Filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee adds that the industry is evolving in a way that actors — stars or otherwise — look for exciting, mostly real roles. This finds proof in Emraan Hashmi's manipulative character in Banerjee's Shanghai. Nominated alongside Kumar, Hashmi, on the cusp of graduating to the league of A-list stars, chose to go de-glam for the film. "The scope the character offered for experimentation was the biggest draw for Emraan," Banerjee explains. Rani Mukerji too opted for a supporting role in Talaash even as she shot for Aiyya as the leading lady. Mukerji is pitted against Huma Qureshi and Richa Chadha in the race to bag the award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female).
Another reason why stars are increasingly willing to let go of their insecurities for character-driven roles is to diversify their filmography. Otherwise known for his deadpan humour, Abhishek Bachchan chose to share the centrestage with Devgn for his comic role in the slapstick comedy Bol Bachchan, which has got him a nomination in the Best Actor in a Comic Role category. Anushka Sharma, who is used to playing the leading lady, played second fiddle to Katrina Kaif but won a nomination in the Supporting Role category for her lively act in Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Citing her own example, Basu explains that she was tired of the kind of roles she had recently played until Raaz 3 came along. "I did such characters in the early part of my career and this needed me to dig out an emotion I am unaccustomed to."
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