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When one actor isn't enough

Last updated on: July 30, 2009 

Image: Saif Ali Khan and Rishi Kapoor in Love Aaj Kal

Sometimes a character takes more than just one actor.

Sometimes Bollywood likes to stress the passage of time, which is when they get one actor to show a character's youth and another to play his future. With Saif Ali Khan all set to play Rishi Kapoor in Love Aaj Kal, here's a look at some memorable instances of two -- or more -- actors playing the same character.

Saif Ali Khan and Rishi Kapoor as Veer Singh in Love Aaj Kal

Saif Ali Khan plays the younger version of Rishi Kapoor in Imtiaz Ali's film, and this is probably the reason the Chhote Nawab has been looking so much like Kapoor's son Ranbir in the film's promos -- right down to wooing Ranbir's real-life squeeze Deepika -- but visually, it just seems like the actor's trying too hard to look young.

Saif, Rishi: No acting rating yet, but Saif gets a 2/5 for his Ranbir hangover.

Ayush Mahesh Khedekar,Tanay Chheda and Dev Patel in Slumdog Millionaire

Image: A scene from Slumdog Millionaire

Sure, Dev played the guy occupying the hotseat in this Oscar-conquering film, but there was much nonlinear fun as director Danny Boyle switched through actors of different ages playing the same parts.

Dev was great, Tanay sounded a bit too convent-educated but Ayush took the cake as he asked Amitabh Bachchan for an autograph in a way we would never forget.

Ayush: 5/5, Tanay: 3/5, Dev: 4/5

Rubina Ali,Tanvi Ganesh Lonkar and Freida Pinto in Slumdog Millionaire

Image: A scene from Slumdog Millionaire

The first time we see Latika in Danny Boyle's Mumbai masterpiece, we see a little girl dripping with rainwater and naivete. The second time Jamal seeks her out, she's a dancing girl canny enough to pick her up money. Third time around she's a striking bird, kept in a gangster's cage. All three performances are immense.

Rubina: 3.5/5, Tanvi: 4/5, Freida: 3.5/5

Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, Ashutosh Lobo Gajiwala and Madhur Mittal in Slumdog Milliionaire

Image: A scene from Slumdog Millionaire

Salim Malik is the most interesting character in Slumdog Millionaire, a streetwise runt driven by ruthless ambition and a hunger for the bigtime.

The three actors who play Salim through the various stages of his life all manage to combine brotherly love with a cutthroat edge that makes Salim undeniably scary.

Azharuddin: 4/5, Ashutosh: 3.5/5, Madhur: 5/5

Ayesha Kapur and Rani Mukerji in Black

Image: A scene from Black

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's pretention-gorged magnum opus had two actresses enacting the undisputably demanding role of the physically challenged Michelle McNally and while the elder one regaled with her farcical Charlie Chaplin routine, it was the young one that drew the applause.

Ayesha: 5/5, Rani: 3/5

Ebrahim Khan and Saif Ali Khan in Tashan

Image: A scene from Tashan

He's only there for a couple of seconds in a highly stylised walking shot involving all four actors and their younger versions, but in this star-crazed industry the 'debut' of Saif Ali Khan's son surely deserves a mention.

Ebrahim did look visually better suited to those clothes than daddy, though.

Ebrahim: 4/5, Saif: 2/5

Aryan Khan and Shah Rukh Khan in Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham

Image: A scene from Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Kham

In similar vein, Karan Johar took advantage of India's biggest superstar playing adopted son to none other than Amitabh Bachchan in his smash hit melodrama by casting SRK's son Aryan as SRK in a flashback sequence.

The kid was cute enough to ensure instant applause.

Aryan: 3/5, Shah Rukh: 3/5

Kapish Patel and Hrithik Roshan in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham

Image: A scene from Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham

Also in Karan's handkerchief-exhausting film, the character of Rohan was modelled vaguely around Karan himself as a young plump kid grew up to turn into none other than the lean and chiselled Hrithik Roshan.

Both parts worked quite well, to be fair.

Kapish: 3/5, Hrithik: 3/5