In Bollywood, Mostly the success and failure of a film depend on the huge fan following of the main lead of the film. Currently, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan, and Ajay Devgn are among those immensely popular superstars of the B-Town, and because of their huge fandom, almost every film of their becomes big money spinners.
Apart from these most sellable superstars, there is a pool of amazingly talented actors in Bollywood who despite their extreme talent are not popular among fans. Those are called the most underrated actors of Bollywood.
Actors like Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vinay Pathak, and Manoj Bajpai are some of the extremely talented archives actors of our film industry but unfortunately, they haven’t got the due respect and attention from the media which they actually deserve.
Most of these actors have won National Awards for their performances in various films they have done in their career but because their films do not gross big collections at the box office and their excellent work does not get promoted by the media, these actors got unnoticed and doesn’t get wide followers like other superstars Salman Khan, Shar Rukh Khan, etc has.
There were many method actors in the past also, who have given never forgotten performances to the movie lovers like Irrfan Khan, Om Puri, etc. These actors through their realistic performances have changed the perspective of viewers that Bollywood not only means Dance numbers & Songs
In this post, we will let you know about Bollywood’s Top 20 most underrated actors, who have made a deep mark in the heart of people through their acting skills but never received much acclamation, what they really deserve.
1- Radhika Apte
She is one of the most immensely talented actresses in the Bollywood industry, She started her career in the Hindi Film industry with the 2005 comical drama, Vaah! Life Ho To Aisi, where she worked as a supporting actress.
In 2016 she was nominated for Intl. Emmy Awards for her performance in The Netflix Anthology film Lust Stories. She is mostly known for her films like Badlapur, Manjhi-The Mountain Man, Hunterrr all were released in 2015.
She has also shared the screen with some of the big stars of Hindi & Tamil cinema like Vicky Kaushal, and Rajinikanth with the films Kabali (2016) & Andhadhun (2018) respectively.
2- Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is another immensely talented actor in Bollywood. He belongs to a small town Budhana in Muzaffarnagar district of U.P. After graduating from the National School of Drama, Nawaz had seen lots of struggles initially and worked in several Hindi films as a cameo.
Due to his not so good looks, nobody wanted to cast him in their film but the jinks had been broken by Anurag Kashyap, who picked his talent and gave him the lead role in his highly acclaimed gangster film Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) which was actually a career-changing film for Nawaz.
His role of Faizal Khan left a huge impact on the Hindi film industry and after that, his dream run in Bollywood started. One after one, he stunned the filmmakers with his wonderful acting in films like Talaash (2012), Kahaani (2012), The Lunchbox (2013), Badlapur (2015), Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015), and Manjhi -The Mountain Man (2015). He also received the National Film special jury Award for Talaash, Kahaani, and Gangs of Wasseypur.
3- Ali Fazal
This talented actor hails from Uttar Pradesh, he graduated from St. Xavier’s college, Mumbai, Maharashtra. Started acting in the 2008 Indian-American film The Other End Of The Line.
He made his appearance in Bollywood Industry through Fukrey (2013), his most notable work as an artist was 2018 Amazon Prime Video’s crime thriller series Mirzapur, where his role as a Guddu Pandit, was widely appreciated by the viewers. He also played a cameo role in the Hollywood film Furious 7, which was released in 2015.
4- Manoj Bajpai
Manoj Bajpai is also one of the unfortunate underrated Bollywood actors despite the huge talent that lies within it. This Bhiku Mhatre of Satya (1999) is one more diamond of the National School of Drama. Manoj, who started his career with theatre, was first recognized in a minor role in Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen (1994). His breakthrough role was of Bhiku Mhatre in Ram Gopal Verma’s Satya, which gave him immense popularity.
His form of art we have seen in films like Shool (1999), Zubeidaa (2001), Pinjar (2003), Raajneeti (2010), Gangs of Wasseypur and Aligarh (2016). Manoj was awarded National Film Award for Best Actor for Satya and Special Jury National Award for Pinjar.
