Becoming a star in the strange Bollyland is a herculean task. Things change in the industry at the drop of a hat and the saying 'morning shows the day' doesn't always hold true. Keeping up with the ever-changing tastes and dynamics of Indian cinema, stars also need to continuously invent and re-invent themselves to stay relevant. Some manage to make it big despite a flop debut while some fail to reap the benefits of a dream debut, some take the commercial route after an indie debut while some launched in masala entertainers chose to tread the unconventional path.While the career graph of some go exactly as predicted from their debut, here are a rare few who career turned out to be very different from what people predicted from their debuts.
True she had a dream debut with Om Shanti Om opposite Shah Rukh Khan and was generally liked by the audience. However, she was also written off as another glamorous heroine. But nothing could have prepared the Indian audience for the phenomenon she became. Whether it’s her star power or her acting chops, she has truly surpassed everybody’s expectations.
When she lit up the screen drowning in designer wear as Shanaya in Student of the Year, people expected her to be another pretty mainstream actress who would continue to be the token glam doll in commercial successes. However, Alia shocked everyone with her choice of second film, Highway, that went on to show that she meant business in Bollywood and is not here to be just an eye candy in masala entertainers. Since then she has crafted a career that is an amazing balance of mainstream entertainers and good cinema.
Hrithik Roshan had the most conventional dream debut with father Rakesh Roshan’s Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai. He was an overnight superstar and had fans clamoring for him. For some time his film choices were completely in sync with the image people had of him and he soon rose to be one of the biggest stars of Bollywood. However, soon enough he became super selective about his film choices and took the somewhat unconventional route.
Another star to make his debut from Student of the Year was Siddharth Malhotra. His handsome looks and chiseled body garnered a lot of female following and owing to the same he got a lot of initial offers. Even though the fact that he was not the most emotive actor was evident from the very beginning, Bollywood has always had success stories that were based on good looks and not acting talent
and going by that logic Siddharth Malhotra had every reason to be the next superstar. However, looking at the on-going changes in Bollywood and Siddharth’s ever increasing number of flops his prospects in Bollywood sure seems to be less bright than what people initially thought.
A member of the Deol family, Abhay Deol’s debut was mostly in news for him being the nephew of superstar Dharmendra. Although his debut film Socha Na Tha was not a typical mainstream enetertainer, but it was somewhat in the realm of a candy-flossy romance. Plus his family background gave people an idea that he would also take the route of hardcore commercial cinema that his uncle set and his cousins Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol followed. But the actor shocked everyone with his acting prowess and went on to become one of the finest actors in Bollywood and mostly chose content driven cinemas in his career.
Vivek Oberoi had an impactful debut with Ram Gopal Verma’s Company, which not only turned out to be a box office success, but clearly reflected his potential as an actor. Bollywood fans and pundits were convinced that Vivek Oberoi was the next big thing in Bollywood. However, after a slew of bad choices and the career-ruining ‘panga’ with Salman Khan, Vivek could never live up to his potential and came nowhere close to the success that many envisioned for him
A superstar relative, a fantastic debut and immediate box office success, Imraan Khan had everything going for him. His debut film Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na was one of the highest grosser of the year and even critics had kind words for him. Underneath the chocolate boy looks, people could see a stable actor. However, he soon lost track of his career and in his attempt to balance commercial success with content-driven films, he chose films that were different, but hardly in a good way which brought a premature end to his bright prospects in Bollywood
Illeana, who was already a known face in South Indian cinema, made her Bollywood debut with Anurag Basu’s Barfi which was not only a box office success but also critically acclaimed. People took her to be an actress with great potential and expected some knock-out performances from her. However, after Barfi, Illeana chose to go the hardcore commercial way and most of her films portrayed her as the uber glam doll with not much scope to hone her acting talents.