Stardom in Contemporary Hindi Cinema

Celebrity and Fame in Globalized Times

  • Aysha Iqbal Viswamohan
  • Clare M. Wilkinson

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Aysha Iqbal Viswamohan, Clare M. Wilkinson
    Pages 1-12
  3. Masculinity, Celebrity, Stardom

  4. Spectacular Bodies

  5. The ‘Outsiders’

  6. Women on Top

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 229-229
    2. Kanupriya Dhawan, Sreenidhi Krishnan, Arpita Sinha, Clare M. Wilkinson
      Pages 231-244
    3. Divya Kalavala
      Pages 265-276
  7. Transnational Stardom

  8. Back Matter
    Pages 321-324

About this book


In this book, film scholars, anthropologists, and critics discuss star-making in the contemporary Hindi-language film industry in India, also known as “Bollywood.” Drawing on theories of stardom, globalization, transnationalism, gender, and new media studies, the chapters explore contemporary Hindi film celebrity. With the rise of social media and India’s increased engagement in the global economy, Hindi film stars are forging their identities not just through their on-screen images and magazine and advertising appearances, but also through an array of media platforms, product endorsements, setting fashion trends, and involvement in social causes. Focusing on some of the best-known Indian stars since the late 1990s, the book discusses the multiplying avenues for forging a star identity, the strategies industry outsiders adopt to become stars, and the contradictions and conflicts that such star-making produces. It addresses questions such as: What traits of contemporary stars have contributed most to longevity and success in the industry? How has filmmaking technology and practice altered the nature of stardom? How has the manufacture of celebrity altered with the recent appearance of commodity culture in India and the rise of a hyper-connected global economy? By doing so, it describes a distinct moment in India and in the world in which stars and stardom are drawn more closely than ever into the vital events of global culture. 

Hindi films and their stars are part of the national and global entertainment circuits that are bigger and more competitive than ever. As such, this is a timely book creates opportunities for examining stardom in other industries and provides fruitful cross-cultural perspectives on star identities today.

"Grounded in rigorous scholarship as well as a palpable love of Hindi cinema, this collection of 19 essays on a dizzying array of contemporary Hindi film stars makes for an informative, thought-provoking, illuminating, and most of all, a joyful read. Pushing boundaries of not only global Star Studies but also film theory as a whole, this de-colonised and de-colonising volume is a must read for film scholars, students and cinephiles!"

Dr. Sunny Singh, Senior Lecturer - Creative Writing and English Literature, Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture & Design, London Metropolitan University


“A wide-ranging overview of Hindi cinema’s filmi firmament today, focussing on its most intriguing and brightest-burning stars. The variety of approaches to stardom and celebrity by both established and upcoming scholars reveals a web of interconnecting stories and concerns that provide fascinating new insights into the workings of today's Hindi film industry, while shining fresh light on contemporary India and the world we live in.”

Professor Rosie Thomas, Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM), College of Design, Creative and Digital Industries, University of Westminster


Neoliberalism and Stardom Muslim Stars in Hindi Cinema Activism and Stars Bollywood Stars and Popular Culture in Asia Gendering in Contemporary Indian Cinema Masculinity in Popular Indian Films Film Families and Outsiders in Bollywood Film Stars on Social Media Cosmopolitanism and Hindi Film Stars Bollywood Stars Outside India

Editors and affiliations

  • Aysha Iqbal Viswamohan
    • 1
  • Clare M. Wilkinson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Humanities and Social SciencesIndian Institute of Technology MadrasChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyWashington State University VancouverVancouverUSA

Bibliographic information