5- Ronit Roy
Ronit started his acting career in the 1989 film Ram Lakhan as a supporting actor, he was born in 1965 to a Bengali family in Nagpur, Maharashtra. after school Ronit pursued hotel management, after completing college he went to Mumbai city to become an actor. stayed in the home of known filmmaker Subhash Ghai. during his struggling period, Ronit has worked as a dishwasher, & bartender.
he first came in the limelight through the serial Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi?, and Kasauti Zindagi Ki both started and ended in the same year 2002-2008. after that he appeared in many movies of Hindi Cinema, his some known movies are Udaan (2010), Kaabil (2017), 2 States(2014). he is also a part of the critically acclaimed Web Series called Hostages (2019-20).
6- Naseeruddin Shah
Naseeruddin Shah was basically a stage actor, who started his acting career with theatre and plays. He was honored with three National Film Awards and the Indian Government has felicitated him with Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan. His style of acting is totally different from contemporary cinema and he got most of his recognition from his off-beat roles like in Nishant, Aakrosh, Masoom, Sparsh, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, Arth Satya, and Mandi.
7- Randeep Hooda
This Haryana-born Jat actor of the B-Town had begun his career as a model. Hooda was first seen in a small role in Monsoon Wedding (2001). The first big film of his career was Ram Gopal Verma’s D (2005) in which he played the role of a gangster.
Although, Randeep had been part of some successful commercial films like Once Upon a Time in Mumbai (2010) and Kick (2014) the films, which gave him his identity as the finest actor are Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster (2011), Highway (2014) and Sarabjit (2016).
8- Adil Hussain
This highly underrated actor appeared in a lot of movies of Hollywood and Bollywood still not a lot of people recognizes him, even after doing the prominent roles of some the blockbuster movies of Bollywood like Aiyaary (2018), Good Newwz (2019), Kabir Singh (2019), Bell Bottom (2021), Commando 2 (2017), Force 2 (2016).
he also has worked at the Intl. cinema like The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012) and the oscar winner movie Life of Pie (2012), he has also received National Film Award for the movie comedy-drama Hotel Slavation (2016), and the Assamese film Maj Rati Keteki (2017).
9- Anupam Kher
Veteran Indian actor Anupam Kher is one of the hugely talented actors of the Hindi film industry, Kher is one of the few actors of the B-Town, who get similar kinds of appreciation for his main streams roles in commercial films as well as from off-beat films. Apart from several Filmfare Awards, Kher has received two National Awards- Special Jury for his roles in Daddy and Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Mara plus Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.
Some of his highly acclaimed critical performances came in films like Saaransh (1984), Utsav (1984), Tezaab (1987), Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), A Wednesday (2007). He has also seen in some International films like The Mistress of Spices (2005) and Silver Linings Playbook (2012).
10- Saquib Saleem
His debut film in Bollywood was 2011’s Romantic drama Mujhsey Fraandship Karogey, it was a critically acclaimed film, it was popular among youth back then. he is a sibling of Bollywood actress Huma Qureshi. he has appeared in many critically acclaimed Bollywood movies like Bombay Talkies (2013), Hawwa Hawwai (2014), Dil Junglee(2018), etc.
he has also shared the screen with many popular Bollywood actors like John Abraham, Akshay Kumar, & Salman Khan, in Dishoom (2016) and Race 3 (2018) respectively.
11- Nana Patekar
Nana Patekar, 65, is one of the immensely talented actors of Bollywood. Nana belongs to a Marathi family and was graduated from Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai. He was started his career in 1978 with Garman but his first much-acclaimed role came in 1987 film Pratighat (1987).
Later on, Nana showed his skills in Mohre (1987) and Salaam Bombay (1988). His first biggest mainstream film was Parinda (1989) for which he won his first National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor. Later on, Nana also tried his hand in direction with Prahaar: The Final Attack.
12- Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub
He is born and brought up in Delhi, after completing graduation he went to join theatre at the National School of Drama, he first featured in the Hindi Cinema with the crime thriller movie No One Killed Jessica (2011), he got a lot of appreciation for his negative role in the film.
he has also worked in the many critically acclaimed Bollywood movies Manikarnika (2019), Raanjhana (2013), Tanu Weds Manu Returns (2015), Article 15 (2019), and Raees (2017).
