12 Top Bollywood Films Featuring Actors in Multiple Roles

Across several decades, Bollywood has fascinated viewers by showcasing actors in multiple roles. Let’s dive into 12 such films.

12 Top Bollywood Films Featuring Actors in Multiple Roles - F

Two SRKs for the price of one.

The idea of having one actor in multiple roles in the same film has continued to fascinate Bollywood.

Over the years, audiences have loved seeing their favourite stars play more than one character at the price of a single ticket.

There are several films that showcase this in captivating and memorable ways.

DESIblitz invites you on a journey that presents a curated list of 12 such films.

So, find a cosy spot and prepare to be enamoured with 12 films featuring actors in multiple roles.

Hum Dono (1961)


Director: Amarjeet
Stars: Dev Anand, Lalita Pawar, Nanda, Sadhana Shivdasani, Leela Chitnis

Hum Dono is one of the first Bollywood films to present one actor in two roles.

In this classic war film, the evergreen Dev Anand stars as Major Manohar Lal Verma and Capt Anand.

With the only distinction between the soldiers being a moustache, the two men become firm friends.

Tragedy strikes and this bond quickly develops into a familial misunderstanding.

Dev Sahab nails both the characters and proves his acting chops masterfully.

Hum Dono is a much-loved Bollywood film. It was colourised and re-released 50 years after its initial release.

That endurance would not have been possible without the remarkable strand of Major Verma and Capt Anand.

Ram Aur Shyam (1967)


Director: Tapi Chanakya
Stars: Dilip Kumar, Waheeda Rehman, Mumtaz, Pran, Nirupa Roy

The legendary Dilip Kumar takes on the first double role of his career in this drama-comedy.

At the time, this was such a historic moment that the film actually begins with a title card that says:

“B Nagi Reddy presents Dilip Kumar in his first dual role”.

Dilip Sahab plays two brothers of contrasting personalities.

He wins hearts as the timid Ram and the boisterous Shyam.

There is a rib-tickling scene in the film in which Shyam enjoys a lavish feast at a restaurant and leaves without paying.

An innocent Ram walks in and is burdened with the bill even though he hasn’t had a single mouthful of food.

The climax in which both the brothers face up to a worthy nemesis in a menacing Gajendra (Pran) is also a key highlight.

For Ram Aur Shyam, Dilip Sahab won the 1968 Filmfare Award for ‘Best Actor’.

The film is truly one for the ages of Bollywood.

Seeta Aur Geeta (1972)


Director: Ramesh Sippy
Stars: Hema Malini, Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar

Ramesh Sippy effortlessly adapts Ram Aur Shyam from a feminine point of view.

Seeta Aur Geeta borrows the premise of the Dilip Kumar starrer and it sees Hema Malini don the world of the two lead characters.

Meanwhile, Dharmendra (Raka) and Sanjeev Kumar (Ravi) provide anchoring support in the form of supporting actors.

In 2017, Hema talked about the impact of Seeta Aur Geeta in Russia.

She says: “People in Russia are still crazy about this film. They pronounce it ‘Zeeta Aur Geeta’ as they cannot pronounce ‘Seeta Aur Geeta!’

“I assume that if I make a sequel of the film even after all these 40 years, my Russian fans will be the first ones to go and watch it.”

The hysteria amassed by the film transcends the borders of India.

For the film, Hema won the 1973 Filmfare Award for ‘Best Actress’.

For that, Seeta Aur Geeta is one of the most popular films to feature an actor in multiple roles.

Satte Pe Satta (1982)


Director: Raj N Sippy
Stars: Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Amjad Khan, Ranjeeta Kaur

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan is astounding in this movie as he portrays a hero and a villain.

Satte Pe Satta is adapted from the Hollywood classic Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954).

Amitabh plays Ravi Anand – the eldest of seven brothers living wildly on a farm.

Their lives are transformed when Ravi marries the elite nurse Indu R Anand (Hema Malini).

When Ravi mysteriously disappears, Amitabh becomes the villainous Babu Sharma who is Ravi’s doppelganger.

A pair of contact lenses is the only thing that creates the difference between them.

Big B lives up to his ‘angry young man’ persona of the ’70s and ’80s and makes Satte Pe Satta a mass entertainer.

Kishore Kumar’s chartbuster ‘Dilbar Mere‘ is the anthem of the film, in which Ravi gives himself a makeover to romance Indu.

