Ex-Factor: A Look at real-life ex-couples on reel in 2017

What happens breakup ke baad in Bollywood? You do a film together. The industry is no stranger to signing exes as the lead pair in films, and the trend continues in 2017 with projects such as Jagga Jasoos, Tiger Zinda Hai, OK Jaanu and Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya.


Filmmaker Onir says no one plans a film thinking that the cast should be an ex-couple. “Also, there are only a limited number of actors, so while casting most filmmakers are not left with many options. If a pair’s chemistry has been good earlier, people look forward to watching them again.” However, Onir adds that making such films is not his cup of tea. “Actors always say that it’s all part of the job, so one can also pretend romance. But I feel, hats off to those who can manage. If I have to direct exes, I’d find it extremely difficult.I’d remain distracted.”

Filmmaker Homi Adajania adds there’s nothing good or bad in the concept. “Actors are thorough professionals, so it shouldn’t make any difference on the work front. Besides, it’s an added bonus as they can convincingly pretend that nothing is awkward, I guess.”

Here’s a look at real-life ex-couples who will be seen sharing a crackling chemistry on reel this year.

Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif


Their relationship started in 2003, and the couple went on to star in films such as Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya (2005), Partner (2007) and Yuvvraaj (2008). After breaking up, Katrina had said that this was her first serious relationship. The two, however, signed Ek Tha Tiger (2012), and now will be seen in Tiger Zinda Hai, this December.

Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor


They started dating in 2009 while shooting for Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaani, confirmed their relationship in 2014 and lived in, but parted ways in 2016. They will once again share screen space in Jagga Jasoos this year. The two earlier also starred together in Raajneeti (2010).

Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt


After making their debut in Karan Johar’s Student of the Year (2012), the two were said to be romantically involved, but Varun’s relationship with fashion designer Natasha Dalal put the rumours aside. Later, they teamed up for Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya (2014), which only added fuel to the fire. The two will now be seen sharing screen space in Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya this March.

Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor


They started dating in 2009 while shooting for Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaani, confirmed their relationship in 2014 and lived in, but parted ways in 2016. They will once again share screen space in Jagga Jasoos this year. The two earlier also starred together in Raajneeti (2010).

Is it a comfortable spot for the exes? Relationship expert Gitanjali Sharma says that depends on why the couple separated in the first place. “Actors have to perform all kinds of scenes, including romance and love. So there’s an initial internal struggle, but that can pass depending upon whether it was a messy or an amicable separation, if they’re still holding a grudge or have taken any advantage out of the split. They might not repent the time spent together.”

Here’s the big question. Does this pairing affect box-office numbers? Trade analyst Komal Nahta says, “Curiosity factor is definitely there because after a breakup, the audience is always eager to know the couple’s equation and talk about their on-screen chemistry. This craze among fans does translate into collections to some extent, but largely, it’s the content that counts.”

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