These Bollywood Actors Were Much Older Than Their Female Co-Stars

This article appeared in Cleverclassic and has been published here with permission.

These Controversial Bollywood Pairings Are Raising Eyebrows

The problem of older male actors being paired with younger female actresses has been a prevalent one in Bollywood. Usually, the age-gap is limited to only a decade, but in some cases, it crosses 20-30 years. While people once looked the other way, now the audience has started to question this practice. Here are some movies wherein the lead actor was much older than his female co-star.

Salman Khan – Disha Patani

Salman Khan has romanced many many young ladies on-screen, and if the gossip is to be believed, off-screen too! However, one of his most shocking on-screen pairings was with actress Disha Patani in the movie Radhe.

Salman Khan – Disha Patani

During the filming of the 2021 movie, Khan was 55-years-old while his love interest in the movie Disha Patani was only 28-years-old. That makes the difference between them a whopping 27 years.

Anil Kapoor – Kareena Kapoor Khan

This pairing was unusual not only in terms of the age gap but also because these two actors come from two different generations of Bollywood. The shocking pairing starred in the movie Bewafa alongside Akshay Kumar.

Anil Kapoor – Kareena Kapoor Khan

At that time, Anil Kapoor was 49-year-old while Kareena Kapoor Khan was only 25! Despite the 24-year age gap, the duo portrayed the roles of a husband and a wife in the 2005 movie.

Aamir Khan – Anushka Sharma

There are a lot of things that Aamir Khan defies Bollywood norms with – his acting, his choice of scripts, and his absolute cluelessness about the workings of social media. But one place Khan failed was breaking the age-gap cycle of male-female co-stars.

Aamir Khan – Anushka Sharma

For one of Aamir Khan’s biggest movies, PK, the 49-year-old actor starred opposite 26-year-Anushka Sharma. Thankfully, their love is only one-sided, so their 23-year age gap wasn’t all that controversial.

Amitabh Bachhan – Soundarya

Sooryavansham is a beloved movie in Bollywood. It’s a cult favorite, and many people remember watching it every Sunday with family. But what escapes notice is the fact that the lead actors of the movie have a massive age gap!

Amitabh Bachhan – Soundarya

Amitabh Bachhan was 57 years old during the filming of this 1999 hit, while the actress playing his wife was only a mere 22 years old. That makes the duo 25 years apart in age.

Shahrukh Khan – Anushka Sharma

King Khan has launched many new and young faces in Bollywood in his movies. However, while his age keeps increasing, his female co-stars’ ages remain as young as ever.

Shahrukh Khan – Anushka Sharma

The 43-year-old actor started opposite Anushka Sharma in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi when the actress was just 20 years old. The 23-year age gap was shocking, to say the least. However, the movie became the perfect launch for the new actress, so we guess it was worth it!

Shahrukh Khan – Deepika Padukone

This is another leading lady from today’s date and age that was launched alongside Shahrukh Khan in the late 2000s. But her age gap with the King of Bollywood is no less shocking.

Shahrukh Khan – Deepika Padukone

During her debut movie Om Shanti Om, Deepika Padukone was a fresh-faced 21-year-old actress while Shahrukh Khan, who starred opposite her, was 42 years old. This makes the age gap between the lead pair to be 21 years. The pair have gotten together twice more, for the superhit Chennai Express and the upcoming Pathaan.

Ajay Devgn – Tamannaah

These two actors got together for the 2013 movie Himmatwala, which was a huge flop, all thanks to its over-the-top storyline. The movie focuses on a man, played by Devgn, who takes revenge on an evil landlord by marrying his daughter.

Ajay Devgn – Tamannaah

Tamannah, who plays the daughter and Devgn’s love interest, was 23 when the movie was released, while Devgn was 44. The 21-year age gap puts a new twist on the choreography of the song “Naino Mein Sapna.”

