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Thursday, September 21, 2023

10 Female Bollywood Actors to Look Out for in 2020

Bollywood 2020 is literally around the corner and there are some promising films that will release next year.

Given that some talented female actors have recently made some impressive debuts, many of them have an array of promising ventures in the pipeline.

Furthermore, it’s great to see some veteran and experienced actors given the limelight and opportunities they rightfully deserve.

In a special feature (and in no particular order), Filme Shilmy reflects on 10 Female Bollywood Actors that could make an impact next year due to numerous/meaty content, promising characters or anticipated Hindi films.

Deepika Padukone

Since her humble beginnings, Deepika has always done roles which are never bound by societal conventions.

She has always undertaken formidable characters which makes sense as to why we will see her essay the role of an acid attack survivor in Meghna Gulzar’s Chhapaak.

Based on the real-life, uplifting story of Laxmi Agarwal, the movie also marks Padukone’s debut as a producer.

Sharing a few words on working with Deepika, co-star Vikrant Massey expresses:

“Trust me, in this film, there is more than the idea of being just ‘Deepika Padukone’ – I can definitely vouch for that.”

In addition, Padukone will also be seen alongside real-life hubby Ranveer Singh in Kabir Khan’s 83, in which she plays Kapil Dev’s wife – Romi Dev.

With regards to playing Ranveer’s reel-life partner in ’83, Deepika says:

“When you are in the business of movies, you are playing a character.

Of course, all of this is yet to play out, but at the end of the day, you are essaying a role, and at that point, you are not thinking whether your co-actor is your husband, brother or someone you know closely.

All you try to do is, be honest in that moment.”

Mrunal Thakur

From being a household name on Indian television to working with stalwarts in Hindi cinema… Life since her debut film Love Sonia has been great.

In 2019, Mrunal faced back-to-back success with Super 30 (alongside Hrithik Roshan) and Batla House (with John Abraham).

Plus, she was also involved in a star-studded panel talk at MAMI with other new-generation actors.

Her future projects for 2020 looks just as promising and exciting.

As such, she will be seen as the lead in Karan Johar’s Netflix anthology segment Ghost Stories (with Avinash Tiwary) and recently bagged Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Toofan with Farhan Akhtar.

Furthermore, Thakur will also step into the pivotal role of ‘Sivagami’ in Netflix’s Baahubali prequel series Baahubali: Before The Beginning. 

This series follows the journey of Sivagami’s rise to power in the Mahishmati kingdom.

Certainly, exciting times lie ahead for Mrunal, who is keen on excelling  with each project.

Reflecting on her journey from the small screen to big, Mrunal describes:

“I am fortunate to start my career with television… I will always be grateful to the entire cast and crew of Kumkum Bhagya.

Also, I feel that I made a conscious effort after Love Sonia there were a lot of roles that got offered to me where I would’ve played complexioned villager.

I was keen on doing the project but not immediately. Currently, I want to do experimental roles and do projects which I’m convinced in doing.”

Janhvi Kapoor

The gorgeous Janhvi Kapoor has a talent that speaks louder than any family tags. Plus, her extensive awareness of cinema and its ramifications on society is par excellence.

The daughter of late superstar Sridevi and producer Boney Kapoor, she impressed us in her Bollywood debut, Dhadak, which released in 2018.

Since then, Kapoor has been occupied with shooting for multiple projects which include:

Horror-comedy RoohiAfza, biographical-drama Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, epic-period film Takht and Zoya Akhar’s Netflix anthology segment Ghost Stories (with Vijay Varma).

Janhvi will also feature alongisde Kartik Aaryan and Laksshya in Dostana 2. So what has determined her to choose such diverse films? She tells Filme Shilmy:

“I think it’s the story, more than anything else. The fact that they are the kind of films I would want to watch.

Plus, these movies are so different from each other. The characters I’m playing in each of these films are of interesting, strong and independent women.

These are the characters that I draw inspiration from.”

