Hrithik Roshan made his debut in 2000 with Kaho Na Pyaar Hai and the success of Kaho Na Pyaar Hai made Hrithik Roshan a superstar overnight. The hysteria Hrithik created was insane and we have not witnessed such a grand debut since then and the era of superstars was over and we can assume that Hrithik Roshan is the last genuine superstar of India.
The film industry in India is star-driven and not content-driven like in Hollywood. Here audiences go to a movie to watch their favorite actor on screen and not for the content. The content of the movies is no doubt very necessary to make a hit but it’s the stars that attract audiences to the theatre. In the 1950s and 60s Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor reigned in Bollywood but the word superstar was coined only after Rajesh Khanna came into the picture. The craze of Rajesh Khanna in his heydays was unmatchable and he gave 16 hit movies continuously, a record yet to be broken. After Rajesh Khanna, the next actor we can term a superstar was Amitabh Bachchan who ruled the box office for decades, unlike Rajesh Khanna whose superstar period was not so long if we compare it with Amitabh Bachchan’s period.
During the 90s Amitabh Bachchan was not fit enough to play lead actors because of the age factor and he took a break from acting for quite a few years.
The 90s saw the rise of new superstars, especially the trio of Khans i.e. Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan, and Salman Khan and along with them Ajay Devgn and Akshay Kumar have also loyal fan base. Then come the year,2000 when a newcomer literally created mass hysteria in the country with his debut movie. The newcomer was Hrithik Roshan whose box office debut smashed all records and fans went gaga over him. Girls wanted to marry him and boys wanted to look like him. The media started calling Hrithik Roshan a threat to the reigning king of that time, Shahrukh Khan. We have not seen the mass hysteria created by Hrithik Roshan with his debut movie again and it’s unlikely in the future also.
We can safely assume that Hrithik Roshan is the last genuine superstar of India and after that, no actor was able to match the level of superstars mentioned above. Of course, we have stars like ranbir, Tiger Shroff, and Ranveer Singh but their box office performances are always based on the content of the movie and not because of their stardom. Even after 20 years of his debut, Hrithik Roshan’s action movies always get grand openings on the basis of his sheer stardom. He is among the last from the Hindi film industry, to command a loyal fan following which extends even in the interiors.
With the advent of the internet and social media, the stars today don’t have that aura needed to be a bona fide superstar. Stars today are over exposed and we see them on regular basis on their social media accounts, chat shows, and stage shows with no element of surprise. Today’s stars like Ranbir Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, and Shahid Kapoor’s fan base mostly consists of the urban audience who forms a very tiny segment of the audience as the real audiences are from tier-II cities and towns, and to be a superstar one is needed to be popular among masses also and though Tiger Shroff is slowly coming to that zone where he has a loyal fan base in interiors also, he is has a long way to go before being testified as a genuine superstar. Hrithik Roshan is the only actor after the Khans, Ajay Devgn and Akshay Kumar who has a fan base among both classes and masses and with him the era of superstars is over till any actor surprises us which is very unlikely and Hrithik Roshan can be termed as the last genuine superstar of India.