Akshay Kumar – Kiara Advani

Akshay Kumar is a name that we’ll be seeing a lot more of for having co-stars much younger than him. The action-comedy hero has made a name for himself, both for making amazing movies and for starring opposite young actresses in his movies.

Akshay Kumar – Kiara Advani

The actor shared screen space with Kiara Advani in his movie Laxmii, an actress 25 years his junior. During the filming of the movie, Kumar was 53 years old while Advani was 28.

Rajnikanth – Aishwariya Rai

The movie Enthiran (alternatively released as Robot) created a lot of waves when it was first released in 2010. It starred former Miss World Aishwariya Rai Bachchan and superstar Rajnikanth.

Rajnikanth – Aishwariya Rai

Even though the sci-fi action movie received widespread acclaim and fanfare, a much-overshadowed fact was the age gap between the leading pair. Rajnikanth was 59 years old when the movie was released, while Aishwariya was only 37.

Rajnikanth – Amy Jackson

The sequel to Enthiran, titled 2.0, was released in 2018. Rajnikanth reprises his role as Dr. Vaseegaran, a scientist who creates robots. But unlike the previous movie where he only played a dual role, here the superstar had three roles!

Rajnikanth – Amy Jackson

One of his roles is as Chitti, an advanced robot. And actress Amy Jackson plays Nila, another robot who falls in love with Chitti. The only thing more complicated than the three Rajnikanths is the ages of the pair. Rajnikanth was 67 while Amy Jackson was only 26! That’s a 41-year difference!

Sanjay Dutt – Gracy Singh

Munna Bhai MBBS is a movie that can be called a true icon of Hindi cinema. The movie introduced the world to a bromance that has gone down in Bollywood history as one of the best on-screen bromances of all time.

Sanjay Dutt – Gracy Singh

But the movie also had a slightly controversial aspect, namely the age difference between the leading pair, the 23-year-old Gracy Singh and the 44-year-old Sanjay Dutt.

Akshay Kumar – Manushi Chillar

The 2022 movie Samrat Prithviraj answers the question of what age difference is too much for a leading pair in a movie. The historical drama not only made headlines because it tanked spectacularly at the box office but also because of the 30-year age gap between the on-screen couple.

Akshay Kumar – Manushi Chillar

Akshay Kumar, 54, plays the role of Prithviraj Chauhan, while 2017 Miss World winner Manushi Chillar, 24, plays princess Sanyogita.

Amitabh Bachchan – Shefali Shah

The veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan was 63 when he paired against the 33-year-old Shefali Shah for the movie Waqt: The Race Against Time. But this is not the only pairing that raised eyebrows in this emotional family drama.

Amitabh Bachchan – Shefali Shah

The role of the duo’s son in the movie is played by Akshay Kumar, who is actually older than Shah, at 38. Kumar was also paired against Priyanka Chopra, who’s 16 years his junior. This movie is truly a race against time!

Nawazuddin Siddiqui – Huma Qureshi

Gangs of Wasseypur 2 is a cult favorite and garnered as much success as the first film. The crime movie is dark, gritty, and one that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui – Huma Qureshi

However, the more dangerous fact of the movie is the age gap between lead actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, 37, and his love interest Huma Qureshi, 25. To add to this disturbing fact, the role of Siddiqui’s mother in the movie is played by Richa Chaddha, who was also 25 during the filming of the movie.

Hrithik Roshan – Mrunal Thakur

The leading men of Bollywood all have some movies behind them where they are romancing women almost half their age. It seems that even actor Hrithik Roshan isn’t exempt from the list.

Hrithik Roshan – Mrunal Thakur

For his 2017 movie Super 30, the then 45-year-old actor starred opposite actress Mrunal Thakur, who is 19 years his junior. Thakur is Hrithik Roshan’s main love interest in the movie, who plays the role of a mathematician.

John Abraham – Jacqueline Fernandez

The Housefull franchise is whacky enough to give even the sanest person whiplash. The constant confusion in the movie makes for great comedic value, at least for the first two movies of the franchise.

