MUMBAI: On Wednesday, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) released its list of the top 10 most popular Indian stars of the year 2023. The list was based on the page views of the profiles of the various actors on the popular site.
The annual list is considered a good indication of the stars that have been the most talked about or most trending in any given year. But this top 10 had a surprise. An actress, who was once a junior artiste, beat heavyweights like Akshay Kumar, Nayanthara, and Kareena Kapoor.
Wamiqa Gabbi has had a long road from being a junior artiste to a hit in Punjabi cinema and finally a star in her own right on the streaming platforms. This year, Wamiqa appeared in Prime Video’s critically acclaimed series Jubilee and Vishal Bhardwaj’s thriller Khufiya, which streamed on Netflix.
The actress was also seen in Modern Love Chennai and Charlie Chopra & The Mystery Of Solang Valley. The popularity of these titles brought Wamiqa to number 4 in IMDbs’s list of most popular Indian stars of 2023.
The 30-year-old actress is behind Shah Rukh Khan (who is number 1) and Alia Bhatt and Deepika Padukone (numbers 2 and 3 respectively).
What is truly surprising is that Wamiqa managed to pip some huge names like Nayanthara (#5), Kareena Kapoor (#7), Akshay Kumar (#9), and Vijay Sethupathi (#10). The other two names in the top ten were Tamannaah Bhatia at 6 and Sobhita Dhulipala at 8.
Wamiqa started acting as a lead in Punjabi films in 2013 with Sixteen and Tu Mera 22 Main Tera 22. Eventually, she appeared in Hindi films like 83 (in a cameo) and Khufiya as well. But these are not the first Hindi films that the actress has done.
Wamiqa appeared as an extra doing non-speaking parts in two Imtiaz Ali films as a teenager. She was 13 when she played a small part as Geet’s cousin in Jab We Met and then two years later appeared in Love Aaj Kal.
Wamiqa continued to play small parts in films like Mausam and Bittoo Boss before her debut as lead in Punjabi cinema. Now that she is an established actress, Wamiqa reportedly charges in excess of Rs 1 crore per project.
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Credits - DNA