Double roles back in vogue in tinsel town

New Delhi, June 1 Shah Rukh Khan did it in 'Don' and then in 'Om Shanti Om'. Now Shahid Kapur and Akshay Kumar are also set to play twin avatars in their forthcoming films - the trend of double roles seems to be catching on in Bollywood again.

Monday, June 01, 2009 | 7:48:26 AM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) Shah Rukh Khan did it in 'Don' and then in 'Om Shanti Om'. Now Shahid Kapur and Akshay Kumar are also set to play twin avatars in their forthcoming films - the trend of double roles seems to be catching on in Bollywood again.

While Shahid plays two different roles in Vishal Bharadwaj's 'Kaminey' - he will be seen as a boy-next-door as well as a ruffian - Akshay will do the same for Vipul Shah's 'Time Machine'.

Shahid, who plays identical twins alongside Priyanka Chopra">Priyanka Chopra in 'Kaminey', says he was extremely excited about playing a double role and his director helped him in essaying both the characters with ease.

'Fortunately, I had Vishal as a director who is absolutely outstanding at his craft - so that helped me a lot. There was a lot that he had already done for me. One of the guys has a lisp which is easy to handle although it is very difficult when you are delivering dialogues,' Shahid told a TV channel.

Akshay will play a double role - of a father and son in 'Time Machine', which will see him travelling through time from Mumbai in the 1950s to the present day city to correct a past deed.

'The travelling through time part will be the film's main attraction as it will happen through a time machine. But the big draw will be Akshay, who will play both the father and the son,' a source close to the project was quoted as saying.

Even Ranbir Kapoor has been tipped to display two shades in Vikramjit Singh's recently announced project 'Mera Jahaan', in which he teams up with his real life girlfriend Deepika Padukone.

In 2007, 'Om Shanti Om' saw not only superstar Shah Rukh Khan in a double role but his co-star Deepika Padukone too had a twin role in the reincarnation drama. She was once again seen in a double role in 'Chandni Chowk To China' early this year.

According to the 23-year-old actress, she had to undertake extensive research to essay one of her characters in 'Om Shanti Om', which was a tribute to the 1970s period in Bollywood.

'I watched a lot of films starring Hema Malini and Helen, for instance 'Jewel Thief' and 'Seeta Aur Geeta', to notice how they were made.

'In the films of that time, everything was over the top - the emotions were exaggerated though I enjoy the originality of the '70s era films. The actors were more graceful and their body language was completely different from today's actors,' Deepika had told IANS.

Besides Deepika, actors Paresh Rawal and Asin Thottumkal were seen in a double role in 'Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!' and the Hindi version of 'Dasavatharam' respectively this year.

The trend of interspersing double roles into Bollywood scripts isn't a recent development. It has caught filmmakers' fancy since the 1960s when evergreen actor Dev Anand starred in the 1961 film 'Hum Dono'.

Thereafter, several actors like Dilip Kumar ('Ram Aur Shyam'), Sanjeev Kumar ('Angoor'), Amitabh Bachchan ('Don'), Dharmendra ('Samadhi'), Anil Kapoor ('Kishen Kanhaiya'), Sridevi ('Chaalbaaz') and Hema Malini ('Seeta Aur Geeta') have essayed double roles. In fact, Govinda took on six roles in 'Hadd Kar Di Aapne'.

Shan Rukh has also played double roles in 'Duplicate' and 'Paheli'. Akshay Kumar did it in 'Aflatoon' and '8X10 Tasveer', Kajol in 'Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi' and 'Dushman' and Hrithik Roshan in 'Kaho Na Pyaar Hai'.

Inspired by Bollywood, even the small screen has picked up the trend. NDTV Imagine has recently started a new show 'Seeta Aur Geeta', based on the eponymous 1972 Hema Malini-starrer. Bollywood's 'Dreamgirl' recently played a double role in the television series 'Kamini Damini'.

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