Stars sell. There’s no denying that simple fact. But because of our obsession for stars, many skilled actors are often overlooked by Bollywood. And we’re not even talking about the Nawazuddins and Irrfans and Bomans. Though they’re seldom cast in lead roles – which is understandable considering the huge amount of money riding on a film – Bollywood does give them may good supporting characters to display their talents with aplomb.
Instead, we’re referring to a sea of other talents that have shone in the handful of opportunities they’ve been given, but for some reason, seem to always be cast as an afterthought in big-budget projects, whereas the smaller projects in which they take center-stage seldom create the noise meriting their talents. Today, we list you three such actors whose talents have been seriously underutilized by Bollywood.
1.) Arshad Warsi
Arshad only came into public recognition when he played the lovable Circuit in the Munnabhai films, five years after making his debut. In the meantime, he had to contend with playing characters in some forgettable film. But, even after Munna Bhai, Arshad has seldom got to string together a bunch of roles that do justice to his talents. Barring the odd Ishqiya or Jolly LLB, this dexterous performer just doesn’t those offers meriting his expertise, and even if a film of his turns out to be successful, a more-popular actor is cast in its sequel. Bollywood has truly done him a great disservice.
2.) Divya Dutta
Divya has been around since 1994, but it’s ours and the film industry’s loss that we have to think hard to remember films where she got a scope to shine. A Special 26 now and then, a Bhaag Milkha Bhaag here and there, a Badlapur once in a blue-moon, and that’s it. Even after all these years and never once failing to impress us in whatever limited opportunities she had got, the industry still seems to pass on Divya Dutta while looking for capable supporting artists.
3.) Sharad Kelkar
Sharad’s good fortune has been that he has at least managed to make a mark for himself on the small screen, but with all due respect to the medium of television, you rarely get those kind of roles on TV that offer you the platform to fully display your skills. Even after Sanjay Leela Bhansali recognized his abilities and offered him a meaty part in Ram-Leela, other filmmakers are yet to wake up to his histrionics that are just waiting to burst at the seams. Bit roles in films like Mohenjo Daro and Rocky Handsome don’t do him justice at all.
Call it destiny or good fortune that all three of them are now coming together in Irada, where each appears to have got a role that can tap their true potential. A crime thriller based on a topical subject like water contamination, and alongside an actor of Naseeruddin Shah’s caliber no less, seems like exactly what this trio needed. We hope that many more good filmmakers have the irada in future to cast them in substantial roles.
Image Sources: VB, Maddock, and North Star, and Irada Entertainment