Fame, glitz and glamour define Bollywood. But with it come its share of shadows and underused talent.
There’s a horde of actors who play supporting roles to the protagonists, give the film a new lease of credibility and yet they go unnoticed. The stars walk away with the massive paycheck, and these actors slowly become ‘has-beens’.
We compile a list of some of the most significant actresses in mainstream Hindi films, who we hope eventually get their due in the future.
1- Divya Dutta
She is a familiar face known for doing roles as a supporting actress. Among the various roles she has done so far, Divya has been particularly applauded for her performance in the movie Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Veer-Zaara. Divya is a critically acclaimed actress, however not so famous among the masses.
2- Konkana Sen Sharma
Konkana is a queen of parallel cinema, but when it comes to mainstream films, she is yet to find her foothold. Despite her National Award win for Life In A Metro or her outstanding performance in Wake Up Sid, Konkana still largely remains unrecognised. She has proved time and again that she is an outstanding actress.
3- Lillete Dubey
We all remember her as the sexy lady from the movie Kal Ho Na Ho. Lillette gave some excellent performances in movies like Baghban, Chalte Chalte and Monsoon Wedding, but still is unknown to the commercial-movie watching audience.
4- Mahie Gill
Mahie Gill has always been an actress class apart from the other Bollywood ladies. From her performance in ‘Dev D’ to ‘Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster Returns’, she has excelled in roles that we cannot imagine other actresses in. Yet she has not got the fame she deserves.
5- Nandita Das
Making a mark in a series of films in the late 90s alternate cinema like Deepa Mehta’s Fire and Earth. She got so fed up with the regular fare of Bollywood, she took a sabbatical and directed the hard-hitting Firaaq. It’s Bollywood’s loss that she isn’t doing films anymore.
6- Radhika Apte
Famous for her sensational contribution to regional cinema (Bengali, Tamil, Marathi) she made a quiet, beautiful debut in Shor: In The City. After that, she followed it up with films like the critically-acclaimed Hunterrr and Badlapur. We hope to see many more brilliant performances before she is put down as an ‘art-house actress’.
7- Sandhya Mridul
She kick-started her career with hits like “Saathiya” and “Page 3” but later disappeared from the screen. Her adaptability and her propensity for taking non-traditionalist parts have made her a sweetheart of parallel movies. Her come-back with “Angry Indian Goddesses” shows her versatility and I wish to see more of her in the future.
8- Shilpa Shukla
You probably recognise her as Bindiya Naik from “Chak De! India”. This talented actress received the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress for her performance in “B.A. Pass”. But since then she is not seen in any other movie.
9- Supriya Pathak
She is a veteran. The Khichdi star is more than just a Hansa Parekh from the television series. From the 80s till now, Supriya Pathak has delighted audiences of every genre and generation. Be it as a young actress in Bazaar or playing the role of a matriarch in Ram-Leela, she is loved by everyone.
10- Swara Bhaskar
She played significant parts in Anand L Rai’s Tanu weds Manu and Raanjahana. She is a breath of fresh air in Bollywood which only seeks for tall, fair and plastic faced actresses without an iota of expression on their faces. Her girl-next-door looks and exotic features separate her from her contemporaries, who can hardly act and can only shed clothes in the form of entertainment.
Blame it on directors who are not able to gauge their talent or the box-office that have its own unusual way of functioning, these actresses make a cut above the rest.