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2021 Bollywood: The Year Of Relaunched Talents!

While the year remained  sinfully bereft  of striking debutants, some actors  who were poorly launched and/or did not  make  positive first-impressions earlier, succeeded in making a  belated impact. Here are the late  bloomers of 2021.

  1. Gourav Adarsh In White Tiger: After  a striking  performance  in the Manoj Bajpai starrer  Rukh which  no one saw in 2017,Gourav   was jobless. He was ready do anything connected with cinema. He  just wanted to be occupied and make some money. At  that time  Gourav  got a call from casting director Tess Joseph . He had reached out to her earlier to let her know  of his existence. As luck would have it, he was  called for the audition  of  The White TigerGourav’s  only motivation for doing the audition was to be called for  more auditions. That  he would  actually  get the part of Balram  was  a thought that didn’t even cross my mind.He wanted to give  a good audition. He did  2-3 scenes.Says  Gourav, “Maine  audition de diya. I  felt nothing about it. After a while Tess called to say I was  shortlisted. That didn’t mean much. I’ve been shortlisted  for a 100 roles. Out of which I’ve got 15 roles. So an audition was nothing to  celebrate. After   the  director Ramin Bharani  joined in  the third round of  auditions. I began to get hopeful. I bought  a shirt  and  a trousers  from the station for 100-150 rupees and wore them  for my auditions. They would constantly tell me there were  other actors  under  consideration   for Balram’s  part. But strangely I never saw  anyone else. Sometimes  I felt they were just fooling me  about others , that they had already made up their mind  to cast me.Before director Ramin Bahrani   left for LA he told  me I   was under serious consideration.The first thing I did on getting the  role was to find someone  who would take me  to a village in Jharkhand. We had to  use five modes  of transportation  to get there.I requested him not to tell anyone in the village  I was an actor.I got  more than three months to prepare. Where do I get so much time to prepare over here? If one is  a great actor like Naseer, Nawaz or Irrfan  one can prepare in  no time.  A mediocre actor like me  needs time. It’s like the brainy  student who crams  at the last minute and scores  90 percent,and the  student who slogs the whole year and gets 50  percent.”
  2. Shahab Ali  in Family Man 2 : He had done  some nondescript  roles  earlier and would have vanished  into oblivion if co-directors Raj and DK had not rediscovered Shahab Ali for  The Family Man . Shahab had a  small but substantial role  as  the  terrorist  Sajid  Ghani, Samantha  Ruth  Prabhu’s love interest. He got the role through an audition at Mukesh Chhabra casting company. After graduating from National School of Drama, Delhi, Shahab  used to play the role of Salim in Broadway Style Musical Show “Mughal-e-Azam” .He was asked to send in a self –test for The  Family Man . Then an audition at the  co-directors’  office which was followed by a meeting with the  directors Raj-DK and he got the part.  The co-directors   always thought that Shahab  was a Kashmiri. Shahab  is not Kashmiri.
  3. Karma  Tapka In The Last Hour:  We don’t  get too many actors  from the North East. And the  only one who  has actually succeeded in  Bollywood  is Danny Denzongpa. Karma  Tapka is  special. You sense  it from the  first frame  of Amazon Prime’s  supernatural thriller where he plays a mysterious  shaman  who  connects  with dead people.What could easily have become  a borderline-bizarre occultist  oddity  is in Tapka’s  personality,a man who  believes in another world.We should see  a  lot more  of this actor.
  4. Paramvir Cheema in Tabbar:  It’s not easy to make  an impact  in a series that is  navigated  by  the talents  of Pawan  Malhotra. Semi-newcomer Paramvir Cheema  holds his own as a conflicted Sikh cop who has  nothing to lose except his  selfconfidence  in  a case that piles  up a wealth of distrust and betrayal.It’s  a complex role , and Cheema has played it with incredible  conviction. Ajay Rai of JAR Pictures who  has produced Tabbar and  who spotted this  struggler feels the future of  the digital space depends  on  new talent as  the established names  on OTT  are already acting pricey.
  5. Vaani Kapoor in Chandigarh Kare Ashiqui: Nothing she  did earlier has prepared  us for what Vaani has done  in the audacious  role of  a transgender  in  this  film. Vani Kapoor,   is a  revelation. Sinking into her  meaty character  of a  woman with a gender disorder Ms Kapoor makes Maanvi vulnerable yet strong. Beautiful yet confused. Vani’s Maanvi is heartbreaking.Before this  breakout  performance  the only filmmaker who seemed  to have faith in Vaani is Aditya  Chopra. His  belief in her  talent has finally been authenticated.

6.Ayush Sharma in  Antim: The  Final truth:  After  a  disastrous start with Loveyatri in 2018, Salman Khan’s brother-in-law bounced  back  in a miraculouly made-over avatar as a gangster in  Pune  learning  the pitfalls  of  easy money and  illicit power the hard way. Ayush’s body language  and dialogue delivery  showed  a  lot of rehearsed discipline.He stood his ground  in the confrontation scenes with his  superstar Jeejaji Salman. Saala, yeh to  hero ban gaya!

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