The curious case of aging male actors and their younger leading ladies.
Although it is safe to say that the plot of Arangi Re was a bit convoluted, Akshay Kumar and Sara Ali Khan seemed to be romantically involved for much of the movie. And what is their age difference, you ask? 28 years old!
Akshay and Manushi Chhillar were romantic protagonists in Samrat Prithvirajplaying Prithviraj Chauhan and Sanyogita respectively, despite a 29-year age gap!
Kiara Advani, who was Akshay Kumar’s leading lady in the 2020 film, Laxmii, is 25 years her junior.
Bhumi Pednekar, sound Toilets: Ek Prem Katha costar, is 21 years younger than Akshay.
On the other hand, Kriti Sanon, Akshay Kumar’s Full House 4 and Bachchan Panandey costar, is 22 years her junior.
It really seems like I have a bone to pick with Akshay Kumar but you can’t blame me, given the ever-widening age gap he shares with his co-stars. Yet another example is that of Amy Jackson, her singh is crazy co-actor, being almost 25 years younger than him.
Akshay and Katrina Kaif have been paired opposite each other in no less than eight films, with audiences loving their on-screen chemistry. However, it is worth noting that they have a 15 year age gap!
Katrina Kaif and Salman Khan have worked as co-stars in six films (with another in the works) and have also been a real-life couple. However, many of us tend to forget that Salman is 17 years older than Katrina.
Salman Khan has also been paired with Disha Patani in movies like Radhe and a small part of Bharatalthough Disha is 26 years younger than him.
Sonakshi Sinha, who was Salman’s romantic interest in three Dabangg films, is 21 years younger than him.
Saiee Manjrekar, who played Khushi, the love interest of a young Chulbul Pandey in Dabangg 3, is 32 years younger than Salman Khan.
Jacqueline Fernandez, who has been paired with Salman Khan in films like Kick and Race 3, is 20 years her junior.
Salman was almost 20 years old when Sonam Kapoor, his Prem Ratan Dhan Payo costar, was born.
Moreover, Salman was 22 when Anushka Sharma, his leading lady of Sultan, made his debut in… this world.
Anushka Sharma and Shah Rukh Khan have been romantically entangled/married in nearly four films, with Anushka making her Bollywood debut opposite him in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi at the age of 20. However, did you know that they have a 22-year age gap?!
Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone, yet another “successful couple”, have a 20-year age gap between them.
Mahira Khan, SRK Raees costar, is 19 years her junior.
On the other hand, Katrina Kaif, her love for Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Zero, is 17 years younger than Shah Rukh.
Rakul Preet Singh, Ajay Devgn’s From De Pyaar From and Runway 34 costar, is 22 years younger than him.
Sonakshi Sinha, who has been paired with Ajay in several films including Son of Sardar and ActionJacksonis 18 years her junior.
Did you know Ajay Devgn was 28 when his Shivaay costar, Sayyesha Saigal was born?
Also, Tamannaah, Ajay’s Himmatwala costar, is 21 years younger than him.
Tamannaah and Saif Ali Khan, who belonged to each other “Caller’s Melody” in Humshakals, have a 19-year age gap between them.
I’m pretty sure you already knew that Aamir Khan PACK co-star, Anushka Sharma, is 23 years her junior.
But did you also know that Asin, his leading lady in Ghajini21 years younger than him?
During this time, his Dhoom 3 and Hindostan thugs co-actor, Katrina Kaif, is 18 years her junior.
Few realize it, but Hrithik Roshan is 19 years older than his Super 30 co-actor, Mrunal Thakur.
Moreover, Pooja Hegde, his leading lady in Mohenjo Darois 17 years younger than Hrithik.
Yes, he looks much younger than his actual age, but, as of today, Anil Kapoor is 65 years old. He played Kareena Kapoor Khan’s husband in the 2005 film Bewafaa, despite their age difference of 24 years!
Moreover, his co-star, Rani Mukerji was only 23 years old when their film, Nayak: the real hero, published. Anil was 45 at the time.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who was cast opposite Anil in Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Haiis 17 years her junior.
Anil Kapoor was also paired with Ameesha Patel, who is 19 years younger than him, in Race 2.
I cannot forget the fact that Shefali Shah, who plays Amitabh Bachchan’s wife in Waqt: the race against time30 years younger than him!
We’ve all had countless repeat viewings of Sooryavansham on Set Max, but, did you notice that Amitabh Bachchan’s co-star Soundarya was only 27 when the movie was released, when he was 57?!
While the movie Nishabd is a bit of an outlier because its story basically revolved around the age difference between the protagonists, watching a 65-year-old Amitabh Bachchan romance a 19-year-old Jiah Khan was certainly uncomfortable.
Why do actresses have an expiration date based on their age, but their male counterparts don’t? When will this deep-rooted ageism in Bollywood begin to unravel? While OTT platforms have certainly brought a refreshing change with a more age-appropriate cast, mainstream movies have yet to follow suit. I guess all we can do at this point is wait (and maybe fossilize in the process).
What crazy age gaps did I miss? Let me know in the comments!