Old is gold in Bollywood


Staff member
Bollywood can't get enough of its good old 40-plus actors — Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Ajay Devgn. They ruled the roost in the 1990s and after two decades they are still calling the shots as they get the best films, meaty roles, highest remuneration and maximum media coverage.

Of course, there are Abhishek Bachchan and Hrithik Roshan and younger heroes like Shahid Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Imran Khan, Abhay Deol and Emraan Hashmi who are a rage, but old continues to be gold at the box office.

Amitabh Bachchan, who is way beyond the 40-mark, has spent over four decades in the Hindi film industry — but the 68-year-old is nowhere close to fading. He is still playing central characters. After the recent Bbuddah...Hoga Tera Baap, he is set to treat fans with Aarakshan, as well as the fifth season of the reality show Kaun Banega Crorepati. And he isn't hanging up his boots as long as his body works.

Other than Big B, Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Kumar top the filmmakers' wishlist, as long as the script and budget are in tune with the stars.

These actors have proved their charm over and over again.

Salman Khan, 45, proved he is still saleable with Dabangg, the biggest blockbuster of last year. He carried forward his victorious streak this year with the masala film Ready and his debut co-production Chillar Party, which garnered critical acclaim.

The star is facing a receding hair line, but it is not coming in the way of his success. He is now gearing up to entertain fans with Bodyguard, which is also expected to mint gold at the box office.

B-town "badshah" Shah Rukh Khan's 2010 film My Name Is Khan, a love story set against the backdrop of racial discrimination post-9/11, grossed an estimated $18 million (Dh66.09 million) at the worldwide box office in its opening weekend.

Now the 45-year-old, who is coping with a back problem and even has a few wrinkles, is coming up with the two most awaited projects of the year — his mega-budget home production Ra.One and Farhan Akhtar's Don 2: The Chase Continues.

A man all seasons

At 46, Aamir Khan is one of the most formidable stars. As an actor, director or producer, his films have set new standards in the Hindi film industry. Over the years, he has lost his cute college-boy looks but is still a craze.

Be it 3 Idiots in 2009, the satirical Peepli Live in 2010 or the recently released, cult, madcap comedy Delhi Belly, Aamir Khan's USP of moulding himself and his work to suit the audience's taste has made him the flavour of all seasons for Indian movie buffs.

From romancing to tickling the funny bone, these actors are doing all kinds of roles. For instance, 42-year-old Devgn, who stands out for his intense acting, scored well at the box office with the underworld drama Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai and the comedy Golmaal 3 last year. This year his latest, Singham, a hardcore action movie, is already roaring loud at the box office.

Saif Ali Khan, who hit the 40-mark last year, is set to get experimental now. The "Chhote Nawab" will be seen in the serious role of a Dalit school teacher in Aarakshan. Later, he is expected to set the screen on fire with his home production Agent Vinod, in which he is said to have performed some mindblowing stunts.

For the daredevil Kumar, the year 2010 was a bit of a damp squib with just one hit — Sajid Khan's Housefull — despite several other films like Khatta Meetha, Action Replayy and Tees Maar Khan. The depression in his career graph continued this year with not-so-successful films like Patiala House and Thank You, but that hasn't affected Kumar's stardom.

Hopefully, he will jump back into action with Desi Boyz, Joker and Housefull 2 in the near future. The 44-year-old also has the Indo-Canadian film Breakaway lined up for release.

There are also 51-year-olds Anil Kapoor and Dutt who manage to enthuse audiences, no matter what. Dutt entertained with Double Dhamaal recently, while Anil Kapoor is making headway to international shores with a prestigious project like Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol.

As far as Bollywood goes, these stars are ageless.