When Bollywood stars were inspired by real life icons
Sonakshi Sinha does a Laila while Raj Kapoor aced the Charlie Chaplin walk.
If Tom Cruise’s look in Rock of Ages was inspired by rock idols Axl Rose, Bret Michaels and Bon Jovi, Johnny Depp’s avatar in Lone Ranger is based on Kirby Sattler’s painting I am Crow.
At home too, filmmakers and stylists often travel back in time or to Hollywood to seek real personalities for ideas to present its protagonists with realism, novelty or interest.
Here’s a look at when Bollywood stars modelled their look in a movie after a real life icon.
Sonakshi Sinha, Holiday
In the upcoming movie Holiday, Sonakshi Sinha plays a younger boxer and sports sleek cornrows too.
And her muse for this eye-catching look is none other Laila, retired three-time world heavyweight boxing champion and daughter of boxing legend, Muhammad Ali.
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Image: Laila Ali, Sonakshi Sinha in Holiday
The 24-year-old South sensation tried to fill in Sridevi’s shoes and styling for Sajid Khan’s remake of Himmatwala.
Be it the skin-tight leather bodysuit or copying Naino Mein Sapna to the T, Tamanna leaves no stone unturned in trying to impersonate the erstwhile reigning queen.
Image: Sridevi in Himmatwala, Tamanna in Himmatwala (2014)
Sanjay Dutt, Agneepath
Playing the physically ferocious version of Kancha Cheena, originally played by the suave Danny Denzongpa, required Sanjay Dutt to shave off his hair and slip into an all-black ensemble.
Dutt’s Kancha Cheena takes obvious inspiration from Marlon Brando’s look in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now.
Image: Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now, Sanjay Dutt in Agneepath
Antara Mali, Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon
With a title and theme like Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon, it’s only fair to expect Antara Mali mimicking the Tezaab actress to the hilt.
And she does.
From Ek Do Teen to Sailaab’s sizzling Humko Aaj Kal Hai Intezar dance, Antara does a perfect Madhuri Dixit
Image: Madhuri Dixit in Sailaab, Antara Mali in Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon
Rani Mukerji, Aiyyaa
Sridevi’s stunning blend of sizzle and histrionics has inspired an entire generation of actresses.
Looks like Rani Mukerji watched the actress in good doses. It surely reflects in her flawless reproduction of Sri’s memorable blue sari dance in Mr India as the foolish, filmi Meenakshi in Aiyyaa.
Image: Sridevi in Mr.India, Rani Mukerji in Aiyyaa
Katrina Kaif, Raajneeti
In Prakash Jha’s political drama Raajneeti, which marries the plot points of Mahabharata with contemporary narrative, Katrina Kaif attracted notice with her serious portrayal of a politician’s wife compelled to contest elections after his tragic demise.
It’s not hard to notice Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s influences in the grace and diplomatic nuances Kat captures in her performance.
Image: Katrina Kaif in Rajeneeti, Sonia Gandhi
Priyanka Chopra, Teri Meri Kahani
The perky, impish and playful adas of Mumtaz inspires Priyanka Chopra’s first segment, portraying a Hindi film actress in Teri Meri Kahaani, which is narrated in three different timelines.
And PC nails Mumu’s famous pout and Aaj Kal Tere Mere Pyaar Ke Charche moves and drape rather daintily in this rom-com, which otherwise tanked at the box office.
Image: Mumtaz, Priyanka Chopra in Teri Meri Kahaani
Jackie Shroff, Bhoot Unkle
Call it lack of inspiration or plain plagiarism, but no prizes for guessing Jackie Shroff’s poor man’s pirate is a Jack Sparrow rip-off.
Incidentally, Johnny Depp modelled his performance in the super-hit franchise on the Rolling Stones’ guitarist, Keith Richards.
Image: Johnny Depp in Pirates Of The Caribbean, Jackie Shroff in Bhoot Unkle
Prachi Desai, Once Upon A Time In Mumbai
Set in the 1970s, Milan Luthria’s crime caper uses a lot of props and souvenirs from the retro decade to add authenticity.
That explains Prachi Desai teasing her inner Dimple Kapadia in that iconic polka dot blouse and mini skirt from Bobby.
Image: Dimple Kapadia in Bobby, Prachi Desai in Once Upon A Time In Mumbai
Preity Zinta, Kal Ho Naa Ho
Preity Zinta’s bespectacled look and ironed hair chicness as Naina in Kal Ho Naa Ho made quite a fashion statement.
But a lot of credit for her look goes to Jenny aka Love Story’s Ali MacGraw.
Image: Ali MacGraw in Love Story and Preity Zinta in Kal Ho Naa Ho
Raj Kapoor, Shree 420
And if there’s one actor who paid visible tribute to his idol, Charlie Chaplin, it’s Raj Kapoor.
His characters in Awara and Shree 420 were modelled on the bumbling tramp and played on Chaplin's deprived but good-hearted persona that not only endeared moviegoers but also added to his common man appeal.
Image: Charlie Chaplin and Raj Kapoor in Shree 420