In relation to talent in actors, the renowned American acting guru Stella Adler once famously quoted “Your talent is in your choice”. So if we apply this quote to the Hindi movie industry we will find that in recent times there have been a few talented (as well underrated) actors that have enthralled and fascinated genuine cinema lovers throughout the country not only by their intense and real performances but, also by their choices.Therefore the talented “10” actors (in no particular order) in Hindi cinema today that have not only given powerful performances but, also proved their versatility via their choices are as follows
1. Kay Kay Menon:
Renowned for being an extremely “intense” actor, and possessing a stage background is the Kerala born Kay Kay Menon. After years of struggle this brilliant actor finally achieved recognition for his brilliant portrayal of an idealistic Naxalite belonging to an affluent family in Haazaron Khwaishein Aisi. He then went on to garner more praises for his intense performance as Vishnu Sarkar the volatile elder son of Amitabh Bachchan in the movie Sarkar directed by maverick Ram Gopal Verma. Apart from being a brilliant performer he has also proven his versatility by acting in comedies such as Sankat City and Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd as well intense political dramas such as Black Friday and Gulaal and a crime thriller such as Paanch. So with Kay Kay continuing to enthrall genuine cinema lovers throughout the country with magnificent performances, here is hoping that this actor continues to do so in the future as well.
2. Manoj Bajpayee:
Born to a farmer in a small village called Belwa in Bihar is the talented and intense Manoj Bajpayee. Hailing from a modest background this actor first found recognition via a magnificent performance as a gangster Bhiku Mhatre (for which he won a National award for best supporting actor) in the Ram Gopal Verma directed masterpiece Satya. He then turned in a subtle and brilliant performance in Pinjar in 2003 for which he once again won a National award for best actor Special Jury/Special mention. In addition, he has also become renowned for playing a variety characters such as a serial killer in Aks, an arrogant politician in Rajneeti, a psychopathic hitchhiker in Road, a mysterious stranger in the thriller Kaun, a homosexual professor in Aligarh so on and so forth thereby proving his versatility as an actor. With Bajpayee having recently received applause for his performance in Saat Uchhakey here is hoping this brilliant actor continues to enthrall us with more of such magical performances.
3. Irrfan Khan:
The fact that Irrfan Khan was cast alongside the great Tom Hanks in the recent Hollywood release “Inferno” only speaks volumes of the talent this actor from Jaipur possesses. This extremely subtle actor first made a huge impression in the 2003 movie “Haasil” directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia. He then went to display his extremely subtle style of acting in movies such as Maqbool, Saat Khoon Maaf, and Paan Singh Tomar for which he won a National award in 2012 for best actor. In addition, to intense roles Irrfan also proved his versatility by performing wonderfully well in comic/humorous roles in movies such as Life… in a metro, and Krazzy 4. So with Irrfan also proving his class in international movies such as Life of Pie we can only hope that he continues to entertain Indian audiences as well as those abroad with his extremely subtle and easy style of acting.
4. Nawazuddin Siddiqui:
“The special thing about him is that if you meet him just like that he is almost invisible but once you start really looking at him he sucks you in” says director Anurag Kashyap about his protégé Nawazuddin Siddiqui. This man who hails from Budhana located in the Muzaffarnagar district in Utttar Pradesh first impressed cinema lovers in India via a wonderful performance in the Sujoy Ghosh directed brilliant thriller “Kahani”. It was then an explosive performance in the “Gangs of Wasseypur part I and II” that elevated him from a “struggling actor” to an “actor to watch out for” and was awarded a National Special Jury Award/Special mention in 2012. Known mainly for intense roles in movies such as Manjhi the Mountain Man he has recently proven with his latest release Freaky Ali that he could excel in comedy as well. So with Nawazuddin’s next release being Raees (starring Shah Rukh Khan) here is hoping that this wonderfully gifted actor continues to entertain audiences throughout the country with some more magnificent performances.
