Latest Tweets

Screen Test

Of the slew of newbies who have debuted in the last two years, find out who hit the bull’s eye and who didn’t


The Hindi film industry has seen a virtual deluge of new actors especially in the last two years (2012-13), unleashing a new wave of cinema in their wake. But that does not necessarily bode well for Bollywood. What really matters is how many of these young actors have the talent and staying power to make a mark. This week, we take a look at the journeys of these actors, and ask distributors and exhibitors across India to rate them. We asked them who has hit the bull’s eye and who missed the marquee.

Rajesh Thadani, Multimedia Combines (Mumbai)

Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan
Debut film: Student Of The Year (2012)

These three actors made the best debut vis-à-vis the other newcomers by bagging some of the best roles and also by becoming most sought-after among their contemporaries. Moreover, they are not doing only commercial, masala films; it is heartening to see them take on challenging roles that test their acting prowess.

Sushant Singh Rajput

Debut Film: Kai Po Che (2013)

He had a decent start to his career with Kai Po Che and it did well in Mumbai and across India. But since it was a multi-hero film, he needs a few more projects to prove his mettle as a solo hero. His next film Shuddh Desi Romance was average fare. Although he has signed a few big films like P.K. and Paani, the former is again dominated by big actors like Aamir Khan and Anushka Sharma, so he may not stand out. It’s a little too early to comment on his films and only time will tell how well he can act.

Diana Penty

Debut Film: Cocktail (2012)

She has had quite a promising start since Cocktail was appreciated not only in the metros but also pan-India. I don’t know what she has signed next but if she gets meaty offers, the audience would like to see more of her.

Priya Anand

Debut Film: English Vinglish (2012)

She is quite talented and has done some good roles. Both her films were well received by the audience and although she was not the solo female lead, her performance stood out in English Vinglish as well as in Fukrey.

Huma Qureshi

Debut Film: Gangs Of Wasseypur (2012)

She has had a good run so far and she’s managed to bag some really good roles. She has got the opportunity to work with some big producers but I don’t think she can pull off a film entirely on her own. She is best suited for a certain type of role. I don’t think she can do glamorous roles.

Girish Kumar

Debut Film: Ramaiya Vastavaiya (2013)

He had quite a promising debut and his film did very well at the box office. But he will have to choose his next film wisely to maintain that momentum. The first film was produced by his father and was directed by Prabhu Dheva but the second film is a litmus test for any actor. It is interesting to see what he does next.

Pooja Salvi

Debut Film: Nautanki Saala (2013)

I don’t think she holds much promise. She was not received well by the audience in her first film and I don’t think she has shown conviction in her acting skills.

Tanuj Virwani

Debut Film: Luv U Soniyo (2013)

Despite the fact that he has signed quite a few films, both his first and second films bombed at the box office. His journey so far has not been promising.

Brijesh Tandon, HK Tandon & Co (Delhi-UP)

Ayushmann Khurrana

Debut Film: Vicky Donor (2012)

He is a good actor and singer but he doesn’t have star value. He needs script-oriented roles to do well. His debut film Vicky Donor did well because it had very strong content. The films he’s done after Vicky Donor, Nautanki Saala and Bewakoofiyan, were disasters.

Pulkit Samrat

Debut Film: Bittoo Boss (2012)

There is a strong buzz about him in our territory and he has shown promise pan-India as well but I doubt he has the power to carry a film on his shoulders. His first film Bittoo Boss bombed at the box office as the story was weak and he doesn’t possess the star power of a Hindi film hero. His next film Fukrey had an ensemble cast and it worked because it had a good script, while the third film, O Teri, was a disaster.

Manish Paul

Debut Film: Mickey Virus (2013)

He is not at all hero material. He can be good on TV but films are not his forte. He is a one-film wonder and has no buzz either in our territory or across India.

Sarang Chandak, Shri Rang Films (CP)

Vaani Kapoor

Debut Film: Shuddh Desi Romance (2013)

She has been noticed because she made her debut with a Yash Raj film. She has also worked in YashRaj’s South film, which is a remake of Band Baaja Baaraat. I think she has made quite a mark for herself.

Rhea Chakraborty

Debut Film: Mere Dad Ki Maruti (2013)

I can’t recall who she is but the film did well. She didn’t have much scope and I don’t think many people really remember her.

Pooja Chopra

Debut Film: Commando (2013)

She has no talent and in spite of being the solo female lead, she didn’t stand out. The hero, Vidyut Jammwal was good and that’s why the film worked. It goes to show that despite the number of newcomers who make their debut in the industry, only the talented ones leave an impression.


Debashish Dey, Aum Moviez (Kolkata)

Ileana D’Cruz

Debut Film: Barfi! (2012)

She is an average actor and I don’t think she is really cut out for Hindi films. I say this despite both her films doing well. I think she was noticed because Barfi! was a Ranbir Kapoor-Anurag Basu film while Main Tera Hero was a David Dhawan-Varun Dhawan film. I don’t think she had much to offer.

