Priyanka Chopra
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The Bollywood newsmakers of 2015!

Priyanka Chopra

By HT

Mumbai, Dec. 31 --

MAKING WAVES GLOBALLY

Priyanka Chopra became a household name in the US this year. She feels these 12 months have been a real "learning experience" for her.

Priyanka Chopra

In 2012, the Bollywood actor did what no other Indian celebrity had done so far, let alone any Indian musician. She released her first single, 'In my city', featuring Will.I.Am. The song not only topped the music charts in India but also internationally, and got her immense fame. She followed that up with another single, 'Exotic', featuring Pitbull.

This year, Priyanka became the first Indian celebrity to play the protagonist in an American TV series, on one of USA's leading TV networks. Due to her show, Quantico, her face was splashed across billboards all over the country.

There's no denying that today, Priyanka has proven her mettle as an actor in India and overseas. Describing the year that has gone by, she says, "It has been extremely difficult to start all over again in a completely different world, but I'm so grateful to have been able to be part of so many wonderful things. It has been a great learning experience, and it's truly heart-warming."

TREAT FOR MOVIEGOERS

In a Bollywood career spanning nine years, Kabir Khan has directed films like Kabul Express (2006), New York (2009), Ek Tha Tiger (2012), Phantom and Bajrangi Bhaijaan. While most of his projects have done well in terms of their box-office numbers, they have also been lauded by critics and moviegoers alike. Starring Salman Khan, Kabir's Bajrangi Bhaijaan that released this year reportedly grossed more than ' 600 crore worldwide, and is considered the second highest grosser in India after Aamir Khan's PK (2014). Kabir also made Phantom, which was the only film Saif Ali Khan did this year. The director is currently working on his next, which will possibly feature Hrihtik Roshan in the lead.

BACK IN ACTION

In 2010, she starred in director Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Guzaarish, and in 2011, she became a mother. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan then went on a sabbatical before making a 'comeback' in director Sanjay Gupta's Jazbaa this year. But the beauty queen-turned-actor insists that she wasn't "absent" from the big screen. "I haven't felt being absent, though going by the time and the number of releases that we do have, of course, I wasn't making movies. But a lot of ladies who have experienced what I'm feeling right now will agree that we (mothers) have no concept of time. We don't realise how time flies by," she said, at the trailer launch of Jazbaa earlier this year. Aishwarya has signed a couple of other films too - a biopic on Sarabjit Singh that is being directed by Omung Kumar, and a movie by film-maker Karan Johar, which also stars Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma.

IN TUNE

One of the most prolific music makers in Bollywood, Pritam has had a great 2015. Towards the beginning of the year, music lovers enjoyed his versatile numbers from director Kabir Khan's Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Pritam's composition 'Afghan jalebi' from Phantom also did well. The soundtrack of director Rohit Shetty's latest release was the icing on the cake for the composer, who has spent over a decade in Bollywood. It's tracks 'Gerua', 'Janam janam' and 'Manma emotion jaage' are currently topping the charts.

ON A ROLL

There has been no looking back for Nawazuddin Siddiqui since 2012, when he starred in Kahaani and Gangs Of Wasseypur. He continued to be on a roll last year (with his role in Kick), and made a stronger presence in 2015 with outings in films like Badlapur, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Manjhi - The Mountain Man. "I am doing both kinds of films - big, commercial ones as well as smaller projects - and it's important for me to create a differentiator [by playing different characters]. I don't want to have a set image," says Nawazuddin.

IT'S CENSORED!

In January, film-maker Pahlaj Nihalani became the chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). Since then, his tenure has been criticised for multiple reasons. He faced flak from Bollywood as well. From making a video to pay tribute to Prime Minister Narendra Modi (it put a serious question mark on his position), and censoring all the kissing scenes in the James Bond film, Spectre, to releasing a list of objectionable words, this year, Nihalani has been in the headlines more often than he would have perhaps wanted to be.

A PLEASANT SURPRISE

The enormous success of director SS Rajamouli's Bahubali came as a pleasant surprise to everyone. It changed the way dubbed films are perceived by Bollywood aficionados. It also became the first Hindi dubbed Telugu film to make ' 100 crore at the Bollywood box office.

Bahubali also happens to be the most expensive film ever made in the Indian film industry, with a planned budget of over ' 200 crore. While there was speculation that the film might not be able to recover its cost, the first part alone reportedly made ' 600 crore worldwide.