There has been a lot of buzz about the female lead in the Shaukeen (1982) remake. And now, Lisa Haydon is set to star opposite Akshay Kumar in the film.
The model-turned-actor will reprise Rati Agnihotri’s part from the original, while Akshay will play Mithun Chakraborty’s role. "We are excited because it will be Lisa’s first performance after her recent hit. She is the right combination of a good actor and a sensual, hot face," confirms director Abhishek Sharma.
Not only Akshay, but his contemporary Ajay Devgn, too, will have a model as his co-star in another film.
Former beauty queen Manasvi Mamgai will make her Bollywood debut opposite Ajay in director Prabhudheva’s next. And, in all likelihood, Vaani Kapoor is going to be Shah Rukh Khan’s leading lady in director Maneesh Sharma’s film. Supermodel Ujjwala Raut’s model sister Sonali Raut will also be seen in actor Himesh Reshammiya’s next.
When asked about the trend of models bagging Bollywood roles, trade analyst Taran Adarsh says, "Today, actors are turning into models by endorsing products and walking the ramp. Models have worked in front of crowds, so they have no hesitation, fear of the camera or public."
Models entering B-Town isn’t new, with Zeenat Aman and Juhi Chawla being among the first few who made the switch.
But the numbers have gone up over the past few years. Among the beauties who made the switch from the ramp to reel successfully are Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sushmita Sen and Priyanka Chopra, among others.
"First of all, models are extremely presentable and know how to face the camera and, in fact, make the best use of camera angles. So the next and natural step for them is to make the journey to movies," says film-maker Vikas Bahl, who cast Lisa in his recent film, Queen.
However, bagging a film doesn’t always translate into success for ramp queens. While several model-turned-actors have made it to the top, others are still trying to find a foothold in the industry (see box).
"I strongly believe that models can deliver, but it depends on what parts they are being cast in. You can’t cast them in any and every role," says director David Dhawan, who worked with another former model Nargis Fakhri, in his latest hit starring Varun Dhawan.