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Actresses’ diversity key to long Bollywood careers

Nita Naidoo, Bollywood File columnist. (SUBMITTED)

By Nita Naidoo, 24 hours Vancouver

Madhuri Dixit. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)

Madhuri Dixit. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)


Bollywood is benevolent to its favorites. The best-before dates that encroach on the careers of so many Hollywood actresses seem innocuous in the Indian film scene.

Once you’re in — you’re in, even if this means acting out the role of a high-school student for the rest of your life.

With this kind of longevity (and an equally virulent papa-razzi), it seems there could be nothing left to know about the stars of Bollywood. The Times of India, how-ever, has put together some surprising insight into some of its favorite leading ladies.

For example, did you know dancing wasn’t always a pre-requisite to acting in India? The original dancing diva is none other than Madhuri Dixit, who at 46 remains one of the country’s most versatile and talented actresses.

Over the years, the Mumbai native has garnered 13 Film-fare nominations (India’s equivalent to the Oscars), more than any other actress.

Vidya Balan also has a surprising secret. Recognized as staple of Hindi cinema, this powerful actress carved out a niche portraying remarkable women and shattering stereo-types, but success did not come easily.

Before being selected for her breakout role in Parineeta, Balan went through over 40 screen tests, complete with 17 make-up shoots. Before that, she was a serial actor on Ekta Kapoor’s Hum Paanch.

As a former Miss World, Priyanka Chopra, a popular ac-tress, model and pop star, is more than a pretty face. The 31-year-old has ambition and talent, including a few hidden ones.

As a teenager studying in the states, the Bihar native was chosen for the Opus Honour Choir, the only Indian selected to take part in the distinguished national-level choir group.

Bollywood’s Barbie doll, Katrina Kaif, is rumored to be the most photographed woman in India. What most people don’t know is that she began her glam career by modelling jewelry at age 14, and has been working ever since.

It seems tales of overnight success are more fictitious in Bollywood than the scripts. These leading ladies worked long and hard for their success, but somehow the determi-nation and hard work always get lost in the spotlight.

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