John Abraham – Jacqueline Fernandez

In Housefull 2, one of the four main couples in the ensemble cast was Jacquline Fernandes and John Abraham. During the movie, the hunky Abraham was 39 while the Sri Lankan beauty was 27 years old, making her 12 years his junior.

Salman Khan – Katrina Kaif

Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif are a tried and tested on-screen pairing that has delivered multiple hits over the years. Not only have the duo been a hit on-screen couple, but they have also been a couple in real life.

Salman Khan – Katrina Kaif

Together, the two have starred in six movies including the hit Ek Tha Tiger, with another one in the pipeline. However, the two do have a massive age gap of 17 years, another testament to the fact that the age gap between main leads is indeed a troublesome factor.

Anil Kapoor – Rani Mukherjee

The problem of age gaps between leading pairs is not a new problem. The roots of this can be traced way back, as evidenced by the 2001 movie Nayak.

Anil Kapoor – Rani Mukherjee

The box office hit stars Anil Kapoor as an everyday man who stuns the nation with his proactive attitude and ability to make changes. Kapoor was 45 when the political drama was shot, while his co-star Rani Mukherjee was only 23.

Saif Ali Khan – Tamannaah

Humshakals was one of Saif Ali Khan’s biggest regrets in his life, as stated by the actor. The mega flop movie was ridiculed for everything, from the script to the acting.

Saif Ali Khan – Tamannaah

So it’s no surprise that the lead pair, Saif Ali Khan and Tamannaah, also have a ridiculous age gap between them. The actor was 46 during the 2014 movie, while Tamannaah was only 25, making her 19 years his junior.

John Abraham – Mrunal Thakur

Action hero John Abraham starred opposite actress Mrunal Thakur for the 2019 action thriller Batla House. The movie is inspired by true events that transpired in September 2008.

John Abraham – Mrunal Thakur

Abraham plays the role of police officer Sanjay Kumar, while Mrunal Thakur plays his wife. But the age difference between the on-screen couple is actually pretty big. Abraham was 46 at the time of the movie, while Thakur, who is 19 years his junior, was only 25.

Ajay Devgn – Sonakshi Sinha

These two actors have shared the screen as love interests in several films, like Action Jackson and Son of Sardaar. But the age gap between the two begs the question of why.

Ajay Devgn – Sonakshi Sinha

During the shooting of Son of Sardaar, their first movie together, Sinha was a relatively new actress at 25, while the seasoned Ajay Devgn was 43. Sinha, 18 years his junior, went on to star in multiple movies with him, even making a cameo in Devgn’s Himmatwala for a song.

Akshay Kumar – Katrina Kaif

Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif have set the silver screen on fire together many times. The duo was once the reigning couple of Bollywood, delivering hits after hits.

Akshay Kumar – Katrina Kaif

The actors may have amazing chemistry, but what the audience often forget is that they also have a 15-year age gap! When the duo first started together in the movie Humko Deewana Kar Gaye, Kumar was 38 while Katrina was only 24. Even more disturbing is the fact that in the movie, Katrina’s fiancé was played by Anil Kapoor, who is 26 years her senior.

Dhanush – Sara Ali Khan

Even the latest generation of female actors aren’t safe from being paired against actors almost a decade older than them. The latest actress added to this list is Sara Ali Khan.

Dhanush – Sara Ali Khan

In the 2021 movie Atrangi Re, Dhanush and Sara Ali Khan play husband and wife while also sharing a 12-year age gap. Just like the movie’s very convoluted storyline, Khan’s secondary love interest is played by none other than Akshay Kumar, who is 28 years her senior.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui – Avneet Kaur

Nawazuddin Siddiqui is a versatile actor who has won the hearts of many people with his acting prowess. He’s all set to star in an upcoming movie Tiku Weds Sheru alongside Avneet Kaur.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui – Avneet Kaur

The unusual pairing has raised eyebrows due to the age gap between the two lead actors. Siddiqui is 47 years old while Kaur is only 20 years old. The age gap of 27 years is something that has the audience shaking their heads.

