Entertainment Filmylicious

Supporting actors are the new stars

A wonderful curated list of the most versatile actors in Bollywood.

An actor is said to be doing a supporting role when he is playing a role below the lead actor. Really? These are the actors who are never cast as the lead in Bollywood movies, yet we look forward to see them.  They become ‘vo wala actor’ and whose performance we love, but we probably don’t know their real name. The short screen time does not deter them, they slay the lead pairs’ acting when latter hams through it. Their competence is often times overlooked. It leaves us questioning why we don’t see more of these brilliant, contemporary, versatile actors who rarely receive the adoration and reward akin.

In no particular order, we have a new lot of contemporary, sauvé, polished, powerful performers who have enthralled us and we wish we could see more of them in our movies.

  1. Manu Rishi


He is a known face but hardly anyone remembers his real name and rather his screen name from Oye lucky, lucky oye!, ‘Bangali’, Abhay Deol’s childhood friend and side kick.  His astronomical performance in TVF’s web series Permanent Roommates 2 is worth watching. He is an established dialogue writer and lyricist . His zeal to learn English in Phas Gaye re Obama and clodhopping acting left us in splits. I want him to be more in movies.

  1. Abhimanyu Singh


Not many know him by name but will instantly recognize him by his iconic acting in Kashyap’s Gulal. He is younger brother of Actor Chandrachur Singh. His brave heart acting, debunking the college politics in Rajasthan was knockout. His recent movie was ‘Mom’. I am highly surprised as to why he is not been cast in Bollywood movies.  His talent and acting prowess is highly underrated.

  1. Anand Tiwari


You have seen him in umpteen numbers of Ads and particularly in Tata tea and Virgin Mobile Ad and left the viewers fascinated.  This versatile actor and director, ardent theater lover and also tried his hands as Assistant Director in movie Barfi and other big banners. He has directed several acclaimed short films. He has also done parts in Slumdog Millionaire, The President Is Coming, Mumbai Meri Jaan and Go Goa Gone. His recent Detective Byomkesh Bakshy was critically admired movie. He is not having any killer looks but there is something to his acting that make him audience swoon over. I wish to see more, this powerhouse of talent. He is now swooning over the web by his direction skills in various short films and web series.

  1. Rajesh Sharma


The NSD pass out has a rock-hard screen presence. His high end roles in No One killed Jessica, Khosla ka Ghosla, Special 26, Titu Mama in Luv Shuv Te Chicken Khurana left in splits.  He has done numerous films but still his talent is yet to be cashed. Hope our filmmakers are hearing.

  1. Pankaj Tripathi


A well-known face but only few know his name. He was the daring butcher and henchman, as Sultan Qureshi in Wasseypur series. One of the scenes was actually shot in real butcher factory and sight of blood everywhere made the actors not to eat any non-vegetarian food for seven days. His acting was highly applauded. This man needs his due in acting.

  1. Deepak Dobriyal


Pappji from Tanu weds Manu needs no introduction. This theater actor has range that only few can match. I feel that despite being so talented and strong screen presence why he gets films from few same directors? The very fact about Film industry is that the industry is actually divided in two halves, the grossers and the cinematic art. His big break in Omkara as evil sidekick of Saif was thunderous.

Being type casted as a comic actor is not justice to the true talent of this brilliant man.

  1. Gulshan Devaiah


This performance oriented talented man has been bred in Bengaluru and nurtured his acting skills in English theater in the city. The big debut with Anurag Kashyap in Shaitaan gave him applauds and few awards. His movies That Girl In Yellow Boots and Hunterr showcased his excellence. I hope he gets variety of films and roles and not get slotted in one area.

  1. Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub

Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub-Pictures

His negative role in No One Killed Jessica garnered him limelight. Having strong screen presence even by doing roles of the protagonist’s friend, he has done justice to his role. His dialogues from movie Raanjhnna were huge rage and I loved every bit of them. The guy needs more attention Bollywood ! His ‘Hum kandhe hain  dialogue from Tanu Weds Manu Returns is perfect.

  1. Zeshaan Quadri


The writer of Cult movie, Gangs of Wasseypur, one of the most sought after script writers in Bollywood, is a well groomed actor himself. His character Definite from Wasseypur is pure delight. His natural acting gives him a place in this list. I wish he gets meatier roles and churn good movies for us.