13- Rajkumar Rao
This Delhi boy Rajkumar Rao Yadav, who is the alumni of Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India had started his career with Ekta Kapoor’s Love Sex Aur Dhokha (2011) in which he got recognition for his role of Adarsh. Later on, he was seen in various films as small roles but his first highly acclaimed performance in Abhishek Kapoor’s Kai Po Che (2012) for which he received Filmfare Nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
But the film which certainly changed the fortunes of this Delhi boy was Shahid for which he won his first National Film Award for Best Actor and Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor. This kind of big achievement in the small career is itself telling how talented he is. After that Rajkumar’s characters in Queen (2014), Citylights (2014) and Aligarh (2016) was highly appreciated by the critics.
14- Vijay Raaz
this highly talented underrated actor didn’t gain that much fame which he deserve, owing to less attention from the media, he was born in Delhi, completed graduation from, DU Delhi, his first breakthrough came because of Naseeruddin Shah when he first saw him perform at National School of Drama, he recommended his name to the makers of Monsoon Wedding (2001).
After getting much appreciation for his performance from Monsoon Wedding, he started getting movies, since then he had worked in many Bollywood movies he is best known for his comical performances on Run (2004) and Delhi Belly (2011).
15- Ashutosh Rana
Ashutosh Rana, who basically belongs to Madhya Pradesh, is the finest Bollywood actor, who has not got the due recognition. This National School of Drama Alumni, who started his career with South Indian films, first came into the limelight with his character of a cold-blooded murderer and Psycho killer in N.Chandra’s Dushman (1998).
He mostly played antagonist roles in his careers such as Sangharsh (1999), Raaz (2002), Haasil (2003), and Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo (2004). He won two Filmfare Awards for Best Villain for Dushman and Sangharsh.
16- Ranveer Shorey
Another brilliant actor of Bollywood who has worked in a lot of critically acclaimed films like Traffic Signal, Bheja Fry both was released in 2007, Jism(2003), Mithya (2008), Khosla ka Ghosla (2006), and many more.
He has also shared the screen with many known Bollywood celebrities but never got recognized, because of the star power of the other actors, he worked many Bollywood hits like Singh is King (2008)
Lakshya (2004), Sonchiriya (2019).
17- Sanjay Mishra
he started his acting career with the Hindi film Oh Darling! Yeh Hai India! (1995) where he played the role of Harmonium man. he got the Filmfare Critics Award in the category of Best Actor (2015) for his amazing performance in Ankhon Dekhi(2014).
He has also acted in many commercial hits of Bollywood like Total Dhamaal(2019), Jolly LLB2 (2017), Masaan (2015), Kick 2 (2015), etc.
18- Kay Kay Menon
Krishna Kumar Menon known by his stage name Kay Kay Menon was born in Pune, Maharashtra, along with Hindi cinema, he also worked in regional cinemas like Gujarati, Tamil, Marathi, and Telugu.
he started his acting career with Tv serial Darr and movie debut Naseem both were released in 1995. he has acted in the critically acclaimed Special OPS Web Series in 2020.
19- Amit Sadh
this Indian actor born in Delhi, completed graduation from La Martiniere College, Lucknow. he came to Mumbai to become an actor at the age of 21. started his acting career from the Star plus teen drama Tv Serial Kyun Hota hai Pyarr (2002-2003). he won the best supporting actor award at Filmfare OTT Awards for the crime drama Breathe: Into the shadows (2020).
20- Divya Dutta
she first came in limelight from the 2004 romantic drama Veer Zaara starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, in which Divya’s role Shabbo was well received by the critics and the viewers. she won the best-supporting actress award at IIFA Award, for her performance in Delhi-6 (2009).
Along with Bollywood films she also has worked in Three Web Series namely Shanno Ki Shaadi (2005-06), Special Ops (2020), and Hostages (2020).