ChaalBaaz (1989)


Director: Pankaj Parashar
Stars: Sridevi, Sunny Deol, Rajnikant

This blockbuster gives us not only one but two memorable roles played by the vivacious Sridevi.

ChaalBaaz draws inspiration from Seeta Aur Geeta. Sridevi plays both Anju Pandyekar and Manju Prajapati.

The women are twin sisters. Anju’s uncle torments her in a bid to inherit her property.

On the other hand, Manju is a tomboy living in a slum.

Even though viewers saw semblances of this plot before in Ram Aur Shyam and Seeta Aur Geeta, this film became a monstrous hit.

A large part of that is thanks to the effervescent performance of Sridevi, who invests her every pore of her being into both her characters.

In the climax, when the women marry their partners, they also give birth to twin girls who arrive on the same day.

This keeps the theme of the film alive in a charming way.

It is unsurprising that ChaalBaaz is one of the most famous films of the legend Sridevi.

Kishen Kanhaiya (1990)


Director: Rakesh Roshan
Stars: Anil Kapoor, Shilpa Shirodkar, Madhuri Dixit, Amrish Puri

Anil Kapoor steps into the shoes of both Kishen and Kanhaiya in Rakesh Roshan’s masterpiece.

Both men are unaware that they are twin brothers.

The only thing that binds them together is a peculiar reflex action.

If one of them gets injured, the other feels the pain as well.

The brothers hail from contrasting backgrounds. Kishen is from an abusive environment.

Meanwhile, Kanhaiya is taught to be smart and savvy.

In what is clearly inspired by Ram Aur Shyam, the climax sees the brothers fight off the evil forces and reunite as a family.

In 2020, Kishen Kanhaiya completed 30 years of its release. Anil Kapoor reflects on the opportunity the film gave him as an actor:

“My double role in the film gave me an opportunity to explore two very different personalities – one strong and macho and the other soft and vulnerable.

“On the occasion of its 30-year milestone, I’m reminded of all the love and appreciation that the movie has received over the years.”

Duplicate (1998)


Director: Mahesh Bhatt
Stars: Juhi Chawla, Shah Rukh Khan, Sonali Bendre

In one of the first dual roles of his career, Shah Rukh Khan astounds Bablu Chaudhary and Manu Dada.

Bablu is a hapless wannabe chef while Manu is a wanted gangster.

Chaos ensues when Bablu is wrongly arrested by the police who have confused him for Manu.

By this point, Manu learns that he has a duplicate and the two reach an agreement to swap roles.

The result is an entertaining saga of action, comedy, and drama.

Duplicate is notable for marking SRK’s first collaboration with Dharma Productions, which later led to a hugely popular actor-director combination consisting of Shah Rukh and the filmmaker Karan Johar.

This film did not do too well when it was released, but fans still love and admire it for its witty plot.

Plus, it gives viewers two SRKs for the price of one.

What more can fans of the DDLJ star ask for?

Krrish 3 (2013)


Director: Rakesh Roshan
Stars: Hrithik Roshan, Vivek Oberoi, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Kangana Ranaut

When it comes to multiple roles in Bollywood films, the usual expectation is an actor playing two characters.

But what about three roles? That’s what Hrithik Roshan gives us in Krrish 3.

This superhero extravaganza sees Hrithik reprise his role of Krishna Mehra from Krrish (2006).

He also returns as Krishna’s father – the childlike scientist Rohit Mehra.

Not only this, the saviour in the black mask creates a third character in the form of the superhero Krrish.

In the third instalment of the Krrish franchise, Krrish must work with Rohit to save the world from the clutches of the evil Kaal (Vivek Oberoi).

Vivek discusses his co-star Hrithik’s brilliant performances as the three vastly different characters:

“To play three characters – Krishna, Krrish and Rohit – and to play them so differently in one film, especially there are scenes where they are talking to each other, and the performances are so beautifully done that they look like different people.

“It is an outstanding performance.”

Hrithik outdoes himself in Krrish 3 and with Krrish 4 in the pipeline, the audience can look forward to much more.

Dhoom 3 (2013)


Director: Vijay Krishna Acharya
Stars: Aamir Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Katrina Kaif, Uday Chopra, Jackie Shroff

Moving a superhero franchise to a heist franchise, we come to the third instalment of YRF’s shimmering Dhoom series.

Dhoom 3 oversees Aamir Khan’s first-ever double role in the same frame.

A twist just before the film’s interval reveals that Sahir Khan is working with his identical twin brother Samar Khan to destroy a bank.