Paoli Dam

Debut Film: Hate Story (2012)

She doesn’t have what it takes to do well in films. Maybe the odd film in the Hate Story genre will suit her. Other than that, I don’t think she has a promising future.

Arjun Kapoor

Debut Film: Ishaqzaade (2012)

He has proved his mettle. Barring one flop in Aurangzeb, he has the potential to do well. His next film will be something to watch out for.

Jeetu Khandelwal, Movie Pioneers (Orissa)

Ram Charan Teja

Debut Film: Zanjeer Remake (2013)

He is a big name down South but since his Hindi film debacle, I don’t think he will make a comeback to Bollywood.

Taapsee Pannu

Debut Film: Chashme Baddoor (2013)

She has done quite a few South Indian films and she did well in her debut film too. Now she has bagged a film opposite Akshay Kumar and a film produced by Shoojit Sircar. Obviously, she has been noticed by the industry.

Rakesh Singh, Ma Sona Films (Bihar)

Sunny Leone

Debut Film: Jism 2 (2012)

Her films have done well not only in Bihar but across India. She is one actress whose films get a good opening in our territory.

Varun Dhawan

In Bihar, apart from senior actors like Salman Khan, Varun Dhawan is the only actor whose films get a good response. He has mass appeal and, among the newcomers, he’s the most promising.

Vishal Anand, Head of Operations & Sales, Fun Cinemas (Mumbai)

Arjun Kapoor leads the pack of new actors. He has delivered two hits this year – Gunday and 2 States. He has a pretty good fan following too. Close on his heels are Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan. They are both very promising and, among the new entrants, their films have a huge buzz. Among the girls, only Alia Bhatt has made a mark. The rest are forgettable.

Jaspal Dhingra, Nanaskar Enterprise (East Punjab)

Alia Bhatt

In East Punjab, Alia Bhatt has created a rage has a fan following of people across age groups but the young generation, especially, loves her. She is very talented and all her films have taken a good opening. Bhatt will go a long way.

Arjun Kapoor

Arjun Kapoor’s films have been very successful, including Gunday and 2 States, and he is a likeable star, especially among the girls. Among the recent debutants, Kapoor he is the only actor who can play the ‘angry young man’ role.

Varun Dhawan

Varun Dhawan is like Govinda and Salman Khan, basically a massy star. His Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya will make a mark at the box office. Besides, Dhawan is liked by the audience, across the board.

Ayushmann Khurranna

Only his first film was a hit because of its out-of-the-box context but the other two didn’t do well. This suggests that Khurranna doesn’t have any potential to draw the audience to cinemas. It is doubtful we will see him on the big screen after a few years.

Ileana D’Cruz

She is not exactly very popular, neither are her acting skills bad. Maybe a few back-to-back hits will make her more noticeable.

Huma Qureshi

She doesn’t really have a fan following but she is one of those good actresses like Chitrangada Singh. She is not a ‘commercial’ actress and will stand out in good films.

Surendra Saluja, Lakshya Movies (East Punjab)

Pulkit Samrat

He doesn’t have the ability to draw the audience to cinemas as he is not a solo hero material. Fukrey was a good film and that’s why it stood out.

Pooja Chopra

Who is she? Actresses like her come and go. They do two to three films and then vanish.

Vaani Kapoor

She didn’t stand out at all even though she was launched by Yash Raj Films. There was no buzz around, both before and after the release of her film.

Ravi Machhar, Sahyog Films, Nizam

Taapsee Pannu

She has a good line-up but I doubt the audience will watch a film because she features in it.

Arjun Kapoor

Arjun Kapoor is very famous in the Nizam circuit and all his films, from Ishaqzaade, to Gunday and 2 States, have done fabulous business in our circuit. In spite of being a newcomer, he seems to already have a fan base and they don’t miss his films.

Varun Dhawan

He stood out from the pack with his very first film and he has a great fan following among all age groups. He is the most massy actor among his contemporaries.

Sidharth Malhotra

He is very popular among the women and is choosing unique different roles. For instance, the buzz around Ek Villain is very strong and everyone is talking about it. There are still a few more weeks for it to release but inquiries have already begun.

Ram Charan Teja

He has a fan following in the South and they don’t want to watch him in Hindi films.


He is very popular down South and has a loyal fan base there. The audience would prefer to watch him in South films rather than Hindi films.

Sanjay Marudhar, Marudhar Enterprises (Rajasthan)

Sushant Singh Rajput

He has the potential to be a good actor. He was famous on television too but we need to wait till he does some more film before we can comment.

Yami Gautam

She has done only two films – one was a hit and the other a flop – and it’s too early to judge whether she is a good actor. She is good looking and if she seizes good roles, she could stand out.

