Meet Bollywood's Overnight Stars
Two of the most keenly awaited films of the year -- Ang Lee's Life Of Pi and Deepa Mehta's Midnight's Children -- have two things common between them -- both films are adaptations of critically acclaimed books, and the protagonists are relatively unknown actors, starring in the first major film of their careers.
While Ang Lee's Pi is being portrayed by Suraj Sharma Churai, a grad student enrolled in New Delhi's prestigious St Stephen's college, Midnight's Children's Salim Sinai is played by actor Satya Bhaba, who's mostly known for his minor role in Scott Pilgrim vs The World.
Whether these two actors join the make it big after their high profile films release remains to be seen. Meanwhile, here's looking at little-known actors, who turned stars overnight after the release of the most significant films of their careers in the last decade.
Image: Suraj Sharma Churai in Life Of Pi, Sathya Bhaba in Midnight's Children
After more than a decade of flitting from one non-descript role to another, things changed for the better.
He was first noticed as a no-nonsense cop in Sujoy Ghosh's Kahaani and later as the lead in Anurag Kashyap's magnificent Gangs Of Wasseypur 2.
In a world of buff bodies and theatrics, Siddiqui stands out with his modest physique and restrained performances.
Image: Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Gangs Of Wasseypur
A known face on television, Ayushmann Khurrana became a minor celebrity after winning the second season of Roadies.
But it was his 2012 debut in Shoojit Sircar's delightful comedy Vicky Donor that really put him on the map.
Word is, he's one of the most sought after actors in Bollywood at present.
Image: Ayushmann Khurrana with costar Yami Gautam in Vicky Donor
When promos of Mumbai lad Ranveer Singh's debut film Band Baaja Baraat started making the rounds on television channels, people grew sceptical about the starry-eyed debutant's unconventional looks and his film's fate at the box office.
Ranveer proved all his detractors wrong as he charmed the audience with his performance.
What a disarming delivery! Bread pakode ki kasam.
Image: Ranveer Singh in Band Baaja Baaraat
Rajat Barmecha, 23, won accolades from viewers and critics alike for his heart-warming performance in Vikramditya Motwane's Udaan.
The film has achieved the status of a cult classic ever since its release in 2010.
Image: Rajat Barmecha in Udaan
Freida Pinto and Dev Patel
The real life couple made quite a splash with their debut film, Slumdog Millionaire, which swept the Oscars in 2009.
The then Mumbai-based Pinto promptly migrated to the west where Hollywood directors of repute, designer labels and the press welcomed her with open arms and hailed her as the ultimate beauty. Dev Patel has also been consistently rising to fame.
Image: Dev Patel and Freida Pinto in Slumdog Millionaire
Shreyas Talpade was widely applauded for his performance as the deaf and mute Iqbal, who aspires to become a national level cricketer.
His irreverent performance made him a huge hit with cine-goers and put him in the big league.
He has since starred in several multi-starrer hits like Rohit Shetty's Golmaal series and Sajid Khan's Housefull 2.
Image: Shreyas Talpade with costar Shweta Prasad in Iqbal
It may be hard toi believe now but Vivek Oberoi was once the most promising actor in Bollywood.
In his debut film Company, he played a supporting role with so much finesse that he outshone veterans and the film's leads Ajay Devgn and Manisha Koirala.
His superlative debut performance paved way for roles in acclaimed films like Saathiya and Omkara.
Image: Vivek Oberoi in Company
Any story about overnight stars is incomplete without Hrithik Roshan.
His rise to superstardom after the release of his debut film Kaho Na... Pyar Hai was both meteoric and unprecendented.
After a few hiccups following his dream debut, the actor has gained a strong foothold in the film industry.
Image: Hrithik Roshan in Kaho Na... Pyar Hai