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Images: Top models who became actors

Last updated on: November 19, 2010 17:33 IST

Images: Top models who became actors

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Yesterday, we brought you a list of sexy sirens who ditched fashion for films. Today, we bring you the many male models who have followed suit!

The Indian fashion scene is dominated by the fairer sex when it comes to modelling, but it's not just the ladies that make their way to the big-screen from the runway.

With their rippling muscles and six-pack abs, young good-looking guys are as keen to cash in on their hotness quotient by making the switch from fashion to films.

Here, we take a look at some of those who made the jump -- but were they all able to stay afloat?

John Abraham

His is arguably the biggest success story. Like girlfriend Bipasha Basu, Johnny Boy's career took off with modelling; he won the Gladrags Manhunt Contest in 1999 and participated in the international segment of the same pageant that year, coming in second.

He was seen on the ramps of Hong Kong, London and New York City, as well as in several TV commercials and music videos before he landed his debut role in Jism in 2003. It met with moderate success, but after a string of other roles, the movie Dhoom in 2004 catapulted him to superstardom.


Image: John Abraham
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh
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Arjun Rampal

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Now here's a dude who just wouldn't take no for an answer.

Arjun's modelling days saw him gain a level of recognition that is rare for males of the industry. Society's Face of the Year 1994 was in every fashion show that mattered, but when it came to movies, it was a seven-year struggle before there was even a sign of success.

After a string of insignificant roles from 2001 onward, Arjun finally made his breakthrough in a villainous role for Farah Khan's Om Shanti Om (2007). The next year, Rock On's box office success gave him another huge boost and it's safe to say that this hardworking hunk has finally arrived.


Image: Arjun Rampal
Photographs: Rediff Archives
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Dino Morea

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It was Bangalore-based fashion designer/choreographer Prasad Bidappa who discovered this handsome young man of mixed Italian-Indian lineage in Bangalore.

Dino then participated in the Gladrags Manhunt and came in second, going on to complete a successful stint of assignments, ad campaigns and music videos as a model.

While his debut film Pyar Mein Kabhi Kabhi (1999) tanked with a vengeance, his 2002 horror movie Raaz met with moderate success and he has since carved a place for himself in B-Town, although we're still awaiting a real blockbuster.


Image: Dino Morea
Photographs: Rediff Archives
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Milind Soman

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Other than Arjun, Milind is probably the only other male candidate who can claim the Indian supermodel tag.

The Maharashtrian looker was a smash hit in back in the '90s, appearing in all campaigns worth noting and creating a buzz with his appearance in Alisha Chinai's smash hit music video Made in India.

Unfortunately, to say that Milind's acting career never took off is an understatement. Despite trying his hand at it for over a decade, he remains best known for his unbelievably good looks even at the age of 45 and has moved into the production of movies and television series.


Image: Milind Soman
Photographs: Rediff Archives
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Rahul Dev

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Milind's contemporary and friend Rahul was also at the top of the modelling game a decade ago.

With his chiselled features and ripped bod, he has been the face of several leading designers and basked in the limelight of the ramp since 1993.

Rahul's acting skills have met with moderate success -- he has delivered a number of well-received performances, usually in a villainous role and even won the 2001 Filmfare Best Villain Award for the movie Champion.


Image: Rahul Dev
Photographs: Still from Khatron Ke Khiladi
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Randeep Hooda

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Now here's a macho man whose fame stemmed more from his movies than his modelling, athough he has been seen on the ramp and dabbled in print and television ads back in the day.

What sets Randeep apart from the rest of the men on this list is his interest in acting, which goes back to his school days. He took a great interest in theatre and was always participating in some play or the other right into his 20s, which ultimately, teamed with his modelling, got him noticed by none other than celebrated Indian moviemaker Mira Nair.

His launch in Monsoon Wedding (2001) was a great success and then followed some truly notable work in movies like Ram Gopal Verma's D (2004) and most recently, Once upon a time in Mumbaai, which released earlier this year.


Image: Randeep Hooda
Photographs: till from Karma, Confessions and Holi
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Samir Soni

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Samir gave up his career as an investment banker in New York to return to India and pursue modelling.

This move seemed to pay off when he landed his first acting role in a Hindi serial, Samandar, back in the early '90s.

After a string of soaps, he finally managed to set foot in Bollywood, although it was with the highly forgettable flick China Gate (1998), opposite Mamta Kulkarni. His second attempt in the 2003 multi-starrer Baghban was better received, but except for his blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments of success, he is yet to really make a statement with his acting.


