Bollywood, more often than not, sticks to a tried and tested casting method – namely elder male leads playing college students and romancing younger stars. But there have been times when actors were cast for their ability to play a role, irrespective of their actual age.
Like these performances, where it wasn’t just makeup and styling that elevated the performance – it was how the actors perfected the mannerisms of a character that was nowhere near their actual age:
1- Amitabh Bachchan in Paa
While there is no discounting the brilliance of the team of artists who transformed a 66-year-old man (at the time) to a 12-year-old child, you can not ignore the excellence with which Amitabh Bachchan portrayed apreadolescent boy. From his actions and speech patterns to the emotional range of a young boy, Amitabh Bachchan nailed the role.
2- Anil Kapoor in Lamhe
In a movie that is considered as one of the most romantic movies of all time, Anil Kapoor’s character arc was equally brilliant. And despite being in his 30s, he excellently played the role of an older man, who falls in love with a girl 20 years his junior.
3- Kamal Haasan in Hindustani
There is no doubt that Kamal Haasan is a pro at transforming himself for a character. Remember Chachi 420 ? Hindustani was no different. Kamal Haasan was only 40 years old when he transformed himself into a 70-year-old vigilante. Not only does this remain one of the finest movies of all times, his performance was as realistic as ever.
4- Aishwarya Rai in Sarbjit
Aishwarya Rai is the diva of Bollywood, be it on screen, or off screen. And yet, her portrayal of a bereaved 60-year-old sister was right on point. She gave one of the strongest performances of her career with Sarbjit and proved that roles should not be defined by age.
5- Priyanka Chopra in 7 Khoon Maaf
Priyanka Chopra was the queen of transformations in this movie. Showcasing the different phases of Susanna, when she herself was only 29 years old, proved her versatility as an actor. As Susanna, she aged from a young 20-year-old to an experienced old lady in the span of the movie, and not a single phase seemed unrealistic.
6- Rishi Kapoor in Kapoor & Sons
The lovable, slightly outrageous, but completely adorable dadaji of Kapoor & Sons was the soul of this family drama. And it was especially admirable how the 63- year-old actor (at the time) played a 90-year-old grandfather.
7- Ranbir Kapoor in Sanju
35-year-old Ranbir Kapoor’s transformation into the 58-year-old Sanjay Dutt was the talk of the town when the first look of Sanju was released. But while the physical transformation can be attributed to the people behind the camera , there is no denying the fact that Ranbir Kapoor gave a phenomenal performance in front of the camera.
8- Rajkumar Rao in Raabta
In the past few years, Rajkummar Rao has become one of the most sought-after actors in Bollywood. He has played diverse roles proving his versatility. Rao played a 324-year-old man in Raabta, which is much much more than his actual age and underwent a transformation that made him entirely unrecognizable.
9- Shahrukh Khan in Veer-Zaara
Shah Rukh plays a middle-aged old-timer rotting inside a Pakistan prison until Rani Mukerji decides to fight his case in Yash Chopra’s cross-border romance, Veer Zaara. He was 39 year old at that time.
10- Abhishek Bachchan in Guru
In the critically acclaimed Guru, Abhishek treads the growth of his character, modeled around Dhirubhai Ambani, as the rookie entrepreneur who dedicates his life to setting up a formidable business empire. Abhishek was 31 at the time.