It’s no surprise that Bollywood is a challenging space to thrive in. And, it hurts to see how artists of calibre are sometimes overlooked in the industry. 

Some actresses are frequently lauded for their glamorous roles in films, however the true gems go unnoticed. Today, we have compiled a list of real divas who are more than just Bollywood ‘heroines’ and deserve more big screen presence.

1. Kirti Kulhari 

Kirti Kulhari has always wowed the audience with her performance, and we definitely want to see more of her on the big screen. Kirti made her Bollywood debut with Khichdi: The movie (2010). Ever since she has worked in Pink, Blackmail, Uri: The surgical strike, The Girl on the Train and has received huge appreciation for the Amazon Prime series Four More Shots Please!


2. Tilotama Shome

Tillotama Shome has won hearts and awards for her talent, yet we don’t see her in Hindi cinema as much as we would want. Recently, she won the Best Actress award for the film Raahgir at South Asian Film Festival. Tillotama has delivered some exceptional performances in Monsoon Wedding, Chintu Ka Birthday, Hindi Medium and Angrezi Medium. 


3. Kriti Sanon

Kriti Sanon is famed for pulling of any role with grace. She has never failed to hit headlines with her dazzling performances in Mimi, Panipat, Raabta, Luka Chhupi, primarily. We just can’t seem to get enough of her.


4. Sanya Malhotra

It was 2016, we watched Dangal and since then we are in awe of this brilliant actress. Sanya has always exceeded our expectations with her roles in Ludo, Badhaai ho, Phototgraph and quite recently in Pagglait. She needs more big screen presence as she deserves it. 

DNA India

5. Radhika Madan

Radhika Madan has made a successful transition from television to big screen. From daily soap Meri Aashiqui Tum Se Hi, in 2014 to playing a lead in Angrezi Medium with Irrfan Khan, she has come a long way. We absolutely wish to see more of Madan in Bollywood!


6. Nimrat Kaur

Nimrat Kaur is massively underrated. Period. After her critically acclaimed role in Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox, we have longed to see more of her in Bollywood. Nimrat’s role in Raja Krishna Menon’s Airlift alongside Akshay Kumar has also been applaudable. 


8. Sobhita Dhulipala

Dhulipala made her acting debut in Anurag Kashyap’s thriller Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016), followed by Telugu spy film Goodachari (2018) and the Amazon Video drama series Made in Heaven (2019) where she has proved her calibre.


8. Konkona Sen Sharma

Despite the fact that Konkana Sen Sharma has given standout performances in films such as Lipstick Under My Burkha, Luck By Chance and Wake Up Sid, we don’t spot her on the big screen very often. Recently, she stunned the audience with her exceptionally wonderful role in Ajeeb Daastaans. 


9. Rasika Duggal

Rasika of Mirzapur has been around for a long time, although she admits to only being contacted for supporting roles. Those who have seen her on screen know she is a fantastic actress who deserves more!  A Suitable Boy, Out of Love, and Delhi Crime are some of the popular shows she has worked in.


10. Zoya Hussain

Zoya Hussain, who was recently cast in Ankahi Kahaniya, has once again charmed the audience. She was previously appreciated for her performance in Mukkabaaz


11. Shahana Goswami

Shahana Goswami has done a brilliant job in Rock On, Tu Hai Mera Sunday, Rubaroo, and JashnnThe Last Hour is a significant step forward for Shahana, yet we want to see more of her in the mainstream Bollywood. 


12. Amruta Subhash

Amruta Subhash has worked in Marathi and Hindi cinema, as well as television and theatre. She was starred against Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Sacred Games 2, and she garnered praise for her work in the Netflix film Choked: Paisa Bolta Hai. She was also seen in Gully boy and deserves to be known by her first name by mainstream Bollywood.


13. Sayani Gupta

Sayani is simply flawless when it comes to her roles. Mostly she has appeared in supporting roles for films such as Fan (2016), Jolly LLB 2 (2017) and Article 15 (2019). Ever since her role in Four More Shots Please! her potential to conquer the industry was uncovered. 


14. Richa Chadha

Richa has become a household name among cinema buffs since Gangs Of Wasseypur and Fukrey series. However, because she lacks a more widespread presence, mainstream viewers are yet to discover her brilliance.


15. Kubbra Sait

With her extra-ordinary depiction of Kuckoo in Sacred Games, Kubra has defied many gender stereotypes. However, for all we know, Kubra Sait is mainly offered supporting roles in big productions such as Guly Boy, Jawaani Jaaneman and many other films.


16. Kalki Koechlin 

Kalki is certainly an unconvention force in the industry. With her parts in Gully Boy, Shaitaan, Margarita with a Straw and Netflix’s Sacred Games, she has left an indelible mark. We can’t get enough of watching her in different roles. 


So, whom are you rooting for?