Sara Ali Khan

Sara Ali Khan’s humane, endearing and effervescent persona has impressed millions of people worldwide. She has that same vibrancy of mother Amrita Singh and grace of grandmother Sharmila Tagore.

Since her debut in Kedarnath and appearance in Simmba, she has bagged several highly anticipated movies.

Next year, we can expect to see her in Imtiaz Ali’s next (tentatively titled Aaj Kal) alongside Kartik Aaryan.

On working with both actors, the director Imtiaz himself tells Filme Shilmy: “These two were extremely devoted.

They were in complete surrender mode and one thing common between them is that they had the great awesome emotional energy.

Even if they have been times they were completely emotionally drained, I would ask them to change something and go back… Which they would do again without hesitation.

Sometimes they would even suggest it. In this movie, there were many scenes which were emotionally devouring.

I was extremely impressed by their patience and emotional perseverance and by the fact that they were fresh and inspiring.”

Sara will also be seen tickling the funny bone with Varun Dhawan in David Dhawan’s remake of Coolie No.1.

Kiara Advani

Since Kiara’s debut in Fugly, she has come leaps and bounds as an actor and has shone brightly amidst the crowd.

Arguably, 2018 was the ice-breaker in her career as she featured in Karan Johar’s segment in Netflix anthology Lust Stories as a sexually repressed housewife as well as featuring alongside Telugu superstar Mahesh Babu in Bharat Ane Nenu. 

In 2019, she has featured in three big Bollywood films Kalank, Kabir Singh and Good Newwz. Pondering over her current success streak, she tells the media:

“I am in the most exciting phase of my career right now. What I have learnt so far in my career in films is that you can’t take failure or success very seriously.

It is a journey where you just have to learn and grow. As long as you are in the right, and your graph goes upwards, something right is happening.

I am happy about the characters and roles that are coming my way. It’s a great way to show my versatility. I don’t want to restrict myself in any particular genre.”

Her forthcoming projects of Laxmmi Bomb, Shershaah, Indoo Ki Jawani, Netflix original Guilty and Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 have only doubled our excitement for next year.

Alia Bhatt

Alia has long graduated since the Student Of The Year days and that was evident through a stellar performance in her second film Highway. 

The year 2019 seems to have been a bittersweet year for Alia… On one hand, Gully Boy has emerged highly successful and is India’s official submission for the Oscars.

However, on the other hand, the big-budgeted multi-starrer Kalank tanked critically and commercially.

Even her Bhansali film InshaAllah with Salman Khan got shelved, whilst Bhramastra has been postponed till next year.

But as they say, when one door closes another opens and Alia has an array of exciting films lined up for 2020 including SLB’s Gangubai Kathiawadi, Mahesh Bhatt’s Sadak 2 and SS Rajamouli’s RRR. 

It’s always a joy to see her on-screen and sharing what she loves the most about her profession, Alia expresses:

“Getting to live different lives, learn every day. You evolve as you play more parts, as you speak someone else’s thoughts. I love being on a set with everyone, all of us working towards the same project.”

Dimple Kapadia

Dimple Kapadia is one of the finest actors in Indian cinema, who has mastered her craft so well.

Since her debut in Raj Kapoor’s Bobby, she has always been keen on essaying versatile roles and has effortlessly explored both mainstream and parallel cinema.

Of recent, we have seen her portray idiosyncratic characters in movies like Being Cyrus, Cocktail and Finding Fanny.

With regards to her international projects, she received praise for American production, Leela. 

However, 2020 marks another big year as we will be seeing Dimple ji in Christopher Nolan’s action-thriller Tenet alongisde actors such as Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki and others.

As per media reports, Tenet is Nolan’s follow-up to his Oscar-nominated war drama Dunkirk that earned the noted filmmaker his first best director Oscar nomination.

Ranbir-Alia-Amitabh starrer Bhramastra is another highly awaited venture that will also feature Kapadia.

