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Recap 2023: Kareena Kapoor To The Archies, The Year’s Big Debuts

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Recap 2023: Kareena Kapoor To The Archies, The Year's Big Debuts

Kareena Kapoor in Jaane Jaan, The Archies cast. (courtesy: YouTube)

New Delhi:

It is never too late to start something new seems to be the mantra of some of the brightest talents in Indian cinema. 2023 saw a bunch of actors making their debut, across formats and platforms. While stars like Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor made a seamless transition from the big screen to OTT platforms, several new talents chose to make their big acting debut with streaming projects. We also saw actors like Nayanthara and Vijay Sethupathi transcend the boundaries of language and make their blockbuster Bollywood debuts. Movies and long-form web series were equally popular with performers – both, old and new – making for a packed list of debuts in 2023.

Here are 21 debuts that you just cannot afford to miss: 

1. Kareena Kapoor Khan in Jaane Jaan (Digital)

It has often been said that Bollywood’s quintessential superstar Kareena Kapoor Khan was born for the big screen. But Kareena proved she is just as effective in the digital space when she made her OTT debut with the mystery thriller Jaane Jaan. In it, Kareena played the role of a single mother caught up in a gruesome murder. Kareena’s performance in the film and her chemistry with co-stars Jaideep Ahlawat and Vijay Varma garnered lots of love and appreciation.

2. Nayanthara in Jawan (Bollywood)

Referred to as Lady Superstar in south Indian films, Nayanthara – who made her debut in Malayalam cinema in 2003 and swiftly became one of the biggest names in the Tamil industry –  made a splash with her Bollywood debut in the year’s biggest film Jawan. In it, Nayanthara is paired opposite Shah Rukh Khan and plays a no-nonsense NSG officer Narmada Rai.

3. Prosenjit Chatterjee In Jubilee (Digital)

Bengali stalwart Prosenjit Chatterjee also made his big OTT debut with Vikramaditya Motwane’s Jubilee, a web series that taps into the history of Bollywood. The show’s timeline starts a month before Indian independence and centres around the power struggle between film studios and the superstars they help create. Prosenjit plays Srikant Roy, a studio head, who while being passionate about cinema is also a ruthless businessman.

4. Shahid Kapoor in Farzi (Digital)

Shahid Kapoor proved that he is a superstar even on OTT when the actor headlined Farzi. The thriller was directed and produced by Raj and DK and featured Shahid as a disillusioned artist who steps over to the dark side. In particular, Shahid’s chemistry with legendary Amol Palekar – who played his grandfather in the series – was appreciated.

5. Karishma Tanna in Scoop (Digital)

Karishma Tanna, a familiar face in Indian households thanks to her extensive work on television, had her breakout role on OTT in 2023. She headlined Scoop, a Netflix original based on the life of journalist Jigna Vora, who was accused of being involved in the murder of journalist Jyotirmoy Dey. The Hansal Mehta directorial is the adaptation of Jigna Vora’s book Behind The Bars In Byculla: My Days in Prison.

6. Sonakshi Sinha in Dahaad (Digital)

Sonakshi Sinna’s filmography largely includes commercial potboilers. But she made a marked departure from her regular choices with Dahaad. In it, she plays an ambitious police officer from an oppressed community, often sidelined and belittled due to her caste identity. But Sonakshi’s Anjali Bhaati is proud of who she is and where she comes from, making the character inspiring in more ways than one.

7. Tara Sutaria in Apurva (Digital)

Tara Sutaria, known for her stellar looks and screen presence, made her OTT debut with Apurva, a violent survival story. In it, Tara plays a young woman who has been kidnapped by a dacoit gang in Chambal and tortured. The film is a tough watch given its violence but Tara’s performance has earned her rave reviews.

8. Naga Chaitanya in Dhootha (Digital)

Naga Chaitanya, one of Telugu cinema’s most popular names, made his OTT debut with Dhootha. In the series, he plays a much-loved journalist whose life changes one fateful night. What follows is a series of tragedies that alter his life forever. The supernatural thriller has earned the actor massive praise.

9. Dimple Kapadia in Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo (Digital)

Veteran actress Dimple Kapadia never ceases to surprise. In Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo, Dimple Kapadia plays the role of a matriarch who operates the largest drug cartel in South Asia. Yes, you read that right. Her team involves her two daughters-in-law and daughter. Speak about girl power!

