1. Kiara Advani: The orgasm did it. From being just another hopeful pretty face in the Bollywood rows, Kiara Advani, who had been struggling for years, suddenly came into her own when Karan Johar’s connoisseur eyes fell on this chiselled beauty. He cast her as a sexually dissatisfied wife in Lust Stories. That one sequence where she finds self-satisfaction in unexpected places has catapulted Kiara to stardom. She will now be seen as one of the leads in Karan Johar’s Good News and as Shahid Kapoor’s leading lady in the Hindi remake of the Telugu blockbuster Arjun Reddy. Way to go, girl.
2. Ayushmann Khurrana: Joining the A- league this year was this affable unassuming actor. Ayushmann scored big in Badhaai Ho and then bigger in AndhaDhun, a role turned down by Varun Dhawan and Harshvardhan Kapoor. Ayushmann is now considered a bankable star-actor.
3. Swara Bhaskar: From being cast repeatedly as spunky small-town firebrand, Swara swung into a glam mode with Veere Di Wedding and the web series It’s Not That Simple. From playing Sonam’s best friend Swara has moved to playing every empowered girl’s best friend. Producers are no longer casting her in the economically challenged mode. Designer clothes are not just for star-kids.
4. Vicky Kaushal: As the strong supportive Pakistani husband to Alia Bhatt’s author-backed character in Raazi and then as the ever-libidinous vagabond-on-uppers in Manmarziyan, Kaushal has made a place among the dependable actors of today. He will be seen as solo hero in Uri.
5. Rajkummar Rao: His rise to stardom was palpable in 2017 when Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana proved tidy profit makers. Stree in 2018 has put Rao in the 100-crore club. We all know what that means. Rajkummar Rao is now a star.