Looking back at the year 2015, there have been a number of promising acting debuts in Bollywood. Whether it be star kids or those transitioning from television to cinema, B-town has welcomed many fresh faces to the big screen this year. We at BizAsia have selected ten debutante actors: five male and five female, who we believe made the most impact this year and are here to stay.
Karan Singh Grover ��� ��Alone�۪ & ��Hate Story 3�۪
After reigning supreme on the small screen with television shows such as ��Dill Mill Gayye�۪ and ��Qubool Hai�۪, Karan Singh Grover shifted to the big screen this year with ��Alone�۪. Though the horror film failed at the Box Office, the actor also had a second release in form of ��Hate Story 3�۪ which has gone on to become a tremendous success. The erotic-thriller won Singh Grover rave reviews for his performance in a negative role. On the personal front, Singh Grover is often in the news and is allegedly in a relationship with his debut film co-star, Bipasha Basu. He will next be seen in a comedy film titled ��3 Dev�۪.
Gurmeet Choudhary ��� ��Khamoshiyan�۪
Another talent from the small screen, Gurmeet Choudhary is well-known for his performances on television as Lord Ram of ��Ramayan�۪ (2008) and Maan Singh Khurana in ��Geet�۪. The popular television star made his Bollywood debut with Mahesh Bhatt�۪s ��Khamoshiyan�۪, in which he played the role of a devil-worshipper. Though the movie failed to impress the audience and Choudhary�۪s role was supporting the lead actor Ali Fazal, Choudhary received a positive response for his performance in the challenging role.
Karan Johar ��� ��Bombay Velvet�۪
Already an established name, Karan Johar is without a doubt one of the most successful filmmakers in the past two decades. Having already directed and produced movies, as well as having hosted events and television chat shows, Johar made his full-fledged acting debut with a negative role in ��Bombay Velvet�۪. The film was not, however, Johar�۪s first acting stint. He has previously had cameo appearances in films including ��Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge�۪ (1995) and played a leading role in the 1980s television series, ��Indradhanush�۪. ��Bombay Velvet�۪ tanked at the Box Office and received mixed reviews from the critics but Johar was appreciated for his performance as a flamboyant businessman.
Sooraj Pancholi ��� ��Hero�۪
Since before his acting debut, Sooraj Pancholi was already a known name owing to the controversy stemming from his relationship with the late Jiah Khan. It was superstar Salman Khan who recognised the star-potential in Aditya Pancholi�۪s son and launched him with Salman Khan Films�۪ first venture, ��Hero�۪. The film failed to live up to expectations at the box office but proved to showcase the promising talent of its newcomer leads. Despite having been surrounded by controversies, Pancholi�۪s performance was appreciated and the young actor may next be seen in Remo D�۪Souza�۪s action-dance film alongside Ajay Devgn.
Kapil Sharma ��� ��Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon�۪
From being an extra on the sets of Anil Sharma�۪s ��Gadar�۪ (2001), Kapil Sharma has surely come a long way. Undoubtedly one of the most popular television personalities, his ��Comedy Nights With Kapil�۪ has been one of the highest rated and most loved shows on Indian television. It came as no surprise then when he bagged the lead role in Abbas-Mustan�۪s comic caper ��Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon�۪. Seen in the role of a man who is having to maintain three marriages simultaneously, Sharma impressed his fans once again with his comic timing and the film went on to do good business at the Box Office. It can be noted, that Sharma was initially to make his acting debut with Y Films�۪ ��Bank Chor�۪ but things had not worked out.
Sapna Pabbi ��� ��Khamoshiyaan�۪
Sapna Pabbi previously featured in a number of commercials, and was also seen in the role of Anil Kapoor�۪s daughter in the latter�۪s Indian adaptation of ��24�۪ in 2013. The actress made her big screen debut in 2015 with the supernatural thriller, ��Khamoshiyan�۪. ��Although the British actress had bagged quite a tough role for a debutante, she gave it her best shot and proved to have impressive screen presence. The actress now has John Abraham�۪s ��Satra Ko Shaadi Hai�۪ and the second season of ��24�۪ to look forward to.
Bhumi Pednekar ��� ��Dum Laga Ke Haisha�۪
After working as an assistant to Yash Raj Films�۪ casting director, Bhumi Pednekar was launched as an actress with the production company�۪s ��Dum Laga Ke Haisha�۪ this year. In an industry where appearance is given paramount attention, owing to cinema being a visual medium, Bhumi Pednekar courageously put on the kilos for her first steps into B-town, making a confident and impressive debut in the role of an overweight housewife. The actress will next be seen in Aanand L Rai�۪s love story, ��Manmarziyan�۪, for which she is now working at shedding the weight.
Harshaali Malhotra ��� ��Bajrangi Bhaijaan�۪
Having previously acted on the small screen and modelled for advertisements, 7-year-old Harshaali Malhotra made her debut as a leading actress alongside Salman Khan in this year�۪s highest grosser, ��Bajrangi Bhaijaan�۪. Malhotra captured the hearts of both audience and critics alike, with her warm and natural portrayal of a mute Pakistani girl who gets lost in India. Hers has undoubtedly been one of the most impressive performances by a child-actor in Bollywood, as she stood her own against actors such as Salman Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Kareena Kapoor Khan; some would even say she stole the show.
Athiya Shetty ��� ��Hero�۪
Alongside Sooraj Pancholi, Salman Khan Films�۪ ��Hero�۪ also marked the debut of Suniel Shetty�۪s daughter, Athiya Shetty. Having bagged awards for her sense of style even before the release of ��Hero�۪, this young actress has clearly arrived in B-town. It is said that when veteran writer Salim Khan saw ��Hero�۪, he had claimed that the film could have been titled ��Heroine�۪ owing to Shetty�۪s impressive performance. Her raw performance as the vulnerable yet strong girl in love won her much appreciation. The debut film also provided her scope to show her impressive dancing talent.
Sanah Kapoor ��� ��Shaandaar�۪
Being the daughter of Pankaj Kapoor and Supriya Pathak, as well as having Shahid Kapoor as a brother, debutante Sanah Kapoor surely had a lot to live up to. The actress, born to a film family, made her debut with Vikas Bahl�۪s ��Shaandaar�۪, in which her brother essayed the lead role alongside Alia Bhatt. However, despite not having a lead role and even though the film failed to live up to expectations, Sanah Kapoor impressed the audience with her natural performance. The actress has also bagged a lead role in Subhash Singh�۪s comedy film, in which she will star opposite television star Parth Samthaan.
Some debutantes did not make it to our top 10 but have without a doubt left an impact: Be it Omkar Kapoor who impressed the youth with ��Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2�۪, Kamaal Haasan�۪s daughter Akshara who debuted with ��Shamitabh�۪, Ridhima Sud who stood out in the multi-starrer ��Dil Dhadakne Do�۪, or Punjabi superstar Gippy Grewal who stepped into Bollywood with ��Second Hand Husband�۪, 2015 has been the year of fresh faces.
It will be interesting to see what lies ahead for the above mentioned debutantes. We at BizAsia wish them all the best and hope to see them shine bright on the big screen for many years to come.