  1. Adil Hussian


A gem from our North East, an established actor in Indian and international stage. His accomplishments are no less than anyone else and he is yet to taste commercial success. English Vinglish won him several accolades, his somber yet stern looks labels him as serious actor. Keeping him away from senseless cinema, I am sure he would be a frequent on directors’ list.

  1. Brijendra Kala


People will recognize him instantly but sad that few know his name. The slow taxi driver in Jab We Met has come a long way since then. His sheer brilliant acting of common man earns him accolades. Recently he can be seen in a web series, Aam Aadmi Family, the head of family and his acting is impeccable. He just steals the show every time.

  1. Zakir Hussian


Known for his negative roles, Hussain is a theatre actor, an interior decorator, a classical singer, a green belted taekwondo player, a poet and much more. His learned side his quite unknown. His intense cold eyes and sheer dedication for the character shows his versatility and therefore every scene he does is a masterpiece. He should be taken seriously on mainstream cinema a bit more.

  1. Vikrant Massey


The handsome man, who started his career from television, always had that spark in him. He is a trained ballet dancer. Though not regular in Bollywood movies, his small character from Lootera alongside Ranveer Singh was highly appreciated. His recent stint in critically acclaimed, A death in Gunj was talk of the tinsel town. The talented actor should be seen often.

  1. Manish Chaudhary


He is a familiar face from many movies. The greedy Business man from Rocket Singh is always praised for his acting skills, yet he always bag smaller roles, very less screen space to show his skills. His stern acting is always of the edge. The man can be given decent daring role and I am sue he would nail them.

  1. Kumud Mishra


One of the best, versatile, contemporary and spontaneous Indian stage actor.   He is admittedly refreshing. In own words of actor, people did not recognize him even after doing Rockstar. I all his movies his acting is powerful but his role lasts for few minutes . I pity the directors who don’t take the talented actors and define the meaning of cinema. He has been in movies like Airlift, Jolly LLB 2, Rustom, Rock On II, still the actor is finding hard to get powerful roles.

  1. Tahir Raj Bhasin


His crisp role as the kingpin of prostitution and human trafficking in Mardaani was terrific. His polite way of talking to cop Rani Mukherjee was the highlight of movie. His another impressive turn as an anti-hero in the spying thriller Force 2 also earned him critical acclaims. The thinking actor steals the show and superb at giving subtle nuances in performances. A lot of potential in him.

  1. Amit Sial


This guy, who sat for CA exams thrice, nursed the passion for acting secretly. His illustrious acting background will definitely give run for money to all the silver spoon fed actors in the industry. The YRFs Title gave him spotlight after long struggle and movie was official entry to Cannes. Since then he has co-written movie, Charlie Ke chakkar mein and acted in several movies, the man needs the ultra-kick for his talent to be showcased.

  1. Chandan Roy Sanyal

Chandan Roy Sanyal-Profile

Do you remember this guy from Kaminey, Shahid’s friend in the movie? The Rakyesh Om Prakash Mehra’s discovery, the guy has done a lot since then. Restless, eager to break free of the constraint of acting under others, Sanyal is immensely talented. Galvanized by a desire to direct, he set up his own theatre company, Proscenium, and has already staged plays such as Sakharam Binder (2004) and Ashadh Ka Ek Din (2005) and many more. Hope he gets his due soon.

  1. Jaideep Ahlawat



Remember this terrific guy from Commando as sacry antagonist. However not many know that he played the role of Shahid Khan, in the Gangs of Wasseypur. His conviction for the role and strength is always stupendous. Though he is in films from a long time but Wasseypur gave him the respect he deserved. The gem of an actor, should be seen in some good movies.

  1. Shashank Arora


Though still a new, the guy has potential. His debut movie Titli was crime grime, but he has tasted music a long time ago. The promising actor has studied music and cinema in Canada. He plays the ukulele, bansuri and guitar. He’s also a carpenter whose prized piece of furniture is a coffee table he made. A big bundle of contradictions; waiting to see him more.

  1. Sharib Hashmi


Hashmi has come a long way since National Award winning movie Filmistaan, for which he has written dialogues too. He may not be into mainstream yet, but he has been able to make his place in our hearts. He has long way to go and hope his face don’t get fazed in the limelight of stars.

