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From 'Guide' to Akshay's 'Prithviraj', a Look at Bollywood's Age Gap Problem

Amid the age gap debate around the Tip Tip Barsa remake, here are some of the leading pairs with large age gaps.

Updated
Bollywood
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Rajinikanth, Salman Khan, and Akshay Kumar are a few actors who have shared the screen with actors much younger than them.</p></div>
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The question of ageism in Bollywood is most heavily reflected in the leading pairs of films and the often-ridiculous age difference between them. With time, this gap hasn't reduced and further poses an inquiry into the longevity of a woman’s career in the industry when compared to that of her male contemporaries.

The question here is not just whether it is okay for a man, almost three decades older, to romance a 20-something in his movies. It is also rather important to question why this has increasingly become the norm and what the reactions would be if the roles were reversed.

Here’s a list of leading pairs in movies with startling age differences:

Akshay Kumar and Manushi Chillar

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Akshay Kumar And Manushi Chillar have an age gap of 30 years.&nbsp;</p></div>

Akshay Kumar And Manushi Chillar have an age gap of 30 years. 

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

In the upcoming film Prithviraj, Akshay Kumar will be paired with debutante Manushi Chillar. Akshay is currently 54 while Manushi is 24 years old. This makes the age gap between the two 30 years.

Rajinikanth and Radhika Apte, Sonakshi Sinha

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Rajinikanth and Radhika Apte in <em>Kabali.</em></p></div>

Rajinikanth and Radhika Apte in Kabali.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

In Pa. Ranjith’s Kabali released in 2016, Rajinikanth, 66 at the time, was cast opposite a 30-year-old Radhika Apte, with an age gap of 36 years.

In a Tamil film Lingaa, he shared the screen with 27-year-old Sonakshi Sinha. The age gap between them was 37. Her casting was finalised when the age gap was justified in the script.

Salman Khan and Disha Patani

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Salman Khan and Disha Patani have an age gap of 27 years.&nbsp;</p></div>

Salman Khan and Disha Patani have an age gap of 27 years. 

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

In Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai, Salman Khan was cast opposite Disha Patani who was 28, making the age difference between them of 27 years. In a statement, he had said, “She has done a great job in the movie. She has looked very beautiful. We look the same age too.” He then specified, “No, she did not look my age, I looked like hers.”

Salman Khan and Sneha Ulla

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Salman Khan and Sneha Ulla In&nbsp;<em>Lucky: No Time for Love.</em></p></div>

Salman Khan and Sneha Ulla In Lucky: No Time for Love.

(Photo Courtesy: Pinterest)

In the 2005 film Lucky: No Time for Love, Sneha Ullal was 17 and Salman Khan was 40. The age difference between them was 23 years. Salman Khan has been seen sharing the screen with much younger actors in multiple other films like Sonakshi Sinha in Dabangg, and Sonam Kapoor in Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. In Dabangg 3, which released in 2019, he was paired opposite 21-year-old Saiee Manjrekar, 33 years younger than him.

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Amitabh Bachchan and Soundarya

Sooryavansham, released in the year 1999, saw an unusual pairing of Amitabh Bachchan opposite Soundarya. At the time, Bachchan was 57 years old, while Soundarya was merely a 22-year-old, resulting in a 35-year age gap.

Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Kiara Advani and Akshay Kumar in <em>Laxmii.</em></p></div>

Kiara Advani and Akshay Kumar in Laxmii.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

Akshay Kumar was seen romancing Kiara Advani in Laxmii. The age difference between them is 25 years. In his upcoming film Atrangi Re, Akshay will be seen opposite Sara Ali Khan, who is 28 years younger.

Ajay Devgn and Sayyeshaa Saigal

In the 2016 film Shivaay, Ajay Devgan, who is also the director of the film was paired opposite the 19-year-old Sayyeshaa Saigal. Devgn was 47 at the time, adding up to an age gap of 28 years.

Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman in <em>Guide</em>.</p></div>

Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman in Guide.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

The 1965 iconic film Guide saw the pairing of a 42-year-old Dev Anand with a 27-year-old Waheeda Rehman. The age difference between them was 15 years.

Shammi Kapoor and Mumtaz

Shammi Kapoor, then 37 was cast opposite a 21-year-old Mumtaz in Brahmachari which released in 1968. The age difference between these two leads was of 16 years.

Amitabh Bachchan and Smita Patil

Ramesh Sippy's Shakti released in the year 1982 with Amitabh Bachchan and Smita Patil starring opposite each other. At the time, Bachchan was 40 and Patil was 27, resulting in an age gap of 13 years.

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