Every year, Bollywood sees a barrage of new faces, new hopes and new aspirations. The year 2015 is no different and the industry is geared to welcome talented debutantes. Check out these hottest newbies, who are all set to make their marks and became stars, almost overnight.
Ayesha burst onto to the scene in 2005 with Sanjay Leela Bhasali’s Black. As a deaf, mute and blind girl she delivered a multilayered performance that undercut expectations. Though she went on to win awards for her performance she soon faded into oblivion. “I went back to school in Pondicherry as my parents were very particular that I get myself a good education,” explains the heir of Hidesign the leather accessories company. Post boarding school and whilst waiting to get into NYU for an acting course Ayesha landed in Mumbai for a short internship with Sanjay Suri. Her fondness for the camera bloomed into serious passion and she stayed back in the city to pursue her acting dreams. Auditions for over two months with Yashraj Films casting head Shanu Sharma led the child prodigy to bag a three film deal with the production house. The first film is slated to be Shekhar Kapoor’s futuristic Romeo & Juliet set in Mumbai in the future when water is the greatest wealth. Sushant Singh the male lead plays a boy from the lower city who steals into the higher city where he meets Ayesha.
Undaunted by the delay in her debut Ayesha says, “I am positive about the wait period as I know I am working on my art. I want to show the audience of what I am capable of with my first film.” The preparations for the big ticket debut include hectic schedule of a run in the morning followed by acting classes, dance classes, lip-synching, Hindi classes and so on. What’s her strategy to be ahead of the curve in Bollywood? “I am not worried about the competition. I just need to stay true to my art and creativity as an artist. As long as you are in the industry for the right reasons I believe things will happen naturally. I have the right team backing me.” When not honing her acting skills the equestrian sets off to Pondicherry to ride horses, write poetry and work on her brand of accessories – Ayesha.
Would she join the ranks of other phenomenally talented child actresses like Sridevi and Urmila Matondkar who grew up to be stars in their own right? Only time will tell.
As daughter of Karim Morani, Shah Rukh Khan’s closest friend, film producer and owner of Bollywood’s biggest event management company Zoa Morani’s Bollywood aspirations aren’t surprising to say the least. When kids her age were playing doll Zoa was touring the world and watching Karisma Kapoor and Shah Rukh Khan enthral audiences with their stage performances. “The energy was contagious and watching the actors on stage would give me goose bumps. I think that sowed the seed of acting in me,” she remembers.
After a dream debut with Shah Rukh Khan production Always Kabhi Kabhi Zoa faced some rough weather when the movie tanked at the box office. There was more bad news in store as another film with Shyam Benegal too fizzled out and her father Karim Morani was embroiled in the 2G scam. When it became hard to find good work Zoa immersed herself in theatre. But all that is behind her now as Zoa is now gearing up for the release of her film Bhaag Johnny co starring Kunal Khemu and directed by Shivam Nair.
A thriller shot in Thailand Bhaag Johnny also involves a lot of intense emoting and action sequences. “It was tough and we had to run through fields with dried grass and sometimes thorns. But we pulled through and the result was totally worth it,” says Zoa who is an ardent practitioner of Ashtang Yoga. A theatre enthusiast she has also acted in a couple of plays including Taj Mahal Ka Udghatan. For this Alia Bhatt fan the ultimate Bollywood dream is to work with Sushant Singh and Farhan Akhtar.
Between now and the new year, these actors will go from being relatively unknown to virtually omnipresent. Will they rule the marquee or fall by the wayside – only time and box office grosses will tell.
Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty’s daughter Athiya is poised for a debut with Salman Khan’s production Hero alongside another newcomer Sooraj Pancholi. “Growing up I wasn’t part of the film world and never visited dad’s sets. But I was always a Bollywood fanatic when it came to movies. I grew up watching DDLJ, Kuch kuch hota hain and Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham a zillion times,” says the 22 year old who wants to stay in the film industry for a very long time. It’s a dream debut as the Bajrangi Bhaijaan actor is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that that his best friend’s daughter gets the biggest opening on September 25th. Hero is a remake of the 80s super hit by the same name. Sooraj and Athiya are enacting the characters essayed by Jackie Shroff and Meenakshi Sheshadri in the yesteryears.