2018 Break Out Male Star

Same rules as the female post! Not the first film, but rather the biggest leap film, from unknown to known, or minor star to major star, or whatever it is. Before you ask, I’m not including Rajkummar Rao or Ayushmann Khurrana, because I feel like their stellar 2018s were just a continuation of their stellar 2017s, not a leap even higher.

Vicky Kaushal

I know, this seems like the obvious choice. That’s why I am starting with it. Vicky this year had Raazi, to gently introduce him to the mainstream female audience. Sanju, to introduce him to mainstream directors looking for a good reliable actor. And Manmarziyaan to introduce him to the slightly more off-beat directors looking for an actor with a great range. And he’s got his first action lead role coming up, he was already on Koffee, everything’s coming up Vicky! But is his leap from “art actor” to “well-known mainstream actor” the biggest leap of the year?

Tiger Shroff

Now, this was a leap! From a 50/50 successful star son, to suddenly breaking box office records and leaping into the big leagues with Baaghi 2. 6th highest box office of the year, beating Raazi and Badhai Ho with no other big names attached. All without radically changing his established persona, or losing his original followers. Tiger also signed and started filming Student of the Year 2, giving him a chance at a whole new kind of role and audience.

Ishaan Khattar

The only really big male launch of the year. He went from nothing, to a mainstream romantic lead (with better reviews than his co-star), plus lead of an intense art house film. He isn’t that popular yet as a personality, but he can’t be counted out.

Karthik Aaryan

Hardly a new actor. But after years of being an underground young people favorite, he finally broke through and started signing mainstream films. Sonu Ki Titu Ke Sweety is what did it, and now he has a mainstream rom-com with Kriti Sanon (ha! I spelled her name right!) coming up and is in the news every other day.

Would he have been considered for this kind of music video cameo just a year ago? Also, BUDAPEST! They must have the best Indian film office.

Dulquer Salmaan

Okay, I am going to break my own rules and acknowledge non-Hindi industries just this once. In 2018, Dulquer had both Mahanati and Karwaan. A major attack on the Telugu and Tamil market, and a sneak attack on the Hindi market. Next year he gets more serious about both, a mainstream Hindi romance plus a Tamil thriller with himself as the lead (instead of sharing leading roles as he did in Mahanati).

Ranveer Singh

Ranveer! Bookended the year with hits, starting with Padmavat and ending with Simmba. And got married in between. He’s been a major league star for a while now, but this year saw one of his most appreciated acting performances, and his first (very successful) attempt at leading an action film. And saw him being the headline feature on every gossip news story for about a week.

And he achieved the rare husband wife-father daughter onscreen/offscreen pairing. By romancing the daughter of his wife’s frequent co-star
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43 thoughts on “2018 Break Out Male Star

    • Yeah, it’s almost a no-brainer, but I feel like he should have to work for it at least a little bit.

      On Thu, Jan 10, 2019 at 1:32 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  1. Not interested in any of them. I keep hoping someone shows up who I can root for but so far, none of the newer actors have gained my attention.

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    • I was all about Vicky after Raazi and Manmarziyaan, but then his public persona started turning me off, he feels more like another Viviek Oboroi than a Rajkummar.

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      • It’s good you brought up Vivek Oberoi. They all remind me of him except Ranbir. Most of their off-screen antics are unbearable so I’m trying to completely shut off from that or else I’ll end up hating everyone.

        I wasn’t a fan of Sanju but Ranbir I like at least because he takes some goofy risks and makes movies like Jagga Jasoos. He could have easily consolidated his position with some trashy masala movies or the jingoistic movies half of BW is making now to benefit off the political atmosphere. Even the likes of John Abraham have gotten a second lease on life due to those flag waving movies. I appreciate that he isn’t taking the easy way out and at least sometimes tries to do something different. It may not work the way JJ or Bombay Velvet didn’t but at least he tries. That effort is valuable when there are barely 1 or 2 other actors besides him willing to risk things.

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        • I like Ayushmann off screen. And I am interested to see where Ranveer goes with his off-screen style after marriage, he can’t play the carefree wild playboy any more. Or maybe he can, Shahid has sort of continued in that role even after marriage and two kids (off-screen I mean, being very romantic with his wife and dressing cutting edge and all of that).

          I agree about the “risk”. The pattern I see a lot (which I am worried is what Vicky is following), is that you do a bunch of really risky things and get noticed, and then you relax and do the fun easy stuff. The risky things were just to get attention, not because you are a truly risky person. Again, Vivek, Company was amazing and he never really did something that spectacular again.

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        • I can’t put my finger on it, something about how his name and face started popping up regularly in news items like he was trying to get them planted, being rushed into mainstream films, and the choice to do the Uri movie, it is all starting to turn me off. But it’s just my current feeling, I could feel totally different in a year.

          On Thu, Jan 10, 2019 at 9:42 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I don’t know, last year he had Bareilly and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan which feel so similar to me to his releases this year. Smaller budget but high profile sleeper hits that people go see based on his name meaning a stamp of quality. If I’d done this in 2017, I definitely would have included him, but this year, not sure.

      But I will put you down as one write-in vote for Ayushmann!