  1. Inaamulhaq


Trained from National School of Drama, he is an actor, director, screenwriter, an AD for Comedy Circus, an eminent theater personality who has acted in umpteen numbers of plays and what not. His movie Filmistaan got National award and his acting was beautiful. His unimpeded wickedness as Iraqi major in Airlift was applauding worthy. I want him to bag roles and show his talent even more.

  1. Namit Das


 He has done quite good movies and his TV show Sumit Sambhal Lega was a huge hit, where he was the protagonist Sumit. Hailing from the family of singers, musicians and directors the boy has acting and singing in his blood. Carving out a niche in all the mediums- theater, movies and television is one of a task and it takes immense talent to play alongside Ranbir Kapoor and Das did it in Wake Up Sid. Bollywood should not let him play sidekick roles. His comic timing in movie Ghanchakkar was too good.

  1. Neil Bhoopalam


The actor who made his presence felt in NH10 and Shaitaan, also in TV Series, 24. Been around in movies since 2006, the actor is yet to get noticed. This talented theater actor is a powerhouse in him. Hope he gets good roles.

  1. Vinit Kumar Singh


He struggled long in the films but was noticed in Wasseypur Series by Kashyap. He won praises for his acting which continued in movie Bombay Talkies. His brilliant monologue in another brilliant movie, Ugly was tremendous. He has worked with Mahesh Manjrekar, as his assistant director. The bad part is that he still gets a little screen time to show his talented side and we are waiting for him to be casted in a full-fledged lead role. His recent movie Mukkabaaz is a must watch.

  1. Jim Sarbh


Who doesn’t remember him for the movie Neerja, the prime hijacker, hijacked our hearts too. The actor in doing theater from a long time and is a brilliant actor.  He’s worked in multiple projects: Rage Production’s The Glass Menagerie, Vickram Kapadia’s The Merchant of Venice, Kalki Koechlin’s The Living Room, and Rajat Kapoor’s What’s Done Is Done, to name a few. He is a hot property ever since and I wish to see the young and talented actor more often. Though it is speculated that his scenes in Padmaavat movie were chopped, but even then his screen presence were as good as ever.

  1. Manav Kaul


You know him from Kai Po Che as scheming mama, but what you don’t know is that the actor is an excellent playwright, a poet, a theater director and fierce theater actor in this contemporary cinema. Kaul directed and wrote his first play Shakkar Ke Panch Dane in 2004 with his theatre group Aranya. In 2012, he directed Hansa, his first feature film, which gathered much critical acclaim. It would be an absolute delight to watch him again in other movies.

  1. Arjun Mathur


Trained under Barry John, the actor was first noticed in Farhan Akhtar’s Positive, a short film on AIDS. As many of you don’t know his name, the guy has been regular in Godrej’s and Cadbury’s Ads. Having numerous advertisements and more than 20 movies, Mathur has carved a niche for himself by not trapped in regular big budget movies, with a blink and miss role. His short role in Luck by Chance was praised and since then he has been part of many movies but the man is yet to earn his due.

  1. Prakash Belawadi


His strong acting Madras Cafe, a movie with brilliant actors, got him win several accolades. The actor is regular in Kannada movies and theater; his acting in Hindi movies like Airlift or Talvar was praised in season and out of season. Both his parents were theater actors, his father was a trained makeup artist and an actor, was also known as Make-up Nani. His strong hold of his accent makes him even more subtle for his character.

  1. Vijay Maurya


You know this man from his face but not his name. He is an actor, director, writer, screenplay writer and dialogue writer. He won a National film award for the best original screenplay for writers for the movie Chillar Party along with Nitesh Tiwari and Vikas Bhal . He earned lot of praise for his act in Mumbai Meri Jaan. Maurya has directed over a 150 commercials, for a number of Indian and International brands. The actor is yet to make a mark as actor and we wish to see him more.

  1. Ajay ‘Teddy’ Maurya

Do you know him? He is the same man as a sleazy receptionist from Jab We Met, and gangster from Chalo Dilli. The actor is an art director, production designer, theater actor, musician, writer and director and has been doing theaters from almost 22 years. He has been awarded many awards including Maharashtra State Government Award. He is esteemed clientele includes Coca Cola, American Tourister, Amul, Reliance, Mahindra and many more as the production designer for the commercials. He has been associated with the production designs and set designs for popular song sequences and movies.

So much talent in one man and no wonder that he is brother of veteran Vijay Maurya, the one we have mentioned above.


Bollywood should be more meaningful and offer some best content with the real actors.


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