Sahir and Samar are both brought to life by the 3 Idiots star. While Sahir is smart and efficient, Samar is confident and trustworthy.

However, unlike Sahir, Samar has a humaneness rooted in his heart. He has a stammering difficulty.

When he falls in love with the beautiful Aaliya Hussain (Katrina Kaif), viewers can instantly relate to the person behind the thief.

Aamir admits that out of his two characters, he prefers Samar:

“I personally liked Samar more. Actually, the film is about two brothers’ love story.

“We didn’t reveal that aspect before the film’s release.

“Maximum people have liked Samar more, but a few of them who called me, like Govindaji and Anil Kapoor, they liked Sahir.”

In Dhoom 3, fans get to witness Aamir like they’ve never seen him before.


Director: Sooraj R Barjatya
Stars: Salman Khan, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Anupam Kher

When it comes to natural star power, the brute force of a single Salman Khan is normally enough to set the big screen ablaze.

In Sooraj R Barjatya’s Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo, the star performs a double role with fervour and talent.

The film is a family magnum opus that proves that Salman is much more than shirtless action.

Salman stars as Prem Raghuvanshi and Yuvraj Vijay Singh.

Prem is a kind-hearted love preacher, while Vijay is a brash prince battling family rifts.

Unavoidable events force Prem to become Vijay and he fixes all of the latter’s mistakes.

These include winning the heart of Vijay’s fiancee Maithili Devi Singh Raghuvanshi (Sonam Kapoor Ahuja), as well as reuniting Vijay with his estranged sisters.

It is thrilling to see Salman do equal justice to both his roles in a manner that makes Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo the classic it has become.

Sonam confesses that she and Salman found it difficult to perform romantic scenes together.

However, what shows in the film is a chemistry-laden pair that blends royalty with romance.

Fan (2016)


Director: Maneesh Sharma
Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Sayani Gupta, Shriya Pilgaonkar

Fan is a stunning representation of storytelling mixed with the art of visual effects.

The film sees Shah Rukh Khan portray a famous actor – Aryan Khanna – who is based on himself.

He also plays Aryan’s obsessed, lookalike fan Gaurav Chandna, whose life revolves around his idol.

However, when Aryan rebuffs Gaurav, the latter employs dangerous tactics in which he uses his face to create havoc.

As a result, Aryan’s life turns upside down as he is mistaken to be Gaurav.

Anupama Chopra praises SRK’s performance, stating:

“Shah Rukh gives his finest performance in years.

“Nine to be precise – which is when he played Kabir Khan in Chak De India.”

Fan is dark, dramatic and rousing. It paints a grisly picture of what celebrities can go through due to fans.

Although SRK is great as the conflicted superstar Aryan, it is his spell-binding portrayal of the unhinged Gaurav that steals the show.

Jawan (2023)


Director: Atlee
Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Nayanthara, Vijay Sethupathi, Deepika Padukone

Continuing with the excellent actor, Shah Rukh Khan, we arrive at his 2023 blockbuster Jawan.

SRK plays Capt Vikram Rathore and Azaad.

Many Bollywood films featuring multiple roles comprise characters who are siblings or friends.

In Jawan, the roles are that of father and son.

This huge spectacle of action and drama catapults the audience to a world of politics, greed and revenge.

Shah Rukh gives an outstanding performance in the film. It is no wonder that Jawan emerged as the highest-grossing Indian film of 2023.

SRK reveals a funny anecdote that serves as the reason he signed the film:

“One day my elder son and my daughter told me you have to do films which are very cool for the youngest AbRam.

“I thought the only cool thing he likes is all the anime and action films. So I decided to be a superhero and I thought I didn’t look good in a spandex.

“So without getting into a spandex, I got into bandages and that’s why this action film.”

Jawan is an excellent film that finds its strength in SRK’s masterful multiple roles.

Multiple roles fascinate and enchant viewers in Bollywood.

They are a unique experience to witness, but even more original for the actors portraying them.

They also create additional pressure on the people who make the project.

However, when they get it right, the results can correlate into a tapestry of loved films that dazzle and entertain.

So, grab your snacks and prepare to be amazed by these actors in multiple roles.

Manav is a creative writing graduate and a die-hard optimist. His passions include reading, writing and helping others. His motto is: “Never hang on to your sorrows. Always be positive."

Images courtesy of SVET and Amazon.

Videos courtesy of YouTube.

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