10. Rana Daggubati in Rana Naidu (Digital)

Rana Daggubati, best known for his role in the Baahubali franchise, made his big OTT series debut with Rana Naidu, the Indian adaptation of Ray Donovan. The series features the star as a “fixer of the stars,” whose seemingly good life is toppled by the return of his estranged father.

11. Venkatesh Daggubati in Rana Naidu (Digital)

Remember the estranged father who wreaks havoc in the life of Rana Daggubati in Rana Naidu. That character was played to perfection by Telugu superstar Venkatesh Daggubati, who is also Rana’s uncle in real life. Venkatesh Daggubati, who has played the good-natured superstar hero to perfection for several decades, is seen mouthing expletives and playing the ruffian with the ease of a veteran.

12. Cast of Archies (Digital)

The Indian adaptation of the iconic comic The Archies has six young actors making their big debut. The Netflix film, which was a fun, frothy coming-of-age drama, had Suhana Khan [daughter of Shah Rukh Khan], Agastya Nanda [grandson of Amitabh Bachchan], Khushi Kapoor [ Sridevi’s daughter], Aditi Dot, Vendang Raina and Yuvraj Menda making their debuts.

13. Trinetra Haldar in Made In Heaven 2 (Digital)

After making history as one of India’s first transgender content creators, Dr Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju made her acting debut with Made In Heaven season 2. Dr Trinetra impressed fans with her acting prowess as Meher Chaudhry, one of the few voices of reason on the show, set in the glitzy world of Indian weddings.

14. Maniesh Paul in Rafuchakkar (Digital)

After wowing fans with his impeccable comic timing on stage for years, Maniesh Paul made his OTT debut with Rafuchakkar. In the comedy-heist TV series, Maniesh plays a conman with a bunch of tricks up his sleeve.

15. Cast of Class (Digital)

Like The Archies, Netflix’s Class also saw a bunch of young actors making their debut. The series is set in a fictional elite high school in Delhi, the show deals with issues such as caste and class inequality, homophobia, and religious discrimination, among other issues. The lead cast included fresh faces such as Piyush Khati, Madhyama Segal, Cwaayal Singh, Zeyn Shaw, Chintan Rachchh, Ayesha Kanga, Moses Koul and Chayan Chopra. 

16. Alizeh Agnihotri in Farrey (Big Screen)

Salman Khan’s niece and Atul Agnihotri’s daughter Alizeh made her big screen debut with Farrey, another film that follows high school students with dark secrets. The heist thriller film is a remake of the Thai hit Bad Genius. The film, which screened at 54th International Film Festival of India before hitting the theatres, earned Alizeh great reviews.

17. Rajveer Deol in Dono (Big Screen)

Rajveer Deol, the son of superstar Sunny Deol and grandson of Bollywood legend Dharmendra, made his big Bollywood debut with Dono. The film, directed by Avnish S. Barjatya [son of Sooraj R. Barjatya], features Rajveer as Dev, a charming man nursing a broken heart when love comes knocking.

18. Paloma Dhillon in Dono (Big Screen)

Paloma Dillon joined Rajveer Deol in Dono, where she played the female lead Meghna. Paloma’s Meghna is a woman who knows what she does not want when it comes to a romantic relationship. Paloma is the daughter of popular Bollywood actress Poonam Dhillon.

19. Palak Tiwari In Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan (Big Screen)

Palak Tiwari, daughter of Indian television icon Shweta Tiwari, made her Bollywood debut as part of the ensemble cast in Salman Khan’s 2023 film Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan. Despite being one among many stars, Palak managed to hold her own in the film.

20. Shehnaaz Gill In Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan (Big Screen)

National heartthrob Shehnaaz Gill also made her big Bollywood debut with Salman Khan’s Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan. In her role, Shehnaaz Gill managed to fill the screen with her effervescent charm, leaving fans asking for more.

21. Vijay Sethupathi in Mumbaikar (Digital), Jawan (Big Screen)

One of the most prolific actors of Tamil cinema, Vijay Sethupathi made his Bollywood debut across platforms in 2023. Mumbaikar, which premiered on Jio Cinema, features Vijay Sethupathi as a man desperate to make it big as a gangster in Mumbai. While you will have to watch the film to see if Vijay Sethupathi made it as a gangster in Mumbaikar, in his big screen debut, Jawan, Vijay Sethupathi played one of the world’s top weapon dealers, a menacing villain posing as SRK’s nemesis.

Tell us whose debut performance, you liked best


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