Priyanka Chopra's 2014 hit biopic, "Mary Kom," seems to have kick-started an interesting trend in Bollywood. While sports biopics like "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" and "Paan Singh Tomar" have given rise to biopics based on male icons - with films like "Dhoni" (based on cricket captain M.S. Dhoni), "Azhar" (on the life of Mohammad Azaharuddin) - the success of "Mary Kom" has inspired filmmakers to make biographic films based on female personalities.
A series of female-oriented biopics are now underway and actresses are lapping it up. After all, biopics offer a great challenge to convincingly portray a real life character, and also offer a great chance to win hearts and the box office with a performance-oriented film.
Here are the actresses who are lapping up biopics at the moment:
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
"Mary Kom" director Omung Kumar is making yet another biopic, this time based on the life of Sarabjit Singh's sister Dalbir Kaur. Sarabjit was an Indian national, who was convicted of terrorism and spying by a Pakistani court and sentenced to death in 1991, but the government had stayed his execution for an indefinite period in 2008. His sister Dalbir Kaur fought hard to save her brother and bring him back to India.
Sonam plays the title role in the film "Neerja Bhanot" - a flight attended who was shot dead by terrorists when a Mumbai-New York flight was hijacked and taken to Karachi, Pakistan in 1986. Bhanot had fought bravely to save many lives on the plane. The story and screenplay of the film has been done by "Mary Kom" writer Saiwyn Quadras.
Apoorva Lakhia will direct a film based on the life of gangster Dawood Ibrahim's sister Haseena Parkar, who was one of his 12 sisters. Sonakshi will play the role of Haseena. The film will follow 40 years of Haseena's life - it will showcase her emotional turmoil as Ibrahim's sister.
Kangana has been signed on to play Rani Laxmibai (Jhansi Ki Rani), the brave Maratha queen who ruled the state of Jhansi in the early part of the 19th century. It is an Indo-British project, directed by Ketan Mehta. There have been rumors that Hugh Grant has been approached to play the role of a British officer.
"Bajirao Mastani" more of a period love story, but it is in essence a biopic, as it is based on real life historical characters - Peshwa Bajirao I, his second wife Mastani and first wife Kashibai. It is not a female-centric biopic even though it offers great parts to it female leads. Deepika plays the role of Mastani, who was a warrior princess of Persian origin. She was proficient in sword fighting, archery and horse-riding. She had to constantly suffer because her relationship with Bajirao I created a lot of familial, social and political problems for everybody.
Priyanka plays the role of Kashibai, who was the first wife of Bajirao I. She came from a royal heritage, and was a simple and dedicated wife. But when her husband fell in love with another woman, she had to go through heartbreak, and had to constantly fight to get his attention.