We have seen the leading male actors — the likes of Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar — romancing female actors on screen for years. And now that these actors have spent almost three decades in the industry, they are still doing the same but with way younger women. 

In the upcoming film, Atrangi Re, Akshay Kumar will feature as Sara Ali Khan’s love interest. The former is one of the  contemporaries of Sara’s father, Saif Ali Khan. The two actors have an age gap of 28 years. And we are not supposed to feel comfortable watching them romance on-screen with all that information in our head?

Source: Zee News

If the script requires, like it did in Cheeni Kum or Nishabd, the age-gap seems appropriate. However, Bollywood doesn’t abide by the script when it comes to casting the male actors. In the year 2022, too, we will see the phenomenon continue.  

1. Akshay Kumar and Manushi Chhillar in Prithviraj 

Akshay Kumar is one such actor who has been ‘leading’ this trend. Besides being paired with Sara Ali Khan, who is 26, he will soon be seen opposite the debutant Manushi Chhillar in Prithviraj. Chhillar (24) will play the role of Sanyogita, one of three wives of Prithviraj Chauhan.

Source: Pinkvilla

2. Ajay Devgn and Rakul Preet Singh in Runway 34 

This won’t be the first time we will watch Ajay Devgn and Rakul Preet Singh play each other’s love interest. Previously, the co-stars, who have an age gap of 21 years, featured in De De Pyaar De

Source: Koimoi

3. Prabhas and Pooja Hegde in Radhe Shyam

Even though the age gap here is comparatively lesser than the others, it’s still not unnoticeable. Prabhas (42) and Pooja Hegde (31), have been cast to star in the upcoming period sci-fi romantic drama. 

Source: TOI

4. Prabhas and Kriti Sanon in Adipurush

This year, Prabhas will be seen in the Hindu mythological film Adipurush alongside Kriti Sanon. And they, too, have an age gap of 11 years (we.are.not.amused).

Source: The Indian Express

5. John Abraham and Jacqueline Fernandez in Attack

The trailer of the film, Attack, drops a hint about the pairing of John Abraham and Jacqueline Fernandez. We would surely see Abraham romancing the actress who is 12 years junior to him. Although Rakul’s role is still under the wraps, it won’t come as a surprise if she plays John’s love interest. 

6. Ajay Devgn and Priyamani in Maidaan 

In the biographical sports film, Priyamani (37), has been cast opposite the leading actor Ajay Devgn (52). And that brings the age gap between them to 15 years. 

Since we are focusing on upcoming projects, the list seems shorter. Even if we pick the Bollywood films from past few years, we will surely find massive age gaps between the leads. Though there isn't a shortage of female leads with immense experience and talent, our filmmakers have somehow made a younger lead actress a mandatory factor lately. 

While actors such as Akshay keep landing younger roles, every passing year, the same rule doesn’t apply to female actors in the industry. On the contrary, they get replaced by much younger actresses. Case in point, in the remake of Tip Tip Barsa Pani made after 27 years, Raveena was replaced by Katrina but Akshay still remains the hero.