Can Sushant Singh Rajput do a Shah Rukh Khan in Bollywood?

By ZRG | Updated: Feb 02, 2013, 16:52 PM IST

Ankita Chakrabarty/ Zee Research Group

It is a dream that they want to live in reality!

Having made the grade on the small screen, they take the big leap with a prayer on their lips that the switch would make them a Shah Rukh Khan or a Vidya Balan. Nothing wrong with the aspiration except that the facts suggest otherwise.

With the idiot box making them a household name, every year there has been a growing number of actors and actresses who join Bollywood to strike it rich there. Surely many of them scaled up turning impressive performances.

But the million dollar question that begs an answer is as to how many of them actually have the potential to emulate their role models King Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) and the Oo La La girl (Vidya Balan), both of whom used the small screen to launch themselves into the entertainment world.

The current year will see small screen heartthrobs ‘Sushant Singh Rajput’ and ‘Amit Sadh’ making their Bollywood debut with the movie ‘Kai Po Che!,’ which is slated for a February release.

There are many such actors and actresses who have had a stint on TV before entering Bollywood. Few have been successful to carve a niche for themselves but not all. It seems to be a mixed bag.

Last year, Ayushmann Khurrana and Yami Gautam made their debut with the movie ‘Vicky Donor’. The movie was appreciated for its unique storyline and the good performances of the protagonists led them to win debut awards at many award functions this year. In 2012 itself, Pulkit Samrat, another TV actor famous for his role as ‘Lakshya’ in Ekta Kapoor’s serial made his debut in ‘Bittoo Boss’ which bombed at the Box Office.

R. Madhavan started his acting career with TV serials in early 90s like ‘Banegi Apni Baat’, Sea Hawks’ and ‘Ghar Jamia ‘and later graduated to movies. Although he was not as successful as ‘Shah Rukh Khan’ in Bollywood yet he is considered the ‘Shah Rukh Khan’ of the south.

‘Amar Upadhyay’ who earned fame with his role of ‘Mihir’ in Ekta Kapoor’s serial also tried a lot to settle in the industry but failed to create ripples at the box –office. But does he symbolise the trend? Another actor who made it big both in Bollywood as well as in Hollywood is ‘Irrfan Khan’. He acted in several serials before jumping to films. Although never the leading hero yet his performance has earned him name and fame globally.

This means that there might yet be scope for established TV stars to aspire big for silver screen. Film reviewer and blogger, Ananya Bhattacharya, says, “The fate of TV stars in Bollywood doesn`t really appear bleak – people do want to see new faces, and from TV to films is a jump that many people usually undertake.”

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh says, “I do not differentiate between a TV actor and a film actor. Television actually helps in making a person more organised and disciplined which actually boosts one’s film career.” But the measure of success is another issue, especially since unlike in Hollywood several actors made it big on both the screens. These included ‘Leonardo Di Caprio’, ‘Jennifer Aniston’, and ‘George Clooney’.

TV actresses still struggle hard in comparison to their male counterparts to get substantial roles in Bollywood. Vidya Balan famous for her role as Radhika in ‘Hum Paanch’ made her Bollywood debut with the movie ‘Parineeta’ which gave her tremendous scope for showing her acting skills and after that there has been no looking back.

But the same doesn’t hold true for other actresses. For instance ‘Aamna Sharif’ has two or three movies to her list and all of them were disasters at the box –office. Post her Bollywood stint, in 2012, she made her TV comeback.

Film critic Bhattacharya says, “Sushant Singh Rajput shot to fame with Zee’s `Pavitra Rishta`. People loved him in the serial and he would now be seen in `Kai Po Che!’. Given the fact that it is based on Chetan Bhagat`s bestseller, the film might be able to connect with a large audience – but whether or not it turns its actors into superstars, is something only time would be able to answer!”