Mumbai, June 20 -- Senior stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan have long changed the perception of a producer usually being a senior, haggard-looking man, running from pillar to post to meet the demands of his cast.
Now, even younger names are joining the fray. Ranbir Kapoor (Jagga Jasoos), Anushka Sharma (NH10) and Dia Mirza (Bobby Jasoos) are all under 35 years of age, and are making their debuts as producers.
Riteish Deshmukh has already produced a few Marathi films. Priyanka Chopra and Shahid Kapoor also look set to join the bandwagon. While Priyanka is reportedly co-producing Madhur Bhandarkar's Madamji, Shahid is an equal partner in his next, Haider. However, he won't be taking credit as a producer.
At 26, Anushka is touted as the youngest producer. "I'm thrilled to get this chance so early in my career, and I couldn't have found a better project to kick-start this phase," she says.
Recently, Ranbir told a film portal that the trend is a great sign. "I want to collaborate with directors as a producer, and hence, I'm producing a movie with Anurag Basu. We are equal partners in it," he said. Win-win situation Trade analyst Taran Adarsh explains the phenomenon, saying, "Stars know that people come to watch films due to their name, so why not get their 'right' share of the pie? Senior stars have been doing it and, not surprisingly, it has percolated down to the younger ones."
For the actors starring in these films too, there are benefits. "The fact that Dia is an actor and a woman makes her that much more sensitive towards other actors. I couldn't believe it was only her second production because she and Sahil (Sangha; production partner) were so fantastic with people. And they are very creatively involved," says Vidya Balan, who stars in Bobby Jasoos.
Producer Bhushan Kumar observes that, interestingly, all these actors are partnering with studios or established producers, instead of going solo. He explains, "But it's a great trend because they'll be more realistic and involved (financially) when it comes to recovery."