Govinda – Katrina Kaif

This is a surprising entry on the list, as the affable Govinda has made a name for himself as the easy-going comedy king of the 90s. However, for his 2007 movie Partner, the actor was paired against Katrina Kaif, an actress with whom he has a major age difference.

Govinda – Katrina Kaif

During the movie’s release, Govinda was 43 years old while Katrina Kaif was only 24, making her 19 years his junior.

Bobby Deol – Kriti Kharbanda

One of Bobby Deol’s last movies was the ridiculous Housefull 4, which is probably one of the most unliked movies of the franchise. Not only is the movie bizarre but it also has three male leads who are all romancing very young females.

Bobby Deol – Kriti Kharbanda

One of these pairings is Bobby Deol and Kriti Kharbanda, who have an age gap of 22 years. The second pairing, Riteish Deshmukh and Pooja Hegde, have an age-gap of 12 years while Akshay Kumar and Kriti Sanon are also 22 years apart.

Hrithik Roshan – Pooja Hegde

Another one for Hrithik on the list is his 2016 period-action movie Mohenjodaro, the actor appeared next to the fresh-faced Pooja Hegde. The movie tells the story of a lower-class man, who falls in love with a woman from a high section of society.

Hrithik Roshan – Pooja Hegde

The fictional love story is all well and good, but the reality is something entirely different. Roshan, during the movie, was 42 years old, while Hegde, who is 17 years his junior, was only 25. This is also a tale as old as time, just like the movie!

Abhishek Bachchan – Taapsee Pannu

Manmarziyan is a modern-age romance full of the sufferings of the youth, the folly of love, and how even the unexpected can become something to cherish. Abhishek Bachchan is an NRI who comes to India to meet a girl for marriage, Rumi, played by Taapsee Pannu.

Abhishek Bachchan – Taapsee Pannu

The duo might play spouses on screen but they’re far apart in age. The actors were 42 and 31 when the movie was shot.

R Madhavan – Dia Mirza

Yes, Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein was one of the biggest hits of 2001 when it was released, and its popularity only increased over the years. However, the movie has garnered some controversial attention for its plot. So it’s no surprise that along with the plot issues, there are also age issues in the movie.

R Madhavan – Dia Mirza

Lead actor R Madhavan is 12 years older than his leading lady Dia Mirza. Mirza’s supposed fiancé in the movie, who’s played by Saif Ali Khan, is also 12 years her senior.

Sunny Deol – Amisha Patel

Sunny Deol and Amisha Patel starred together in one of the most heartbreaking romance movies in Bollywood – Gadar. The 2001 movie (yes, it was the year for out-of-the-box love stories) tells the story of Jeet and Tara, two lovers torn apart by forces around them.

Sunny Deol – Amisha Patel

During the movie, this Deol brother was already 44 years old and at the peak of his success, while Amisha Patel was only 25 years old, a whole 19 years younger than him.

Farhan Akhtar – Prachi Desai

This multi-talented actor, director, and singer first took up acting after already having achieved the title of an acclaimed director. Farhan Akhtar was 34 when he made his Bollywood acting debut in the 2008 musical hit Rock On.

Farhan Akhtar – Prachi Desai

The movie also acted as the debut movie for TV superstar Prachi Desai, who played Akhtar’s wife in the movie. However, the leading lady of TV was only 19 years old when the movie was shot.

Suniel Shetty – Sameera Reddy

Suniel Shetty ruled the big screen with his macho, angry man presence in the 90’s. But the actor was equally proficient in comedy, and also starred in the 2009 comedy movie De Dana Dan alongside Sameera Reddy.

