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When Bollywood met sports: Actors who played athletes


Jul 16, 2021
A still from Chak De India, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, Toofaan, 83, Maidaan.

Bollywood and sports go a long way back. Considering the audience's love for sports, Bollywood filmmakers have constantly released films where stars and superstars play athletes on-screen. Farhan Akhtar’s Toofaan is the latest addition to the list.

The film, which was released on Amazon Prime Video, is Farhan and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s second collaboration after Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, which was a sports biopic on the late athlete, Milkha Singh.

Here are some other times Bollywood actors played sportspersons:

Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan - Chak De India Shah Rukh Khan played the role of a hockey coach Kabir Khan in Chak De India. His character has become so iconic that people find it relevant even today.
Aamir Khan
Aamir Khan - Lagaan, Dangal Aamir Khan was one of the earliest actors to have explored cricket on-screen in Bollywood with Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan. More recently, he worked in Dangal, which was a film on wrestling. He played the wrestling coach, Mahavir Phogat, in the story inspired by the real Phogat sisters.
Salman Khan
Salman Khan - Sultan While Aamir Khan was prepping for Dangal, Salman was working on Sultan. Both the movies had wrestling at the core with other plotlines (family in Dangal, love life in Sultan) running parallelly.
Ranbir Kapoor
Ranbir Kapoor - Sourav Ganguly biopic More recently, Ranbir Kapoor has been finalized for cricketer Sourav Ganguly’s biopic. The former Indian captain recently gave a nod to shoot his biopic.
Ranveer Singh
Ranveer Singh - 83 Ranveer Singh brings back the pleasant memories of India’s 1983 Cricket World Cup win in Kabir Khan’s 83. The actor plays the role of Kapil Dev in the same.
Shahid Kapoor
Shahid Kapoor - Jersey Shahid Kapoor is working on the Telugu remake of Jersey. The Nani starrer was a sports drama about how a cricketer realises that age is no barrier to pursuing his passion.
Akshay Kumar
Akshay Kumar - Brothers Akshay Kumar and Sidharth Malhotra played ‘Brothers’ in the movie inspired by the English film Warrior. The film saw them indulge in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), which wasn’t new for the ‘Khiladi’.
Ajay Devgan
Ajay Devgn - Maidaan Ajay Devgn is also playing a football coach in the upcoming film Maidaan. The actor reprises the role of the real-life player, coach late Syed Abdul Rahim in the film directed by Amit Sharma.
Sushant Singh Rajput
Sushant Singh Rajput - MS Dhoni: The Untold Story Late Sushant Singh Rajput aced the role of former Indian cricket team skipper MS Dhoni in MS Dhoni: The Untold Story. The film focused on Dhoni’s journey into cricket and the hurdles he faced while reaching his goal.
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