2019 Awards: Humblest Leading Man Poll Post, Who Most Stepped Back to Let their Co-Star Shine?

Best Actor, that’s easy! You get the good role, you do spectacular, you take all the close-ups and the big dramatic monologues, everyone notices you. But what about “best leading man who stepped back”? The ones who chose to let someone else shine?

Salman Khan-Bharat-Katrina Kaif

Salman is the hero here, no doubt. He has the maximum screen time, the biggest growth, and all the heroic moments. But he (the actor) chose to stand back and let his co-star Katrina Kaif get so many other great big moments! So that in many of their scenes together, despite him being the “hero”, she is the one you remember.

Image result for salman katrina bharat song

Rajkummar Rao-Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga-Everyone

Rajkummar has the most screentime, is the start and finish character, and does the most active stuff in the story. But in terms of memorable scenes and performances, it all goes to Sonam and Anil and Juhi, Rajkummar just hangs back and lets them shine

Image result for ek ladki ko dekha toh aisa laga

Tiger Shroff-War-Hrithik Roshan

Oh Tiger! When this film was first announced, Tiger was riding how on his surprise Baaghi 2 success and it sounded like “hot new star Tiger propping up old actor Hrithik”. And then the movie came out, and Hrithik gets all the hero shots, all the action scenes, all the cool moments, plus is just HOTTER than Tiger.

Image result for tiger hrithik

Ranveer Singh-Gully Boy-Siddhant Chaturvedi/Alia Bhatt/Vijay Varma

You could say that it was Siddhant and Alia’s talent that made them over-shadow Ranveer, but Ranveer still had the biggest role, and he had the pre-production strength to force script rewrites to give himself the best bits. And instead he let Siddhant, Alia, and Vijay have the characters you can’t forget.

Image result for gully boy cast

Ajay Devgan-De De Pyaar De-Tabu

Again, you could argue that it is Tabu’s talent and the script which gave her such a great role. But Ajay is not just the lead, he was co-producing. And he still let Tabu have the big emotional speech, the sexy intro, and so on and forth. Until you leave the theater remembering her instead of him.

Image result for ajay devgan tabu

8 thoughts on “2019 Awards: Humblest Leading Man Poll Post, Who Most Stepped Back to Let their Co-Star Shine?

    • Yeah, not sure if I should have included him here, because unlike the others I am not sure it was a PURPOSEFUL supporting role, or if Hrithik was just that much better.

      On Mon, Jan 13, 2020 at 3:25 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  1. I was going to say Abhi in Manmarziyaan but then I realized that was 2018. For this batch, I’d say Ranveer but not sure how purposeful it was. At least to me it seemed like he just didn’t have the same grasp on his character as the other men in the film.

    To quote you, Tiger was a sad little candle while Hrithik burned like the sun. That was for sure not on purpose on Tiger’s part (though the director knew exactly how he wanted it all to go down).


    • I go back and forth between Ranveer not grasping his character, and his character being someone so internal that he isn’t really noticeable until he performs.

      On Mon, Jan 13, 2020 at 6:07 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • I would go for the second. The first couple of scenes with the rap battle group establish him as more of a poet than a performer at first, and his evolution to performer starts internally, as a driver for the rich girl. Very introverted, in the strictest sense. This is the film that finally made me a fan of him as an actor.


        • I’m reminded of an issue I sometimes feel with KANK. Shahrukh played the character as it was written and as he was directed, but he played him too well, what was supposed to be a bitter man with a dash of charm and movie star quality turned into just a bitter man. Ranveer so perfectly played the introverted artist poet that it looked like he wasn’t performing at all, like he really was that dull.

          On Tue, Jan 14, 2020 at 7:50 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  2. Ravneer because I think that was very purposefully done (or brought out by Zoya). He seems to have melted into the character. He showcased the character’s anger, sadness, insecurity, and feeling invisible perfectly and thus allowed the others to shine around him.

    I think with War it was unintentional. I think it was inevitable with De De Pyar De, because Tabu is going to steal the show no matter the role. She is even memorable in Bharat, and she has approximately five minutes of screen time in that. I think with Bharat, Salman realized that the it is just good marketing to allow Katrina to shine after Priyanka pulled out. It was in his best interest to show how is was a great role (role of a lifetime as he put it). And allowing Katrina to shine didn’t take anything away from Salman.

    Finally, I will give Rajkummar credit in Ek Ladki because he realized this movie was not about him and played the supportive character with perfection. But to me, he is a great actor who has played very similar supporting roles in the past, so I don’t think this was anything new for him.


    • Look at that! I was guessing Salman in Bharat or Tiger in War would be the top pick, but it looks like Ranveer is the one.

      I guess that makes sense for all the reasons you say, Salman is still the lead of Bharat even if Kat has a great role, Tabu will always steal the film just like Hrithik will, and Rajkummar was basically cast because he can play that so well, it’s hardly a surprise. But Ranveer usually steals the film from other people, him stepping back and losing himself in the character is remarkable.

      On Tue, Jan 14, 2020 at 9:55 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.