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From Manoj Bajpayee To Adarsh Gourav: IMDb’s Top 5 Breakout Stars of Indian Web Series & Films


Even amid the coronavirus crisis, when theatres were closed for a long time, the entertainment industry was continuously churning out content via OTT platforms. From shows that left viewers pleasantly surprised to films that exceeded everyone’s expectations, the year 2021 was filled with entertainment and fresh content. Like every year, 2021 too saw actors (newcomers as well as veterans) stealing the show with their power-packed performances and IMDb has now unveiled an annual list of top 10 breakout actors who were a part of the Indian web series and films. 

The list has been prepared on the basis of page views of over 200 million monthly IMDb visitors. Actor Adarsh Gourav, who got rave reviews for his performance in The White Tiger, has topped the chart. While The Family Man fame Ashlesha Thakur and Malavika Mohanan have secured the second and third positions, respectively. 

Here’s a look at IMDb’s top 5 breakout stars of Indian films and web series of 2021: 

1. Adarsh Gourav View this post on Instagram

While Netflix’s much-acclaimed The White Tiger also featured Rajkummar Rao and Priyanka Chopra Jonas in pivotal roles, Adarsh Gourav stole the show with his superlative and nuanced portrayal of a driver abused and exploited by his employer. For his memorable performance, the actor even received a BAFTA nomination. He was also a part of Hostel Daze seasons 2 which is available on Amazon Prime Video. 

Currently, the actor has an international project titled Extrapolations with Meryl Streep and Kit Harington. He has also signed Zoya Akhtar’s production venture Kho Gaye Hum Kaha co-starring Ananya Panday and Siddhant Chaturvedi. 

2. Ashlesha Thakur View this post on Instagram

Aslesha Thakur had featured in a few commercials, TV shows, and films before featuring in The Family Man, however, the Amazon Prime Video show proved to be a turning point for the young star. She played the character of Srikant’s (Manoj Bajpayee) daughter Dhriti in The Family Man 2 and got nationwide fame for her strong performance. She was also a part of Sanya Malhotra-starrer Paggalit which too is available on Amazon Prime.  

3. Malavika Mohanan View this post on Instagram

The south sensation, who made her acting debut with the Malayalam film Pattam Pole in 2013, earned critical acclaim for her performance in Majid Majidi’s 2017 drama Beyond the Clouds co-starring Ishaan Khatter. In 2021, Malavika featured in the Tamil action thriller Master featuring Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi in lead roles. The film was released on Amazon Prime Video which propelled her IMDb STARmeter rank this year.

4. Manoj Bajpayee View this post on Instagram

Bajpayee, who is among the finest performers of the country, reprised his role as a middle-class father and world-class spy in The Family Man 2 this year. The series was well-made and Bajpayee’s performance was loved by fans. Besides the popular Amazon Prime series, he also starred in Ray (Netflix) and Dial 100 (ZEE5). Watching him playing different characters has been a treat for fans and everyone is looking forward to his upcoming projects. 

5. Kritika Kamra View this post on Instagram

Kritika Kamra, who became a household name after playing the lead role in Ekta Kapoor’s hit TV series Kitani Mohabbat Hai opposite Karan Kundrra, played a prominent role in Ali Abbas Zafar’s Amazon Prime series Tandav. While the show’s name got embroiled in various controversies, Kamra’s performance was brilliant. Besides her, Tandav also starred Saif Ali Khan and Gauahar Khan. 

Shahana Goswami (Bombay Begums and The Last Hour), Sunny Hinduja (Aspirants, The Family Man 2, Chacha Vidhayak Hain Humare, and Jamun), Vikrant Massey (Haseen Dilruba, Switchh, and 14 Phere), Ahsaas Channa (Girls Hostel, Hostel Daze, Kota Factory, and Engineering Girls), and Sai Tamhankar (Mini and Samantar) are the remaining five names in the list. 

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