Ranbir to Salman, Actors Who Played Themselves in Films

Abira Dhar
·4-min read

Lately, a film trailer that has created a lot of buzz is AK vs AK, starring Anil Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap. AK vs AK, directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, started grabbing eyeballs when Anil Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap sparred on Twitter to promote the film.

The most interesting part about AK vs AK is that both Kapoor and Kashyap play themselves in lead roles, a concept Bollywood has not experimented with. Yes, of course we have seen actors play themselves in films, but they have mostly been cameos. Let us take a look at a few such examples:

Ranbir Kapoor

Kapoor has surely become a pro at playing himself on screen because he has made guest appearances in a total of three films. The first one is Chillar Party, wherein we see a group of kids requesting Ranbir to perform an 'item song' in their film. Chillar Party's promotional song, Tai Tai Phis, sees Ranbir Kapoor dance his heart out.

The next is Bhootnath Returns. Ranbir Kapoor is cast opposite Amitabh Bachchan, and we see him talking about the importance of voting during the Lok Sabha elections.

We have all have seen Madhuri Dixit shaking a leg with Ranbir in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. Ranbir, in turn, made a small appearance in Madhuri's Marathi film Bucket List.

Salman Khan

Till date Salman has played himself in only one film, and that is Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. The movie saw Katrina Kaif make her presence felt in Bollywood. One of the sequences in the movie shows Ranbir Kapoor aka Prem trying to impress Jenny (Katrina) by telling her Salman Khan is his friend. As luck would have it, Salman turns up one day and seals the deal. If you haven't watched Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani yet what are you waiting for?

Akshay Kumar

This one is a little tricky. Akshay Kumar played Akshay Kumar in The Shaukeens. However, the catch is that the reel Akshay is shown to be an alcoholic whereas the actor himself has said time and again that he is a teetotaller .

Katrina Kaif

Katrina Kaif got a chance to play herself in the anthology, Bombay Talkies. The film recounted four stories by different filmmakers. Zoya Akhtar's short is about a boy who likes to dress up like girls. He watches the song Sheila Ki Jaawani and dreams of becoming a dancer like Katrina. That's when the actor turns up in his dream as herself.

Also Read: Anurag Kashyap & Anil Kapoor Spar to Promote 'AK vs AK'

Suniel Shetty

Suniel Shetty was seen playing himself in the film Welcome. It was a blink-and-miss appearance that may not have even registered. In one scene Shetty was seen refusing a film.

Juhi Chawla

Unlike many guest appearances that may not have stayed with us, Juhi Chawla's cameo in the cult film Andaz Apna Apna is etched in our minds. Juhi appears in a scene where Aamir is shown dreaming about romancing with the actor.


As we talk about Andaz Apna Apna, Govinda is another actor who made a special appearance as himself. It's a scene where Juhi Chawla and Govinda are seen acting in a film together, which gets Aamir Khan jealous.


Back in 1971 Hrishikesh Mukherjee made a film with a hatke concept - a school girl being obsessed with superstar Dharmendra. The schoolgirl was played by Jaya Bachchan, and Dharmendra played himself.

Also Read: Watch Anil Kapoor vs Anurag Kashyap In ‘AK vs AK’ Trailer

Amitabh Bachchan

The veteran actor still holds the record of starring in the maximum number of films wherein he has played himself.

Let's start with Guddi (1971). Not just Amitabh but many other actors such as Rajesh Khanna, Naveen Nischol, Asrani, Om Prakash, and Pran played themselves in the film. In one of the scenes Dharmendra takes Guddi to visit his film set and introduces her with some actors, including Amitabh Bachchan.

Years later Big B made an appearance in Bombay Talkies in 2013. Anurag Kashyap got Bachchan to play himself in his short film. It's a story of a fan from a small town battling odds to meet his idol, Amitabh Bachchan.

Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan playing themselves in R Balki's Ki & Ka. The movie has an adorable segment of the couple having a conversation in their living room. The makers of the movie also recreated a real-life sequence wherein Amitabh Bachchan comes to the gate of his house to wave to his fans.

Amitabh's last such appearance was in the 2018 film PadMan, starring Akshay Kumar in the lead. The climax shows Bachchan presenting an award to Laxmikant Chauhan, played by Akshay.

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