6 Actors Who Have Defied The Process of Ageing
Some actors seem to have taken Pablo Picasso’s quote ‘We don’t grow older, we grow riper,’ way too seriously. With a number of new entrants and young, talented faces in the Indian film industry, there are few yesteryear’s actors who are superstars in their own right, and still play lead or second lead roles but never supporting roles. About thirty years into the industry and we still see the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Mohanlal, Rajinikanth, Mammootty, Chiranjeevi, and Kamal Haasan having strong screen presence in every little role that they play. Even though there have been actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Shivraj Kumar, Vikram, and Ravi Teja, who have a huge fan base across nations, they haven’t managed to create the same frenzy and craze like that of any of the aforementioned veterans actors.
Who can match the stardom of the of the Thalaivar? I think we can all agree that the answer is in the negative. While there are millions of people who are in awe of Rajinikanth, there are a few who are not his fans, however, the count of these people is equivalent to the number of people who consider pineapple to be an acceptable topping on a pizza. Little did Shivaji Rao Gaekwad know that he would be given the title of Superstar with his first movie in a lead role. Superstar Rajini’s fans are unbeatable in terms of the kind of love and appreciation that they shower the Sivaji actor with. It’s unimaginable how fans have gone out and constructed a temple for him, created a human-sized chocolate statue of him, declared a public holiday on the day of his movie Kabali’s release, and many other such things.
There is no star in the history of Indian cinema who has a fan base as huge as Rajini’s. With over 200 movies to his credit and a career spanning close to four decades, the Enthiran actor still appears in lead roles, despite various new faces being launched in the Tamil film industry. The last he was seen playing a lead role was in Kabali, which released last year, in 2016, and the movie was one of the highest-grossing Indian movies of all time, raking in over INR 250 crores. His upcoming project is the 2017 sequel to his 2010 science-fiction Enthiran titled 2.0, which features Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar playing the second lead. He made his debut in 1975 and he’s playing the lead role in 2017 as well, this goes to say why his fans call him God.
Have we heard of an actor be a part of as many as 150 movies in a span of five years or act in 35 movies in a year? There’s probably just one name that pops in my head and that most definitely has to be Mammootty. One cannot imagine the Malayalam film industry, best known as Mollywood, without him. Having made his debut in 1971 in an uncredited role, Mammootty has won 3 National Film Awards, 5 Kerala State Awards, and 12 Filmfare Awards. The actor has managed to cement his position in the film industry across the different eras of Malayalam cinema. His son Dulquer Salmaan is also a Malayalam actor but being a generation older has not stopped him from still holding a strong grip over what he does best. Still doing lead roles, Mammootty’s most recent works include Munnariyippu, Kasaba, White, Thoppil Joppan, The Great Father, and Puthan Panam, and, by the looks of it, he will continue to work as a lead actor for many more years to come.
He’s an actor, he’s a writer, he’s a director, he’s a producer, he’s a lyricist, and he’s also a singer. Is there anything that Kamal Haasan can’t do? I think not. The multi-talented actor started his career as a child actor at a tender age of six in 1960 and the last we saw him in a lead role was in the 2015 action thriller Thoongaa Vanam. The extremely talented and gifted Haasan has an eye for perfection and works towards delivering nothing less than the best shots, even if it means doing innumerable retakes. It’s his passion and dedication for cinema that has garnered him immense praise, accolades, and recognition. It’s his drive to be a part of the industry, which is what still manages to make him one of the long-standing actors of the film industry. Having given 57 years of his life to the movies, Haasan, even at the age of 62, is giving young actors like Vijay, Siddharth, and R. Madhavan a run for their money. While there is an influx of newcomers and fresh faces, there doesn’t seem to be anything stopping Haasan from still playing lead roles, who will soon be seen in movies like Sabaash Naidu and Vishwaroopam II in 2017.
The ‘Angry Young Man’ of Indian cinema, Amitabh Bachchan is not only known for his portrayals of Vijay in a number of movies but also for his baritone voice. He is called the ‘Shehenshah of Bollywood’ for a simple reason that after his breakthrough he has been ruling Bollywood with his screen presence. From playing Bhaskar Banerjee in Anand to Vijay Deenanath Chauhan in Agneepath, from Anthony Gonsalves in Amar Akbar Anthony to Amit in Silsila, Big B has proved his mettle time and again. As of 2016, he is the only actor to have received four National Film Award for Best Actor, three of which he won after three decades of making his debut. He has worked alongside Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Akshay Kumar, and has simultaneously bagged lead roles in critically acclaimed movies like Paa, Piku, and Pink (alliteration much?), all of which featured the stars of today such as Vidya Balan, Deepika Padukone, and Taapsee Pannu. He is the only actor from his generation who is still playing lead roles in Bollywood. Not only is he nominated along with newcomers in award functions for the category of Best Actor but he also manages to beat them, winning the awards. If this is not what superstardom looks like, then I don’t know what does. Pretty sure, each time a young actor loses a Best Actor Award to him, he thinks to himself, ‘Rishte mein toh hum tumhare baap lagte hain, naam hai Shahenshah.’
There must be a reason Konidela Siva Sankara Vara Prasad, a regular man from a small village called Mogalthur, went on to be known as Megastar Chiranjeevi. In an almost-four-decade-long-career, Chiranjeevi has acted in about 200 movies, playing the lead in most of them. From appearing in small roles in his initial years to playing the lead antagonist to finally playing the protagonist, Chiranjeevi’s breakthrough came with the 1983 movie Khaidi. After the success of Khaidi, there was no looking back and he went on to deliver a string of commercially successful movies. Almost 30 years after his debut, the megastar took a sabbatical from acting to pursue his political career. Despite taking a ten-year-long sabbatical from the movies, Chiranjeevi made a comeback with a lead role in 2017 with the movie Khaidi No. 150. This goes to speak that even after a long break, Chiranjeevi’s star status was intact because of which he made a comeback with a lead role. However, the same cannot be said about most actors from the new lot. Given the fame and frenzy around the young actors, not many of them have the impact that Chiranjeevi has managed to have on the audience, surprising, ain’t?
When we think of Malayalam cinema, Mohanlal is one of the first names that crops in our minds. Rightly so, Mohanlal has been a part of the film industry since 1980 and continues to be an integral part of the movies even after almost forty years. Although he started his career as an antagonist, he concreted his position as a lead actor with the 1986 movie Rajavinte Makan, which was his 133rd movie. Can you imagine? In a span of merely six years, Mohanlal had been a part of 132 movies! The amount of hard work and dedication shown by Mohanlal very well reasons out his ongoing dominance in the Malayalam film industry. The big movie star easily has about 400 movies to his credit, of which hardly any of have seen the face of failure. While he is cast alongside newer actors but it is him who plays the lead, which also speaks highly of his repute as a bankable actor even after such a long-standing career. His most recent movies that feature him in lead roles have been Drishyam, Oppam, and Pulimurugan, all of which released in 2016. However, his list of movies as a lead actor doesn’t stop there, in 2017, he has projects like Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol, 1971: Beyond Borders, and Villain.
What we’re trying to say is that there, currently, are a number of successful actors and heartthrobs in the different film industries, but none who could possibly match their stature. Basically, inke jaise koi nahi.
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