Alia Bhatt

Alia is the best actress among the young lot and has already built quite a fan following. She is so popular that her fans will watch a film that features her even if there is no hero in the film. She is a trend setter among the young generation, especially for girls.

Sunny Leone

When she does a big-banner film, the movie does good business. That’s why Jism 2 and Ragini MMS 2 saw huge business at the ticket counter unlike Jackpot, which tanked.

Pramod Sharma, Kamdhenu Films (Bihar)

Alia Bhatt

She is famous because she is pretty and acts well. But every film she has done has had a big name attached to it. So you can’t say she has pulled off a film on her own. People don’t watch a film solely because she features in it. Producers promote films well and she has also been lucky to have featured in films like these.

Sushant Singh Rajput

YRF promoted Shuddh Desi Romance well so he was able to attract attention. But he needs to be more visible on screen.

Varun Dhawan

He is hot property and is the most famous actor among the youth in Bihar.

Sunny Leone

She is very famous in our circuit but she has her audience. The family audience doesn’t watch her films.

Yami Gautam

She is not popular here at all.

Ashok Choudhary, Neha Movies (CI)

Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan are the most sought-after actors in our territory. They were launched by big banners and have done big-banner films after their launch too. The audience goes to watch their films in the belief that they won’t be disappointed. Among the girls, Alia Bhatt is the most popular actress in our territory.

Devang Sampat, Chief Strategy Officer, Cinepolis India

Varun Dhawan

Among the male actors, Varun Dhawan has proved his mettle at the box office by delivering hits in both his first and second films – Student Of The Year and Main Tera Hero. People are now looking forward to his work as he is popular not only in the metros but also in the non-metros.

Alia Bhatt

Alia is leading the charts thanks to her terrific performance in Highway. She is considered a good actress and also a bankable one because she has scored a hattrick at the box office with three back-to-back hits.

Balkishan Shroff, Shringar Films (Mumbai)

Today, it doesn’t make a difference whether it’s Mumbai, Delhi or Patna thanks to the huge exposure of television. For instance, earlier in Patna and Orissa, only A-list actors films used to work but today if the script is good and you’re a good actor, your film works universally even if you’re a newcomer. So I find it difficult to compare, using territory as a yardstick. Varun Dhawan, Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt are definitely famous.

BH Basha, Bahar Enterprises (Mysore)

Alia Bhatt

She is one of the few actresses who made her mark with her very first film, and Highway was the cherry on top. Her career took a different turn with that movie and, as a result, 2 States took a grand opening. She is a good actress and a trendsetter among the youth, especially the girls.

Varun Dhawan

Varun Dhawan is a future Govinda and Salman Khan. Of all the newcomers, he is the only one who has mass appeal and already has a huge fan following among people of all ages.

Sidharth Malhotra

He is very famous among young women and this was evident in Hasee Toh Phasee and now Ek Villain, which looks extremely promising.


Dhanush is already a superstar in the South but his film Raanjhanaa was also superhit. He is very promising.

Sunil Bansal, Yash Raj Jai Pictures (Rajasthan)

Sushant Singh Rajput

He definitely has potential, which is why Yash Raj is backing him. He already had a legion of fans in the television audience and when he debuted to Hindi films, his fan following swelled. So far, all his films have done good business in Rajasthan and I hope they continue to do well too.

Varun Dhawan, Sidharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt

One might assume that their first film did well because they were launched by Karan Johar. But all three of them have chosen some really good scripts after their first film and are doing quality films. All three actors are very popular in our circuit, especially Alia Bhatt.

Arjun Kapoor

Arjun is different from the new lot as he can portray angst very convincingly and has been doing some massy films. He is very popular among women across age groups. Most of his films have done good business, which shows he is someone to look forward.

Yami Gautam

She is good but not in the big league. She doesn’t have mass appeal and needs to choose the right projects.

Taapsee Pannu

She is second lead material. Her acting skills may be good but the audience would not watch a film for her performance alone.

Harsh Jain, Sanman Group (CI)

Varun Dhawan

Varun Dhawan has mass appeal and is very famous across demographics. During Main Tera Hero, we saw girls going mad about him. As a result, his next Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya will take a grand opening.

Alia Bhatt

With Highway, Alia Bhatt raised the bar for herself and everyone went to watch 2 States to see what else she could do. She is very popular, and young girls love her style.

Ayushmann Khuranna

He doesn’t seem like a star; he is more a television star.

Manoj Desai, Exhibitor, G7 and Maratha Mandir

Today, it’s the script that makes you famous and that’s why newcomers’ films also rake in Rs 100 crore. But that’s no guarantee that your next film will also will also be a superhit. For instance. Ayushmann Khuranna’s first film Vicky Donor was such a classic film but the rest of his films didn’t do well at the ticket counter.

Student Of The Year Star Cast

Of the newer lot, we have the SOTY star cast to look forward to. Each one has been doing films that are different from what the others are doing and has a good line-up for the rest of the year.

Anonymous's picture