Meet the Ten 10 year-olds of Hindi cinema—Part 2

Varun Dhawan’s latest film, Bhediya, has shown an increase in footfalls over the first weekend. Photo: Universal Communications

In the second part of looking at the 10 stars who have completed a decade in Hindi cinema (, November 22), we look at the remaining five names who have all made a place for themselves.

As said before, these new actors have all carved their individualistic paths, some have experimented with diverse platforms, and each has his own standing today in the new-age horizons of Hindi cinema. What is immensely gratifying is that, irrespective of the quantum of success, they have each etched out careers that will keep them going on their own terms, and without modeling their images on past actors or, as has happened quite frequently in the past, by imitating icons from the past pantheon of our great stars.

Parineeti Chopra hopes to maintain the new Uunchai she has reached with her latest film. Photo: Publicity Photo

Parineeti Chopra

Priyanka Chopra (Jonas)’s first cousin, Parineeti left a high-flying bank job in the US to become a part of India’s prime banner, Yash Raj Films, looking after media relations. She interacted very frequently with me in that capacity and when she became an actress finally, remained on terra firma when I joked, “Do you recognize me?” for her first interview. Her reply was a mock-indignant, “Of course, sir!” That film was Ladies Vs. Ricky Bahl (2011), in which she was one of four heroines.

Her maiden lead film, a year later, was Ishaqzaade. She made a mark opposite co-debutant Arjun Kapoor and even won the National award—Special Mention. Her next release Hasee Toh Phasee (2014), showed her mettle as an actor even further.

However, despite good work, Parineeti’s next few films nosedived and Parineeti took advantage of this to take a hiatus and slim down to a new va-va-voom avatar. She made a comeback in a sensuous cameo in Dishoom (2016), and made her singing debut with the hit song, Maana ke hum yaar nahin in Meri Pyaari Bindu. Success, however, came her way a tad later with Golmaal Again and Kesari, in both of which she had brief roles.

10 years down: This phase was followed again by a chain of indifferent films, but Parineeti always delivered, especially in Saina, her Saina Nehwal biopic. This year, she has held her own in an abbreviated role again as a feisty tourist guide in Uunchai opposite stalwarts Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher and Boman Irani. On a small scale, like many films this year, the movie has become a hit.

Sidharth Malhotra is finally having good work that he deserves. Photo: Publicity Photo

Sidharth Malhotra

He was the only outsider among three debutants in Student of the Year. His sincerity and intensity showed even in this role, which was comparatively laidback vis-à-vis co-star Varun Dhawan’s character. His next few films were a mixed bag, but his performances always stood out, come Hasee Toh Phasee, Ek Villain, Brothers or Kapoor & Sons.

A chain of duds at the box-office made Sidharth lag behind, however, even as other youngsters made headway. But it was the lull before the storm, as Shershaah, released on OTT, proved. 2021’s most successful film on a web streaming platform, it won him the attention and stardom he always deserved.

10 years down: Sidharth has already released Thank God and his gray turn has been appreciated. He is now doing three actioners—Mission Majnu as a RAW agent and Majnu, besides his web debut with Rohit Shetty, Indian Police Force.

Sunny Leone continues to make news despite no Hindi assignment for some years. Photo: Publicity Photo

Sunny Leone

The Canadian-American model of Indian Sikh origin was well-known as an adult star and made her screen debut in India in TV shows, including Bigg Boss. She had acted in a host of Hollywood movies before that, mostly of the hardcore adult variety. Pooja Bhatt introduced her to Hindi cinema with Jism 2 (2012), the unsuccessful sequel to her 2003 hit, Jism. Her major Hindi hit was Ragini MMS 2 in 2014, after which she made a string of appearances in leads and cameos in South Indian, Marathi and Punjabi films.

Her films, Ek Paheli Leela and Mastizaade, both had her in dual roles. After 2019, she has not acted in any Hindi film. Meanwhile, she has acted in a Bangladeshi and Nepali film each. She also acted in several web series, including an autobiographical one named Karenjit Kaur—The Untold Story of Sunny Leone.

10 years down: Anamika, on MX Player, is her latest tryst with web. She has done the Telugu film, Ginna and the Kannada movie, Champion as well. There are some more South films that are coming up. The actress may not have hit the big league in Hindi cinema, but continues to make news. Just today, Sunny and husband Daniel Weber have launched an ambulance for stray animals.

Varun Dhawan

Director David Dhawan’s son was the first of the three newbies from Student of the Year to make it big. Confident, charming and remarkably cordial as a human being, he hit it big with the four films that followed—Main Tera Hero directed by his dad, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, Badlapur and ABCD 2, each respectively highlighting his starry charisma, acting potential and dancing skills—everything needed to be a top star in Hindi cinema.

David Dhawan cast him in the reboot of his hit, Judwaa 2, and Badrinath Ki Dulhania was also another hit for him. After this, Varun seemed to go wrong in his choices, with films like October, Kalank and others biting the dust.

10 years down: Right now, Varun seems to be in the resurrection mode. Jug Jugg Jeeyo did not do well, though his acting was immaculate. But he has had a triumph in Bhediya, his second 3D film after ABCD 2, in which he plays a challenging role. Coming up is the big-budget actioner, Bawaal, directed by none other than Nitesh Tiwari of Dangal and Chhichhore fame.

Yammi Gautam Dhar is making a mark with some good performances. Photo: Universal Communications

Yammi Gautam Dhar

She was the dark horse, so to speak, of her debut film Vicky Donor, wherein all the attention was drawn by Ayushmann Khurrana and character artiste Annu Kapoor. A model, TV and regional (South Indian) film artiste since a few years earlier, Yammi Gautam (who is now Yammi Gautam Dhar after marrying director Aditya Dhar) continued juggling Hindi and South Indian cinema and only got her next Hindi success in 2015 with Badlapur.

Kaabil, URI—The Surgical Strike and Bala have been her subsequent Hindi hits. She also made an impact with the OTT release, A Thursday.

10 years down: and she has made her presence felt in films like Dasvi and Lost, which has had a festival release and has been acclaimed. Yammi is now acting in OMG—Oh My God 2 with Akshay Kumar.




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