Ever since Ayushmann Khurrana revealed the poster of Dream Girl, wherein he plays a woman named Pooja, we are keeping our hopes high and fingers crossed. The teaser has the actor rocking a saree and playing Sita in Ram Leela on one hand, and seducing men and women with ‘her’ melodiously sweet voice on the other. However, Ayushmann isn’t the first actor to cross dress. From Kamal Hassan to Govinda, Shah Rukh Khan and even Aamir Khan, most have slipped into the ballerinas, gowns and sarees. Did they steal our hearts? Or was it a terrible attempt? Let’s find out.
Kamal Hassan in ‘Chachi 420’
Kamal Hassan gave a stellar performance as a woman in the film which, interestingly, was his directorial debut. Jaiprakash (Kamal Hassan) and Janki Paswan (Tabu) are fighting a divorce case, with Jai being allowed to visit his daughter Bharti once a week. An attempt to steal Bharti robs him of all visitation rights, so Jai makes an entry into Janki and her daughter’s lives by disguising as a nanny, Lashmi Godbole. Sporting a saree and wig and modulating his voice, Hassan owns Lakshmi’s avatar with supreme confidence. Add to that his comic timing. Remember the sequence where Paresh Rawal flirts with Hassan? “Yeh Chachi hai ki Toofan mail hai”, says Rawal as Chachi darts towards ‘her’ house, and we can’t help but smile.
Secondly, the scene where Lakshmi chachi channels her inner Jai to beat goons black and blue when they eve-tease Janki left us in splits. To switch between playing a man and a woman with equal conviction requires some talent, and Kamal Hassan bowled us over in Chachi 420. We hope Ayushmann too lives up to our expectations.
Mithun in ‘Roti Ki Keemat’
Yes, Mithun Chakraborty too cross-dressed to extract sensitive information from villains in Roti Ki Keemat. In an otherwise sombre film with a lot of action, Mithun decks out in a silver gown, a huge hat and shades.
He is introduced as Gina Kholkar (puns were on a different level back then), and the seductive beauty breaks into a dance – 36, 24, 36. Don’t think, just watch Mithun swing his hips. After all, why should Gunda be the only gem?
Aamir Khan in ‘Baazi’
Most of you might not know, but Aamir Khan cross-dressed for an entire song in his 1995 film Baazi. He plays the role of inspector Amar Darjee, who has been assigned to nab the mastermind of an international scandal worth millions. The closer Amar gets to the truth, the more dangerous the game becomes, so much so that he is framed for the murder of the Commissioner’s daughter. Amar escapes from prison and dons the role of a woman, Julie Briganza, to get more information. Amar even manages to enter the villain aka Paresh Rawal’s house. The scene where Rawal attempts to molest Julie is cringeworthy.
Wearing gowns, ballerina shoes, and loud make-up, Aamir is not at all convincing as a woman. Also, in a film as serious as Baazi, Amar could have surely thought of a thousand different ways to nab the criminals. Also, it’s surprising that none of the other characters are smart enough to distinguish between a man and a woman.
Mehmood in ‘Bhoot Bangla’
Whenever we mention Mehmood, the music teacher in Padosan comes to our mind. Well, for those who aren’t aware, he was among the first Bollywood actors to dress as a woman. Take this scene in Bhoot Bangla. Mehmood disguises as a beautiful model. He is seen applying make-up and he totally rocks his avatar!
Shah Rukh Khan in ‘Duplicate’
If Sonali Bendre’s expressions in Mere Mehboob Mere Sanam have scarred you for life, there’s more in store for you. Evil Shah Rukh (Manu) has managed to escape from jail and is out to kill his partners. One of the targets is Dhingra (Sharat Saxena), one of the sleaziest characters in the film. Manu comes up with an ingenious plan to finish him off– he dresses as a woman and begins seducing Sharat. The bizarre sequence that unfolds before your eyes will leave you speechless.
Salman Khan in ‘Jaan-E- Mann’
Saviour of the nation Akshay Kumar and forever “young” Salman Khan once collaborated for a film that is beyond redemption. Here’s how the plot unfolds – Suhaan (Salman) gets a rude shock when his ex-wife Piya (Preity Zinta) demands a divorce settlement of millions because he fails to pay his alimony. When Suhaan and his lawyer try to figure out a solution, in steps Agastya (Akshay Kumar), who loved Piya since her college days. Suhaan tries his best to pair Agastya and Piya up so that he can be relieved of his burden. If this hasn’t already given you a headache, wait. In one of the most unbelievable sequences, Salman dresses as a woman to go to a pub so that Piya can’t recognise him! He gives love lessons to Agastya and, lo and behold, Piya falls for the latter. Donning a short dress revealing his biceps and a hideous wig, Salman ensures that you seek professional help if you have managed to brave Jaan-E-Mann.
Govinda in ‘Aunty No 1’
King of comedy Govinda never failed to amuse us. Aunty No 1 is one of those hilarious films wherein the actor confidently puts on sarees and lehengas and owns the role of an aunty. As a favour to two of his closest friends, Gopi (Govinda) decides to become their aunt. He pulls off the façade so well that two men (Kader Khan and Saeed Jaffrey) instantly fall for the middle-aged woman. Kader Khan and Govinda “aunty” grooving to Ke Aayi Ab Aunty Ki Baari will definitely tickle your funny bones.
Riteish Deshmukh in ‘Apna Sapna Money Money’
From Humshakals to Apna Sapna Money Money, Riteish Deshmukh has tortured us with one insufferable film after another. But one thing that he effortlessly did was impersonate a woman. Both films saw him in dresses and salwars, but our pick would be Apna Sapna Money Money. Riteish essays the role of an aunt in the movie. Not only does he look pretty batting his fake eyelids and pouting the painted lips, he is also enjoyably flippant.
Amitabh Bachchan, Shreyas Talpade and other actors have also tried their hands at decking out as woman, but the list has to end somewhere.
. Read more on Bollywood by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsBefore Ayushmann, Here Are Some Other Actors Who Cross-Dressed . Read more on Bollywood by The Quint.