We have all grown up watching Bollywood movies and it comes as no surprise that the leading actresses have all shied away from playing ‘sisters’, especially to leading actors. It is considered quite a taboo for the fear of being ‘typecast’. The quintessential bollywood sister has always been a character actor like Farida Jalal or Tanvi Azmi.
But there have been a few, a very few, strong-willed and free thinking bollywood actresses who broke the rules and gave the audiences something fresh. They played sisters to their leading actors and in equally strong and meaty roles while continuing to play their love interests in other movies.
DCW rounded up five such talented Indian actresses who broke the mold.
Priyanka Chopra – Dil Dhadakne Do
Starting with the most recent, Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh brought life to ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ with their excellent chemistry as siblings Ayesha and Kabir Mehra. It was only last year that Priyanka played Ranveer’s love interest in ‘Gunday’. Breaking moulds is not something new for Priyanka. From playing the villain in ‘Aitraaz’ and cutting an international album to her recent debut on American television, she has always managed to set herself apart from the rest of the lot.
Aishwarya Rai – Josh
Another former Miss World, Aishwarya Rai, also believed in taking the path less traveled. In the year 2000, she did two movies with Shahrukh Khan – Josh, in which she played his sister and Mohabbatein, in which she played his love interest. Both the movies were super hit but their camaraderie as Max and Shirley in Josh is remembered even today.
Karishma Kapoor – Fiza
Although Karishma Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan have never been paired in any other movie, she did the unthinkable. In the same year as Josh, she played the elder sister to the hearthrob of millions, in the critically acclaimed Fiza. When most actresses would not even consider playing a younger sister, Karishma agreed to do the unconventional role of ‘Fiza’, who sets out in search of her younger brother who has gone missing. Her role in the movie had many shades and was undoubtedly one of the strongest female characters written in India.
Kareena Kapoor – K3G
One year later, in 2001, Karishma’s little sister Kareena Kapoor followed in her footsteps. Although, technically speaking, Kareena is still not one of the bollywood actresses who played sisters, but her role in Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham was almost similar. She played the younger sister-in-law of Shahrukh Khan who is shown to treat her almost like a little sister in the movie. From reprimanding her for wearing short clothes and frowning upon her dates, he is everything a Big brother is supposed to be. I believe she earns her place in this list with this role. Again, in the same year, she played Shahrukh Khan’s love interest in theepic historical drama ‘Asoka’ and continued to work with him in blockbuster hits like Don and Ra.One.
Zeenat Aman – Hare Rama Hare Krishna
Long before the modern day actresses gave it a thought, Zeenat Aman shocked the country by her bold decision to play sister to the favorite lead actor- Dev Anand. And they made history of sorts with that movie! Hare Rama Hare Krishna was a cult movie dealing with issues like drugs, divorce, troubled childhood and hippie culture through the central brother-sister plot. Other than the phenomenal ‘Dum Maaro Dum’ the movie gave us the favorite Raksha Bandhan song – ‘Phoolon ka taron ka sabka kehna hai, Ek hazaaron mein meri behna hai’. Defying the popular myth of being ‘typecast’ as Dev Anand’s sister, Zeenat Aman then went on to do many more superhit movies with him like ‘Heera Panna’ and ‘Darling Darling’.
A big thanks to all these strong women for taking the lead to portray this unexplored sentiment on the big screen. I hope there are many, many more who will follow in their footsteps. Which one is your favorite? Do leave your comments below!