“What is bold for you may not be bold for me."
Bollywood actresses add a sense of charm, glamour and spice to their films. Some see this charm in their external appearances, others see it in the story.
Many observe that actresses in Hollywood never hesitate to go nude when justifying their roles. Bollywood actresses are not far behind in intensifying their character with bold and nude scenes.
In modern times, these Bollywood actresses have played a pivotal role in depicting nudity and picturing acts relating to love, male dominance or pure lust.
The Indian Censor Board has shown liberal views especially towards lip-locks, women showing more skin, stripping, sensuality and sexuality.
The tug of war to showcase nudity on screen in India continues.
DESIblitz lists down 15 Bollywood actresses who have gone nude, playing roles ranging from a naive villager to an ultimate seductress.
Warning: There are some semi-nude images below.
Having spent her teenage years in England, Simi Garewal came to India, grabbing everyone’s attention at the young age of fifteen, with her outstanding acting skills.
During the 70s, it was a great deal for Bollywood actresses to show off their skin. However, Simi bared it all to display her bold attitude.
In Raj Kapoor’s flick Mera Naam Joker (1970), Simi played a small role as Rishi Kapoor’s teacher Mary.
The film picturises an episode where she is visibly changing clothes in an open space. This part from the film was talk of the town in the entire industry. Simi did not just stop at that.
She came out bolder with her role in Conrad Rooks Indo-American film, Siddhartha (1972).
Simi gave a nude scene with Shashi Kapoor in this film also. The movie attracted a lot of controversies in the history of Indian cinema.
During this era, the Indian Censor Board did not really allow kissing scenes. But Simi broke all the barriers, paving an easy way for future Bollywood actresses.
Simi confesses to the Times of India that her westernised upbringing did not help her fit into the industry during those times.
The gorgeous beauty Rekha resorted to acting as a means to fulfil the financial crunch faced by her family.
Dropping off school at an early age of thirteen, acting never came to her naturally. However, Rekha had toiled incessantly to leave an impact in the hearts of audiences.
This South Indian origin actress did not refrain from performing bold scenes in movies.
At the age of fifteen, she was made a fool during a kissing scene by her director Kuljeet Pal and fellow actor Biswajeet Chatterjee.
Unaware of the scene being part of the film, Rekha was into tears after the five-minute kiss.
The scene was for her debut Bollywood film Anjana Safar (1969). Due to censorship issues, the film saw its release under the name Do Shikaari (1979).
Going forth in her career, she willingly gave hot scenes in a few movies. In Ghar (1979), Rekha (Aarti Chandra) and Vinod Mehra (Vikas Chandra) spiced up the chemistry with some steamy scenes.
Rekha also went on to play the role of a temptress in Utsav (1984). The story is about Rekha (Vasantsena) falling in love with a poor Brahmin going by the name of Charudutt (Shekhar Suman).
Produced by Shashi Kapoor, the film saw some sensuous and bold scenes between the two protagonists.
In Basu Bhattacharya’s Aastha: In the Prison of Spring (1997), Rekha (Mansi) had the role of a middle-aged housewife who becomes a prostitute to fulfil a materialistic lavish life.
She courageously delivered some heart-thumping scenes with late Om Puri (Amar) and late Navin Nischol (Mr Dutt).
Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (1996) and Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996) also saw Rekha in bold avatars.
The Bollywood’s ‘Laila’ Zeenat Aman (Qurbani: 1980) came into the limelight post her appearance in Femina Miss India during 1970.
During the same year, she also won the title of Miss Asia Pacific. Immediately thereafter, she came to notice, bagging roles from renowned film-makers in the industry.
Contemporary Bollywood actresses resort to lingerie to showcase their boldness. In her times, the daredevil actress – Zeenat, was seducing her audiences through a sari, sans the blouse!
The wet reincarnation of a white sari draped by Zeenat (Roopa) in Raj Kapoor’s Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978) where she is generously showing her breasts, stole the show.
Although the film focuses on her inner beauty over physical, Zeenat’s curvaceous figure is quite evident.
Apart from revealing her assets, she was comfortable showing off her skin in various other films. Zeenat also began the trend of kissing scenes in Indian cinema.
The ‘Chura Liya’ girl (Yaadon ki Baarat: 1973) captured many hearts, including that of her co-actors and directors.
