Bollywood is ruled by few. It has seen the same bunch of actors at the top for the past three decades and it doesn’t look like things are going to change in the foreseeable future. In all this time, there have been several talents who have made a mark every now and then, but Hindi movies have constantly let them down by not doing justice to their talent. Yes, that is because Bollywood films are driven by a ‘hero’ and acting prowess has hardly ever determined who gets films.

Here’s a list of 12 actors whose talents Bollywood didn’t properly exploit and therefore was only poorer for it:

1. Jaaved Jaaferi

Son of yesteryear character actor Jagdeep, Jaaved made his debut in Subhash Ghai’s Meri Jung where he played the role of Amrish Puri’s bratty son Vicky Thakraal. Quickly he made a name for himself as a break dancer and he co-hosted a dance show called Boogie Woogie. His sense of humour was much appreciated and even given bit-characters in Salaam Namaste and Shaurya, however he didn’t get his due.


2. Isha Sharvani

Making a debut in Subhash Ghai’s forgettable Kisna alongside Vivek Oberoi, Isha owes her best performance in Luck By Chance to Zoya Akhtar’s brilliant eye. Although she picked a few interesting films like Ajay Devgn’s remake of The Notebook and Bejoy Nambiar’s David where she was paired alongside Vikram as a mute girl, she quickly got lost in a sea of pretty faces.


3. Ashutosh Rana

He was arguably the most fearful villain of the 90s when he did Dushman and Sangharsh back to back. And he quickly got stereotyped into characters of the evil policeman or the villain in movies like Badal, Kasoor and even the brilliant Haasil. We saw him back in an adorable character as that of Alia Bhatt’s father in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya.


4. Riteish Deshmukh

As the son of a politician, Riteish Deshmukh reeked of nepotism as he made his debut in a B-grade film, Tujhe Meri Kasam. However, he soon found his feet and filmmakers discovered his excellent comic timing in films which were probably more crass than he would have liked them to be. There’s no equal to Deshmukh’s portrayal of a woman in Sangeeth Sivan’s Apna Sapna Money Money. He has again confirmed his ability in Ek Villain showing how he was wasted as an actor.


5. Chandrachur Singh

He did a string of films in the late 90s including Kya Kehna, Josh and Daag: The Fire and quickly evaporated from the scene barring a few patriotic films in the early 2000s. He was last seen in Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist where he even sings a ghazal.


6. Shreyas Talpade

He had the world at his feet after making his debut in Nagesh Kukunoor’s Iqbal and even went on to star with Shah Rukh Khan in Om Shanti Om. A few bad movie choices later, he still hasn’t been given his due as an actor. He was last seen in Inder Kumar’s Great Grand Masti where he marries a bosom-heavy Urvashi Rautela.

Mid Day

7. Rahul Bose

The favourite son of Indian independent cinema, Bose had his fair share of films working with directors ranging from Dev Benegal, Aparna Sen and several new and upcoming filmmakers. Lately, Bollywood doesn’t know what to do with him apart from Zoya Akhtar’s Dil Dhadakne Do (which he was amazing in). Besides being a marathoner and India’s rugby captain, Bose deserves more sensible offers from Bollywood.


8. Mahi Gill

Making a stunning debut in Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D, Gill was another victim of getting typecast into roles of edgy women and alcoholics. Very quickly, performance-oriented roles and even her gig in the Zanjeer remake went unnoticed because of the film’s overall failure.


9. Vivek Oberoi

Starting out in Ram Gopal Varma’s Company, where he went toe-to-toe with an in-form Ajay Devgn, Oberoi made a brilliant start. And then lost the plot after his controversial altercation with Salman Khan, which is when film offers began to dry up. He’s a good actor and deserves more roles as proved by his role in Rensil D’Silva’s Kurbaan.


10. Randeep Hooda

He was discovered in Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding, where Randeep played an NRI cousin of the family, and formally became Naseeruddin Shah’s protege. He spent a while trying to make it as a Bollywood hero as he did films like D and Risk. And even though he might have rendered a committed performance in Omung Kumar’s Sarbjit, Bollywood still has to give him his due as an actor. By making a movie worthy of his performance.


11. Arshad Warsi

Making his debut alongside Chandrachur Singh in Tere Mere Sapne, Warsi lost the plot early on and then made a comeback with Rajkumar Hirani’s Munnabhai movies where he played Circuit. He did a few gritty movies like Sehar, Ishqiya and Jolly LLB, but the actor is still far from getting his due as an actor.


12. Kunal Khemu

A child-star in Mahesh Bhatt’s Zakhm, he made his debut as an adult in Mohit Suri’s Kalyug. He made a few movies like 99, Traffic Signal and then went on to co-write the dialogues of Go Goa Gone which was a moderate success. The actor hasn’t made any significant strides in his Bollywood career since then.


More work for them.