New Delhi: Whoever thought models just know how to flaunt their pretty faces and svelte figures, the current crop of Bollywood leading ladies are here to dispel your notion!
From Aishwarya Rai and Sushmita Sen to Priyanka Chopra and Katrina Kaif - these top rung actresses have proved time and again that models can indeed act!
Of course, there have been male models like John Abraham, Arjun Rampal, Sonu Sood, Dino Morea, Milind Soman, Rahul Dev, Arjan Bajwa and Rajneesh Duggal, who made a successful transition from the ramp to the big screen. But the women outnumber them and have garnered more success in the glitzy and glamourous Hindi film industry.
In the 1970s, Zeenat Aman shifted from the ramp to the silver screen, setting the trend for many young girls. Even Juhi Chawla followed in her footsteps and made it big in Bollywood. Here`s a list of some of the present-day actresses, who made a name in the modelling world and are blazing a trail in the film industry.
Aishwarya Rai: Her`s is quite a fairytale. After being crowned Miss World in 1994, she worked in Tamil films, moved to Bollywood and earned international fame through film projects and appearances at prestigious events across the shores. Counted among the world`s most beautiful women, Aishwarya has proved her acting mettle in films like `Taal`, `Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam`, `Devdas`, `Guru` and `Guzaarish`. In 2009, she was given the Padmi Shri, India`s fourth highest civilian honour, for her contribution to cinema.
Priyanka Chopra: At 29, Priyanka is a former Miss World, has featured in over two dozen films, is a National award winner and is now ready to break musical grounds internationally. One of the most versatile actresses, her work has been appreciated in films like `Fashion`, `Dostana`, `Kaminey` and `Saat Khoon Maaf`. She features in some of the most awaited films - `RA.One`, `Don 2: The Chase Continues` and the remake of `Agneepath`.
Katrina Kaif: Hits after hits -- that`s Katrina for you. After `Boom`, which bombed at box office, this 27-year-old, who started as a model in London at the age of 14, has seen happy times in tinsel town. With six back-to-back hits -- `Namastey London`, `Apne`, `Partner`, `Welcome`, `Race` and `Singh Is Kinng` - this `Sheila` girl proved her critics wrong and followed up her success with `Raajneeti` and more recently, `Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara`.
Deepika Padukone: A successful model, Deepika bagged a dream debut in `Om Shanti Om` opposite Bollywood king Shah Rukh Khan. Her subsequent report card was average, with projects like `Bachna Ae Haseeno`, `Chandni Chowk to China`, `Love Aaj Kal`, `Housefull` and `Lafangey Parindey`. She also turned experimental with a de-glam role in `Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey`. She will soon be seen in Prakash Jha`s `Aarakshan`.
Bipasha Basu: The dusky Bengali beauty, a former supermodel, has improved by leaps and bounds over a decade of her film journey. From `Ajnabee` in 2001 to the latest `Dum Maaro Dum`, she has come a long way, thanks to projects like `Jism`, `Raaz`, `Corporate`, `No Entry`, `Dhoom 2`, `Race` and others. She is now going international with Roland Joffe`s `Singularity`.
Lara Dutta: A charming former Miss Universe, Lara won a Filmfare best female debut award for `Andaaz` in 2003. With not many hits in her kitty, Lara still managed to impress audiences with her performance in films like `Masti`, `No Entry`, `Partner` and `Housefull`. She also diversified into production with `Chalo Dilli` earlier this year, and is busy enjoying her mommy-to-be status nowadays.
Neha Dhupia: Miss India Universe 2002, Neha doesn`t have a quintessential Bollywood face and style, nor is her choice of films typically Bollywood. She may not have given super duper hits, but has won praises for films like `Kyaa Kool Hai Hum`, `Shootout at Lokhandwala`, `Ek Chalis Ki Last Local`, `Mithya`, `Singh Is Kingg` and `Dasvidaniya`. In her latest release "Dear Friend Hitler", Neha plays Eva Braun, the longtime companion of German dictator Adolf Hitler.
Dia Mirza: Dia has no major money spinners to her name, but she has films like `Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein`, `Lage Raho Munnabhai`, `Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd` and `Kurbaan` to her credit. Like Lara, she has now gone a step ahead and launched her own production company and is starring in its first project `Love Breakups Zindagi`.