Vidya Balan

Vidya Balan has unparalleled grace, a vibrant personality and a charisma which brightens the celluloid. She is one of the key pioneers in paving the way for female-empowering films in Bollywood.

Since her debut in Parineeta, Vidya has always chosen projects which are conventional and transcends the status quo. 

Her forthcoming project next year (in the titular role), Shakuntala Devi, is also one such extraordinary and formidable true story, based on ‘The Human-Computer’.

Shakuntala took the world by storm with her talent of making incredibly swift calculations from a very young age.

Despite no formal education, she made a name for herself globally as a ‘math genius’.

Her great mathematical skills even find a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records. Plus, she was a key advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. 

Talking about breaking the taboos, Balan tells Filme Shilmy:

“I didn’t set out to break the glass ceiling… It broke (laughs). I just followed my instincts and chose the subjects that I felt excited about.

Thus, I wanted to tell stories about women who were Mirchi and namak! I chose the kind of films that ended up challenging or breaking stereotypes.”

Kangana Ranaut

Kangana Ranaut’s fiery and no-nonsense demeanour is what really makes her stand out from the rest.

After breaking the taboo of only doing ‘gloomy’ roles with the Tanu Weds Manu franchise, she has since gained strength in choosing formidable roles.

Having made her directorial debut (and starring in the titular role of Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi and appearing in the black comedy Judgementall Hai Kya this year, the actor has more exciting projects in the pipeline.

We will be seeing her in Ashwiny Iyer Tiwary’s Panga with Richa Chadha, in which she plays a national level Kabaddi player. Speaking about the role with the media, Kangana says:

“When Ashwiny narrated the film’s story, I was completely moved. My family has been my pillar of strength and have always stood by me through thick and thin.

I could really relate to the emotions of the film. Plus, Ashwiny is known for her slice-of-life films and I loved her recent work in Bareilly Ki Barfi.

Panga is even more special for me as, for the first time, I will be playing the role of a National-level Kabaddi player.

That’s going to be challenging for sure! I am looking forward to some exciting times with Ashwiny and the Fox Star team.”

As well as this, Ranaut will also be seen in Dhaakad, the poster of which shows Ranaut in a Resident Evil, Lara Croft-style avatar. This is set to be a Diwali release.

Parineeti Chopra

National Film Award winner, Parineeti Chopra has matured since her Ishaqzaade days. We’ve seen her gain strength-to-strength with each film, showing an upward trajectory of her calibre.

The subsequent time post her debut Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl was quite dry, in terms of box-office success.

However, the super success Golmaal Again has arguably led her on to gaining some more excellent projects.

The year 2019 was also bittersweet for Parineeti as she faced success with Akshay Kumar starrer Kesari, but the Sidharth Malhotra starrer Jabariya Jodi did not get the appreciation it deserved.

But this year is equally special as Chopra will be performing for the first time with her cousin Priyanka Chopra Jonas as they lend their voices for Frozen 2‘s Hindi version:

“When I watched Frozen, I never thought that I’d get to dub its sequel one day. It’s my most favourite animation films.

I think the beauty of Frozen 2 is the cast, who are real-life sisters to play reel-life sisters.

The characters – Elsa and Anna – are exactly like us in real life. Mimi didi (Priyanka) and I always used to talk about doing something together one day but we never got any opportunity.

But when Frozen 2 came, it just felt right,” she tells the media.

Going forward though, there are more such exciting projects including Saina and The Girl On The Train, which will definitely broaden her acting capabilities and talent.

Of course, these are just 10 actors out of numerous others. Some other notable mentions include:

  • Shraddha Kapoor: Street Dancer, Baaghi 3
  • Neena Gupta: Sooryavanshi, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan
  • Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: Ponnyin Selvan 
  • Kajol: Tanhaji, Tribhanga
  • Radhika Madan: Angrezi Medium 
  • Kareena Kapoor Khan: Angrezi Medium, Lal Singh Chadha.

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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