In demand even before the debut

ACCORDING to recent reports, model and actor Mugdha Godse has signed a three-movie deal with a production company that involves directors like Priyadarshan, David Dhawan, Nagesh Kukunoor and Madhur Bhandarkar. So well before the audience gives its verdict on her debut performance in Fashion, the actress has her hands full with future projects.

This is the case with most actors who’ve made their Bollywood debuts recently. The marketing machines for these debutants have been in overdrive, arranging media coverage, interviews and promos. So they’ve become stars even before anyone’s actually seen them on screen.

How much does the hype do for newbies? “The promotions and media attention help the actor for the first film. People need to know there’s a new face they need to look out for,” says actor Adhyayan Suman, who made his debut with Haal-e-Dil. “The publicity doesn’t help an actor bag more films. It’s the talent that gets noticed and decides future projects. The producers have an eye for talent and that’s why they they signed me for other projects. I consider myself very lucky,” says Adhyayan.

The dearth of fresh faces also sends producers on signing sprees, says Ram Mirchandani, executive vice-president of a production company that is also co-producing Fashion. “If an actor looks good in the promos and the publicity campaigns, we sign him up on the premise that he’ll have the potential to become a star. That’s a risk we have to take. Also, after a movie becomes a hit, the actor’s fee increases and he becomes less approachable because of date problems,” says Ram.

Adhyayan points out that superstars like Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan can’t do every film and that creates opportunities for newcomers. “It’s good for the industry that producers and directors have more options,” he says.

But actor Rajeev Khandelwal of Aamir fame believes in playing fair. “I didn’t sign any films before my debut was released. I waited for the film to release and the audience to give me their verdict. Then I signed a three-film deal with a production company,” says Rajeev.

Is insecurity also a reason most debutants sign other films before their first films release? “To each his own,” says Rajeev, adding, “There could be other reasons for other actors; they could be far-sighted. I just believe in playing a fair game.”


Deepika Padukone: Bachna Ae Haseeno, Chandni Chowk To China

Ranbir Kapoor: Bachna Ae Haseeno, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, Wake Up Sid

Harman Baweja: Victory, It’s My Life, What’s Your Raashee?, Chenab Gandhi

Imran Khan: Kidnap, Luck, Delhi Belly

Adhyayan Suman: Fast Forward, Raaz 2, Dewaana 2

Rajeev Khandelwal in Peter Gaya Kaam Se

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