Image: Samir Soni
Photographs: Rediff Archives
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Aryan Vaid

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Back in 2000, Aryan won the titles of both Mr India and Mr. International, so it's safe to say that he made quite an impact as a model.

However, acting is a different story. In an industry where success is rare and evasive, the young looker has been taking on role after role since 2001 and is yet to create the slightest impact. His most recent trip-up was in the box office disaster Veer earlier this year.

In fact, it is probably safe to say that he is best-known for his stint on reality show Bigg Boss a couple of years ago.


Image: Aryan Vaid
Photographs: Still from Sauda
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Shawar Ali

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Although he made it to Web India's list of the Top 100 Handsome Indian Men, coming in at Number 93, Shawar has not fared much better than Samir or Aryan in the acting department.

While in his modelling days he was right up there, working for the likes of even international designers like Calvin Klein, it looks like the well-built hunk is simply not cut out to act.

From his first disastrous attempt with Hawas in 2004, Shawar has, quite simply, been unable to get it right.


Image: Shawar Ali
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera
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Zulfi Sayed

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This 1997 Gladrags Manhunt contest winner is a recognisable face, but whether from his days in the fashion industry or from his movies, you decide.

Zulfi gained prominence with his stints in music videos for bigwigs like Anu Malik and Pankaj Udhas. He has also fronted several prestigious campaigns by well-known brands.

However, when it came to acting, he wasn't quite on the same page -- his appearances in films like Pyaasa (2002), Wajahh: A Reason to Kill (2003) and Deshdrohi (2008) have never clicked.


Image: Zulfi Sayed
Photographs: Rediff Archives
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Muzammil Ibrahim

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Another Gladrags Manhunt Contest winner, Muzammil hails from J&K and has landed several plum modelling assignments in his time, working with the likes of Maruti and Titan watches.

In fact, he even managed to land a contract in Italy, becoming the face of well-known label Guess for two years. Honoured as the The Best Male Model by the Times of India and The Hindustan Times for three years consecutively (2004-06), he moved into acting with Pooja Bhatt's Dhoka. His success in fashion, however, did not follow him into Bollywood.


Image: Muzammil Ibrahim
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera
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Jas Arora

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Remember this chocolate boy?

With his soulful eyes and cute dimples, Jas took the modelling world by storm when he first showed up. Assignments simply seemed to fall into his lap and his female fan following was so strong, it seemed like nothing could stand in his way when it came to stardom.

But fate had other plans. After a number of forgettable flops like Main Solah Baras Ki (1998), Chalte Chalte (2003) and Pyaar Ke Side Effects (2006), he has faded from the public eye. Will he still manage to surprise us? Only time will tell.


Image: Jas Arora
Photographs: Rediff Archives
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Deepak Malhotra

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Each time he showed up on the ramp, the women would swoon at his smashing good looks. With his silent, strong appeal, it seemed certain that he would go places.

Unfortunately, when onetime top model Deepak tried his hand at acting, it was the audiences that passed out! With a disastrous cameo in Lamhe (1991), on came another onslaught in Tejasvini (1994), following which it seems like he never found work in BTown again.


Image: Deepak Malhotra
Photographs: In an endorsement for Vimal Suitings
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Parvin Dabas

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While Preeti Jhangiani's hubby hasn't made a great impact in Bollywood, his performances in a couple of roles like Monsoon Wedding (2001) and Khosla Ka Ghosla (2006) prove that he's more than just a pretty face.

Parvin started off as a model and although he is not on the ramp, he continues to work in ad campaigns. Moreover, he has talent and plans to showcase it from behind the camera now in a directorial vein.


Image: Parvin Dabas
Photographs: Still from Monsoon Wedding
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Upen Patel

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Upen won Zee TV's supermodel hunt in 2002 and went on to model for biggies like Ermenegildo Zegna, Hugo Boss and Paul Smith as well as Wendell Rodrick and Vikram Phadnis closer to home.

Aside from fashion, his own sense of style was also recognised with two MTV India Most Stylish Male Awards.

As for his acting endeavours, they remain in limbo -- he won the IIFA Award for his debut in 36 China Town (2006) and his cameo in Namastey London (2007) was well-received too. However, other movies he worked in like Shakalaka Boom Boom (2007) and One Two Three (2008) got a lot of flack.

This year, he has taken off for foreign shores to brush up on his acting and script-writing skills. Will they bear fruit? We'll know soon enough!


Image: Upen Patel
Photographs: Rediff Archives
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