 2015. If he passes this test, he can be counted as one the biggest stars of this generation. The big budget film’s responsibility relying solely on one hero is the true test of any star actor. Ranveer’s characters as an actor keep on increasing and his dancing abilities have also been praised. On personal media interactions, he has more of an entertainer image and can’t be taken seriously. He needs to bring certain seriousness to his personality to bring aura around him.

Arjun Kapoor
First Film: Ishaqzaade (2012)
Last Film: Tevar (2015)
Next Film: Ki and Ka (2016)

Arjun Kapoor has an equal number of hits and flops at the box office. He needs to do more romantic roles suiting his age. ‘2 States’ (2014) has been his best film to date and his pairing with Alia Bhatt was loved by the audience. His uncle Sanjay Kapoor initially started well at box office with ‘Raja’ (1995) and ‘Sirf Tum’ (1999) but failed to maintain the momemtum. The 30-year-old actor who chose the off-beat ‘Finding Fanny’ (2014) opposite Deepika Padukone created a new fan following. He has yet to develop a unique style of acting but he is to be watched closely in the next few years.

Varun Dhawan
First Film: Student of the Year (2012)
Last Film: Any Body Can Dance 2 (2015)
Next Film: Dilwale (2015)

Varun Dhawan is an emerging star and his comic timing is the best among the current generation of actors. He is a safe bet for romantic comedy films. His choice of roles suit his age and he only experimented with ‘Badlapur’ (2015), which proved to be a hit at the box office. He is the long term horse and can be the challenger to Ranbir Kapoor at the box office. His interactions with the media are fun and a common man can connect with him well. But it is still early days and the ambitious project of Karan Johar, ‘Shhuddhi’, will be his first real test at box office. He is the only actor in Bollywood with five consecutive hits to his credit since his debut.

Imran Khan
First Film: Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na (2008)
Last Film: Gori Tere Pyaar Mein (2013)
Next Film: Katti Batti (2015)

As the nephew of Aamir Khan, he had a dream launch and his debut film had chartbusting music by A.R Rahman. The movie was a hit and the music is still popular. But Imran Khan made strategic mistakes by accepting movies like ‘Luck’ and ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara!’. The flops kept on accumulating. Imran Khan may still be able to make a comeback because of Aamir Khan. It is too early to write him off. He has worked with the biggest production houses like Dharma Productions. When Imran tried to move away from his rom-com image, he has been most of the time been miscast in his roles and the audience hasn’t been able to accept him. The pairing of Akshay Kumar and Imran Khan in ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara!’ was very mismatched for a two hero film. It appears the audience prefer him in the loverboy role only and his next release ‘Katti Batti’ (2015) will be the real test.

Sidharth Malhotra
First Film: Student of the Year (2012)
Last Film: Brothers (2015)
Next: Kapoor and Sons (2016)

Launched by Dharma Productions in ‘Student of the Year’ (2012) opposite Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt, Sidharth has slowly been making his own way in Bollywood. While he played the romantic lead in ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’ (2014), it was ‘Ek Villain’ (2014) which gave him a better platform to excel. His rugged looks, lean body and height, increase his screen presence but he has been widely criticized for his wooden face and his inability to dance. Last seen in ‘Brothers’ (2015) opposite Akshay Kumar, he was mostly praised for his body rather than his acting abilities. He returns in ‘Kapoor and Sons’ (2016) opposite Alia Bhatt and Fawad Khan and Karan Johar is leaving no stone unturned for this project.

Tiger Shroff
First Film: Heropanti (2014)
Last Film: Heropanti (2014)
Next Film: Baaghi: A Rebel For Love (2016)

Only a film old, Tiger Shroff is a disciplined and polite actor. He has shown a lot of potential in his debut film, ‘Heropanti’ (2014), with a penchant for dancing, stunts and acting. It is too early to prepare a career graph for the 25-year-old actor but it seems that he has been quite calculative in his choice of movies. The young actor will also be seen in ‘The Flying Jatt’. He has been paired opposite Shraddha Kapoor in ‘Baaghi: A Rebel For Love’. It is known that he has the backing of Aamir Khan, who is a long time friend of his father, Jackie Shroff. Producer Sajid Nadiadwala who gave him his first break is also reported to be his mentor. There is no doubt that Tiger Shroff has to be taken seriously. Known to be a martial arts expert, a great dancer and with the ability to perform a number of gymnastics stunts, Tiger means business.

Sushant Singh Rajput
First Film: Kai Po Che! (2013)
Last Film: Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! (2015)
Next Film: M.S Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016)

‘Kai Po Che!’ (2013), ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’ (2013) and ‘PK’ (2014) had great performances from Sushant Singh Rajput and there were high expectations from ‘Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!’ (2015) but the movie failed to strike a chord with the audience, despite the backing of Yash Raj Films. The 29-year-old actor will have to prove himself in ‘M.S Dhoni: The Untold Story’ (2016) and the rumoured ‘Paani’. He also already shown a lot of potential in his earlier movies.

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