40+ is Cool

Shah Rukh Khan

Aamir Khan Salman Khan Akshay Kumar Ajay Devgn
Bollywood can’t get enough of its good old, 40-plus actors—Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan
and Ajay Devgn. They ruled the roost in the 1990s and after two decades, they are still calling the shots
as they get the best films, meaty roles, highest remuneration and maximum media coverage.

Of course, there are Abhishek Bachchan and Hrithik Roshan and younger heroes like Shahid Kapoor,
Ranbir Kapoor, Imran Khan, Abhay Deol and Emraan Hashmi who are a rage, but old continues to be
gold at the box office.

Amitabh Bachchan, who is way beyond the 40-mark, has spent over four decades in the Hindi film
industry -- but the 68-year-old is nowhere close to fading. He is still playing main characters. After the
recent Bbuddah...Hoga Tera Baap, he is set to treat fans with Aarakshan, as well as the fifth season of
the reality show Kaun Banega Crorepati. And he isn’t hanging up his boots as long as his body works.
Other than Big B, Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Salman, Shah Rukh, Aamir, Ajay, Saif Ali Khan and Akshay
Kumar top the filmmakers’ wish list, as long as the script and budget are in tune with the stars.
These actors have proved their charm over and over again.

Salman, 45, proved he is still saleable with Dabangg, the biggest blockbuster of last year. He carried
forward his victorious streak in 2011 with the masala film Ready and his debut co-production Chillar
Party, which garnered critical acclaim.

The star is facing a receding hairline, but it is not coming in the way of his success. He is now gearing up
to entertain fans with Bodyguard, which is also expected to mint gold at the box office.
B-town 'badshah' Shah Rukh’s 2010 film My Name Is Khan, a love story set against the backdrop of racial discrimination post-9/11, grossed an estimated $18 million at the worldwide box office in its opening weekend.

Now the 45-year-old, who is coping with a back problem and even has a few wrinkles, is coming up with
the two most awaited projects of the year -- his mega-budget home production Ra.One and Farhan
Akhtar’s Don 2: The Chase Continues.

At 46, Aamir is one of the most formidable stars. As an actor, director or producer, his films have set
new standards in the Hindi film industry. Over the years, he has lost his cute college-boy looks but is still
a craze.

Be it 3 Idiots in 2009, the satirical Peepli Live in 2010 or the recently released, cult, madcap comedy
Delhi Belly, Aamir’s USP of moulding himself and his work to suit the audience's taste has made him the
flavour of all seasons for Indian movie buffs.

From romancing to tickling the funny bone, these actors are doing all kinds of roles.
For instance, 42-year-old Ajay, who stands out for his intense acting, scored well at the box office with
the underworld drama Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai and the comedy Golmaal 3 last year. This year his
latest, Singham, a hardcore action movie, is already roaring loud at the box office.

Saif, who hit the 40-mark last year, is set to get experimental now. The 'Chhote Nawab' will be seen in
the serious role of a Dalit schoolteacher in Aarakshan. Later, he is expected to set the screen on fire with his home production Agent Vinod, in which he is said to have performed some mind-boggling stunts.
For the daredevil Akshay, the year 2010 was a bit of a damp squib with just one hit -- Sajid Khan’s

Housefull -- despite several other films like Khatta Meetha, Action Replayy and Tees Maar Khan.
The slump in his career graph continued this year with not-so-successful films like Patiala House and
Thank You, but that hasn’t affected Akshay’s stardom.

Hopefully, he will jump back into action with Desi Boyz, Joker and Housefull 2 in the near future. The 44-
year-old also has the Indo-Canadian film Breakaway lined up for release.

There are also 51-year-olds Anil and Sanjay who manage to enthuse audiences, no matter what. Sanjay
entertained with Double Dhamaal recently, while Anil is making headway to international shores with a
prestigious project like Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol.

As far as Bollywood goes, these stars are ageless..

October 2011

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