5. Randeep Hooda:
“Randeep Hooda is one of the few actors determined to learn” says the master Nasseruddin Shah about his protege. Hooda who is a Jat from Rohtak in Haryana possesses an extremely charismatic style of acting that is highly engaging. The talent of this Jat first came to the fore in a small yet significant cameo in Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding. He then officially made his debut in “Bollywood” in the 2005 gangster drama “D” (produced by Ram Gopal Varma) and once again impressed. After a couple years of starring in a few unsuccessful films he came back strongly with a powerful performance in a role of a honest cop in Milan Luthria’s Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai in 2010. Thereafter this charismatic actor has produced some great performances in movies such as Sahib Biwi aur Gangster, Main Aur Charles, Sarabjit etc. With this actor possessing a lethal combination of “talent and charisma” here is hoping that this Jat not only enthralls us with power packed performances but, also continues to intrigue us with his irresistible charisma.
6. Vijay Raaz:
“A powerhouse performer” is the best way to describe versatile actor Vijay Raaz. This absolutely brilliant actor, a product of the prestigious National School of Drama (NSD) located in New Delhi first rose to prominence with an outstanding performance as “Dubeyji” in Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding. He then slowly became a key character actor in movies such as Aks, Company, Yuva etc. He proved his versatility by performing brilliantly in comic roles in movies such as Run and Mumbai Xpress. He then finally graduated to lead role in the movie “Raghu Romeo” which won the National Award for the best feature film in Hindi in 2004. Having given some remarkably real performances over the years here is hoping that this talented actors continues to entertain and engage audiences all over the country in the future as well.
7. Rajkummar Rao:
“A natural performer” is what the actor Rajkummar Rao can best be described as. Born in Gurgaon in Haryana this fascinating actor first exhibited his acting prowess in the Hansal Mehta directed 2013 movie “Shahid” with an absolutely true to life and riveting performance. He then followed that performance with yet another real performance in a supporting role in the movie “Queen” making an impact despite the outstanding performance of Kangana Ranaut in the lead role. This brilliant actor once again shone in the lead role in the movie “Citylights” as a family man desperate to survive in the city of Mumbai. With Yadav having also performed brilliantly in movie such as varied as Aligarh and Talaash here is hoping that this genuine “diamond” continues to shine through his performances in the future as well.
8. Prashant Narayanan:
In the Hindi movie industry it has commonly been observed that actors with a lot of talent are often underrated, and one such actor who has suffered due to the clear nepotism that exists in the industry is the Kerala born Prashant Narayanan. This intense actor first got noticed for his performance as a temperamentally volatile gangster in a movie called “Chhal” which also happened to be his debut. He then further garnered more accolades for his performance in the movie “Waisa Bhi Hota Hai part II”. Although it was his performance as a psychopath in “Murder-2” that eventually got him further acclaim with a wider audience. So with this brilliant actor having given some riveting performances over the years here is hoping that he continues to surprise genuine cinema lovers throughout the country.
9. Sharman Joshi:
Yet another underrated actor in the Hindi film industry is the extremely talented Sharman Joshi. Possessing a Gujarati theatre background this actor first made an impact in the N. Chandra directed comedy “Style”. He then delivered some fine performances in movies such as Golmaal and Rang De Basanti. But it was in the Rajkumar Hirani directed “3 Idiots” starring alongside superstar Aamir Khan that he gave a sterling performance,and deservedly received accolades for it. Although extremely talented, this actor is very choosy with regards to his work, and hence we do not see him in many movies. So here is hoping that in the near future we get to see this actor more often in movies delivering fine nuanced performances as is always the case with him.
10. Rajeev Khandelwal:
There are very few examples of a television star proving to be successful as an actor in the Hindi film industry, one such example is Rajeev Khandelwal. After tasting success in the television industry for a few years this talented actor first made his presence felt in the Hindi movie with an absolute real and powerful performance in his debut film “Aamir”. He then gave some really natural performances in movies such as Shaitan, Soundtrack, Table No 21 etc. So with Khandelwal over the years proving that he is indeed a natural performer, here is hoping that he continues to give us more “natural” performances in the future as well.
This concludes an exhaustive list of actors who are not only talented, (ignored by the industry as always) but who also chose films that are unconventional in their content. So here is hoping that my readers enjoy this article as much as I have enjoyed writing it. HAPPY READING.
Also read a profile of Randeep Hooda
Also read a profile of manoj bajpayee