Akshay Kumar
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Bollywood Movies: Keeping it fresh!

Akshay Kumar

By HT

Mumbai, March 24 -- What's common amongst Shah Rukh Khan, Ajay Devgn, Hrithik Roshan and Akshay Kumar? Besides the fact that they are successful actors, all of them are set to work with a new set of actresses in their upcoming ventures.

While Shriya Saran will star opposite Ajay in Nishikant Kamat's Drishyam remake, SRK will be seen with Pakistani actor Mahira Khan in Rahul Dholakia's Raees.

"As a film-maker, what works best with non-regular casting is that you - as the audience - would believe the character more than concentrating on the image of the star. We auditioned other girls, too, for the part, but Mahira acts and looks the part," says Dholakia.

The makers of Akshay's next, Airlift, that will see him sharing screen space with Nimrat Kaur, echo a similar thought. "Our intention is to do justice to our script. We didn't want to go for a 'set-up' project where our hero has to have a specific kind of heroine," says producer Bhushan Kumar about roping in Nimrat. Akshay will also be seen with Shruti Haasan in his next, Gabbar Is Back.

In other instances, while Shah Rukh will be seen opposite Waluscha De Sousa in Fan, Hrithik Roshan will have model-turned-actor Pooja Hegde with him in Ashutosh Gowariker's Mohenjo Daro. "Pooja is very natural as an actress and has the poise that will make the character attractive and endearing. Both these strengths, with a degree of freshness, add the required spark to my film's love story," says Gowariker.

Last year, Salman Khan, too, starred opposite Daisy Shah who, before her Bollywood debut, had worked as an assistant to choreographer Ganesh Acharya for 10 years.

Industry experts also point out technical reasons for this development. "At present, Bollywood doesn't have more than five-six female stars. And each of them can do a maximum of three films, which means 15 films per year starring them. But we make over 350 Hindi films in a year. So, we need more actresses. Also, when you cast a new girl, date issues are taken care of. Otherwise, matching date diaries of two busy actors - male and female - becomes a problem," says exhibitor-distributor Akshaye Rathi.