New Delhi: Director Ashutosh Gowariker’s epic historical drama Mohenjo Daro, which releases this week, features former beauty pageant contestant Pooja Hegde, making her debut alongside lead actor Hrithik Roshan. Bollywood has had quite a tradition of introducing fresh female faces opposite established male stars. Here’s a list of 10 female actors who made their debut with male superstars.

1. Sonakshi Sinha: Director Abhinav Kashyap and producer Arbaaz Khan introduced Sonakshi Sinha in the rustic action drama opposite Salman Khan released in 2010. The blockbuster that made 138 crore at the box office paved the way for a slew of action comedies that Sinha followed up with, such as Rowdy Rathore and Son of Sardaar.

2. Zarine Khan: Khan made her Hindi film debut in director Anil Sharma’s period drama Veer (2010), starring Salman Khan. Despite the star presence, the film only made 30 crore at the box office.

3. Anushka Sharma: Sharma, a former model, made her acting debut in director Aditya Chopra’s romantic comedy Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008) opposite Shah Rukh Khan. The film made 14 crore in box office collections and Sharma followed up with hits like Band Baaja Baraat and Badmaash Company.

4. Deepika Padukone: Padukone, who started her acting career with a Kannada film, made her Bollywood debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan in director Farah Khan’s rebirth saga Om Shanti Om (2007). The film earned 70 crore at the box office and established Padukone as one of the most promising faces of the time.

5. Sneha Ullal: Lucky: No Time for Love, the Salman Khan-starrer directed by Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru, was a tale of two Indian lovers in war-torn Russia. The film that released in 2005 earned 14 crore in box office collections but didn’t help Ullal make much headway.

6. Gayatri Joshi: More than 10 years ago, Ashutosh Gowariker introduced model Gayatri Joshi opposite Shah Rukh Khan in his patriotic drama Swades (2004). The film earned widespread critical acclaim, besides 16 crore at the box office, but remains Joshi’s only feature film till date.

7. Priyanka Chopra: Long before she put India on the global map, Priyanka Chopra made her Hindi film debut with Sunny Deol’s action thriller The Hero: Love Story of a Spy in 2003. The film only earned 2 crore in box office collections, but Chopra soon found greater success with Akshay Kumar-starrers Andaaz and Aitraaz.

8. Preity Zinta: Zinta made her acting debut with a supporting role in Mani Ratnam’s romantic thriller Dil Se (1998) opposite Shah Rukh Khan. The film earned 8 crore at the box office and the newcomer was also seen in Bobby Deol-starrer Soldier the same year.

9. Mahima Chaudhry: Filmmaker Subhash Ghai introduced former model Mahima Chaudhry in his musical drama Pardes (1997) opposite Shah Rukh Khan. The film netted 14 crore in box office collections and won Chaudhry several best newcomer awards that season.

10. Jaya Prada: The actor and politician turned to Hindi films after a successful career in the south with Rishi Kapoor-starrer Sargam (1979). The film, known and remembered for its songs, netted about 4 crore in box office collections.

All figures have been sourced from movie website IBOS Network.

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