      On Thu, Jan 10, 2019 at 1:48 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I also want to throw in my name for this. Shubh Mangal and Bareilly were not nearly as touted and popular as Andhadhun and Badhai Ho this year. The budget may have been similar, but the impact was way more.

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  2. Vicky is probably the clear winner here because of the number and range of his performances. I think I don’t get the charm of Ishaan Khattar, though I haven’t seen Beyond the Clouds and plan to someday. He’s kind of goofy looking and kind of annoying in interviews. I think DQ is trying to take over the entire Indian cinema landscape, you’re right! Though next year with Zoya will be a bigger breakout in Hindi cinema for him. I still hope Tiger somehow goes away and I’m leary of Karthik Aryan’s film choices already!

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    • I am excited about Karthik Aryan’s choices! He did exactly what the script and director required so far, I want to see what he does when he has a different director and script with different requirements.

      On Thu, Jan 10, 2019 at 2:00 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. It was Vicky’s break out year for sure. I vote for him. I was going to add Ranveer too, but now I think his success was a little exaggerated. Because ok, he was in two big movies last year, but in my opinion those movies would be the same and had the same success without him. I haven’t seen Simmba but it’s Rohit Shetty movie, and people watch it for him, for entertaiment, for masala, not because Ranveer is in it. The same Padmavat.

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    • Simmba was supposed to be Ranveer’s big “can he open a movie alone” test, but then the promotions focused so much on Sara and Ajay and the Rohit Shetty genre, I’m not sure if that question was really answered even with Simmba’s success.

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        • I suppose the very existence of Ranveerians is enough!!!!!! Only other male stars that have actually gotten me “wrath” in the comments are Ranbir and Shahrukh. That’s some heady company.

          On Thu, Jan 10, 2019 at 9:51 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. I’d say the break out star was Ayushmann. Because he went from being on the fringes to being counted as a really bankable star. And Andha Dhun was a marked departure for him. Vicky too, but somehow he is putting me off personally. Also, the fact the KJo is trying to act like he’s the next big thing (after Alia ofcourse).

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    • Yeah, I was 100% Vicky for about 2 months after Raazi, and then by the time Sanju came out somehow I was over him. Just, too much being sold to us too fast.

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  5. I also thought about putting Ayushmann as a write in, too. But I feel like last year was the breakout for him with three films, two of which did really well and the third did OK. He became the go-to guy for a particular kind of slice of life rom-com/family film. But this year cemented his bankability, for sure, and his acting reputation.

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    • Yeah, that’s how I feel about 2017 versus 2018 too. He was kind of an also-ran forgotten guy until 2017, and then suddenly he was someone to watch.

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  6. Aayushmann definitely. He had been there always but this year kinda announced it in a big way. Plus he looked really hot in Andhadhun and Badhai Ho. Being around and then suddenly becoming more attractive is definitely a marker for ‘arrived’ in my dictionary.Had the same thing with DQ few years back. He was around for some time and then out of nowhere he looked so desirable in OK Kanmani.Ditto Nivin in Premam,Prabhas in Baahubali.

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  7. I’m going to be the oddball and say the three boys from Bhavesh Joshi (yes, I’m including Harsh- BJS seems more popular on Netflix than than it (or Mirzya) ever was in cinemas, and and it’s made people acknowledge that the dude’s at least a decent actor).

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    • I’d love it if Bhavesh Joshi was popular on Netflix, I thought it was such a good movie when I saw it in theaters and it seemed to get almost no attention.

      On Fri, Jan 11, 2019 at 2:33 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. My breakout would be vineet Singh from mukkabaz.

    After his success in a small film he baghed a role in gold and shined in it.

    Also he is doing some good films next.

    He us true breakout for me

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    • I like Vineet too, I’m rooting for him. But I think he needs more social acceptance and box office numbers, people barely even mention Mukkabaaz as a highlight of 2018. I think its a bit too early to call him a breakout. In fact I wouldn’t even call Vicky Kaushal, Ayushman and Rajkumar Rao the next BIG thing after the Khans. Its a bit silly since none of these actors even if we were to include Ranveer, Varun Dhawan and Ranbir are close to the fame and influence of the Khans. In my opinion, there won’t be another set of “Khans” in Bollywood, maybe in the South I think they still have a star worshipping mindset.

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  9. I think 2018’s breakout actors were older men like Pankaj Tripathi and Gajraj Rao. We can’t call them stars (Maybe Pankaj, LOL), but the mention of their names will definitely get people interested in a film going into 2019 and beyond. I feel like the absence of Irrfan Khan this year due to his illness has allowed people like Pankaj and Gajraj Rao to make it big, since these kinds of roles would’ve definitely gone to Irrfan had he not been sick.

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    • Right! Pankaj, two years ago nobody knew him, in 2017 he started getting roles, and in 2018 everybody was talking about him (me included). I want to see him as a leading man and not only secondary character. He deserves it.

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    • I do love Pankaj Tripathi, but it almost feels like 2017 was his break out year to me. Maybe the audience didn’t know who he was, but after Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, the industry knew him and started giving him special parts.

      On Mon, Jan 14, 2019 at 5:30 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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