Suniel Shetty – Sameera Reddy

However, the on-screen pair actually have a massive age gap between them. Shetty was 48 during the movie, while Sameera Reddy was only 28 when she portrayed his girlfriend.

Salman Khan – Sneha Ullal

The notorious Salman Khan has found a great way to deal with his breakups. After every breakup, the actor brought in an actress to the industry who bears a strong resemblance to his ex-girlfriend.

Salman Khan – Sneha Ullal

A case in point is Sneha Ullal, who starred opposite Khan in the movie Lucky in 2005. Ullal bears an uncanny resemblance to Khan’s ex Aishwariya Rai Bachchan. However, during the release of this movie, Khan was 41 while Ullal was only 19!

Rishi Kapoor – Divya Bharti

The 1992 movie Deewana tells the story of a woman named Kajal, the widow of Ravi, who remarries another man. However, her new life takes a turn when Ravi comes back, alive and well.

Rishi Kapoor – Divya Bharti

In this movie, Kajal was played by actress Divya Bharti while Rishi Kapoor played the role of Ravi. The age gaps during those times weren’t such a big deal, maybe that’s why the directors decided to pair the 18-year-old Bharti against the 40-year-old Kapoor.

Sanjay Dutt – Vidya Balan

Either the men refuse to age and act accordingly, or the directors want to keep taking them back. Either way, the age gap problem persists across movies franchises.

Sanjay Dutt – Vidya Balan

For Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Sanjay Dutt reprises his role of Munna, but this time against actress Vidya Balan, who plays the role of a radio jockey. During the shoot of the 2006 movie, Dutt was 47 years old while Balan was only 27, making her 20 years his junior.

Saif Ali Khan – Deepika Padukone

Some Bollywood pairings cement their status as a good bet and keep coming back for more and more movies, due to their amazing chemistry and fan-following. One such pairing is Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone, who’ve starred together in four movies together.

Saif Ali Khan – Deepika Padukone

However, the duo has an age difference of 16 years between them. During their first movie together, Love Aaj Kal, Khan was 39 years old while Deepika Padukone was only 23.

Bobby Deol – Priyanka Chopra

It’s a pairing that wouldn’t pass in today’s day and age in Bollywood. But these two Bollywood actors did get together for the first and the last time for the movie Kismat in 2004. In the movie, Bobby Deol’s character unwittingly puts the father of the girl he loves, Priyanka Chopra, in danger.

Bobby Deol – Priyanka Chopra

It’s surprising to note that during this movie, Chopra was only 22 years old while Bobby Deol, 13 years her senior, was 35.

Anil Kapoor – Amisha Patel

Anil Kapoor is one of the heroes of Bollywood who has faithfully churned out movies for the past 40 years. The man has done everything, from being a heartthrob in the 90s to venturing into pure comedy in the 2000s.

Anil Kapoor – Amisha Patel

One of his comedic roles was in the multicast ensemble Race 2, where he played an inspector who goes to solve a case with his airhead secretary, played by Ameesha Patel. What’s shocking is that the two, who strike up a romance on-screen, actually have a 20 year age gap!

Aamir Khan – Asin

Asin’s Bollywood debut is a success story through and through. Ghajini inspired a generation of men to cut their hair close to their scalp, the cut being dubbed ‘The Ghajini Cut’ throughout the country. The movie starred Asin opposite Aamir Khan in the leading role.

Aamir Khan – Asin

Even though Aamir looked like an innocent and sweet businessman during some parts of the movie, he was actually already 43 years old, while Asin was only 22.

Irrfan Khan – Saba Qamar

Hindi Medium was a movie praised by the audience for its amazing script and stellar performances by all involved. The 2017 movie saw versatile actor Irrfan Khan and Saba Qamar play husband and wife.

Irrfan Khan – Saba Qamar

Even though the duo played the role of parents and spouses in the movie perfectly, in reality, they’re actually quite far apart in age. Khan was 50 years old when the movie was released, while Saba Qamar was only 33.