Mandakini made her mark after appearing in the movie Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985).
Just when we thought that Raj Kapoor’s experiment with Zeenat in a white sari was a success, he introduced another Bollywood actress to perform a similar act. This time it was a blockbuster.
The movie pictures a scene where Mandakini (Ganga) is under a waterfall wearing a white sari. This act remains a benchmark for all waterfall scenes.
The gushing water exposes the assets of the bold actress, hardly leaving anything further for the audiences to imagine.
Mandakini had also shared kissing scenes with the actor Rajiv Kapoor (Narendra ‘Naren’ Sahay) in the film. Undoubtedly, the light-eyed beauty started off her blooming career after her bold acts in this film.
With her transient Bollywood career, she is presently living a common life as a Tibetan Yoga instructor.
Social activist, Anu Agarwal was once a dream for the men in town. This Bollywood actress became an overnight sensation with her debut film Aashiqui (1990).
She innocently looks seductive, lying on the floor in red, in the song ‘Dheere Dheere Se.’ Offers flowed to Anu post her success.
In 1994, she was a part of a short Indo-German film, The Cloud Door. The movie saw Anu going topless in one of the scenes.
She took this brave step with an expectation to stand out of the box.
Unfortunately, things did not quite turn out in her favour. She had a short career in the industry.
Encountering a near to death experience, the actress suddenly vanished far away into the world of yoga and spiritualism.
Mallika Sherawat is a bold actress from Haryana. Her presence in the Bollywood film industry came with much criticism and apprehensions, particularly for the roles she had taken up.
With record-breaking seventeen kissing scenes in Khwahish (2003), the sexy actress shows her comfort level by displaying passionate love on-screen.
Mallika (Simran Sehgal) has also romanced Emraan Hashmi (Sunny) in an erotic romantic thriller film, Murder (2004).
The pair have shared sensational smooches and lovemaking scenes that are sure to stir your inner feelings.
Post success of Murder, Mallika explicitly spoke to the media stating that she is a head-strong woman and will never compromise in real life for the roles played by her.
The seductive actress gave it all for her stint in the Hollywood movie Hisss (2010). She went nude more than once in the movie.
Conversing with the Times of India, the outgoing actress says: “I would never go topless.’’
This is contrary to what producer, Govind Menon notes. He said: “Mallika has done most of the nude scenes in Hisss herself. She is a very committed artiste.”
It seems Mallika will leave no stone untouched for her roles.
Belonging to a well-educated and service-oriented family, Seema Rahmani had no nodes to get into acting.
She is one of the rare Bollywood actresses who had an established career in Public Relations. With a decision to take a plunge for a year, she began involving herself in theatre and acting.
The chance that she took saw her gaining worthy praises from audiences around the world. In Seema’s case, her talent was recognisable.
Sins (2005) had Seema (Rosemary) exposing her nudity. There were also bold love scenes that she had with Shiny Ahuja (Father William).
The story is about a Christian priest getting romantic and in a fiery relationship with a young girl who is half his age.
The film takes inspiration by a real-life incident that the director Vinod Pande had read about in 1998.
The Censor Board had objections due to numerous topless scenes by the actress. The catholic community were also furious and opposing the release of the movie.
In reply to a question on nudity, the blunt actress told SantaBanta: “I had no qualms about doing them.’’
She further says:
“It doesn’t matter to me if the unconventionality of my role in ‘Sins’ closes doors for me in Bollywood.
“I don’t look at cinema as my ultimate resting place.”
Seema definitely does not fear the consequences of any particular role.
Sherlyn Chopra is the first Indian woman to pose nude for Hugh Hefner’s Playboy magazine. After taking pictures of her in 2012, they came to the forefront during 2014.
In an interview with E!Online, the actress describes her experience working with Playboy as very liberating.
Receiving the Miss Andhra title at nineteen, the magnetic charm of the glamour world kept on driving her. Earlier she also went nude for Rupesh Paul’s erotic drama film Kamasutra 3D (2013).
The controversial film took a deeper dive when Sherlyn posted her video from the movie on YouTube in 2014. She did this prior to the official release of the film and without seeking permission from Rupesh.
As per Rupesh, the video was not meant for public viewing. Sherlyn had a different story, basing it upon unpaid remuneration and sexual advances by Rupesh.
Thus, the war of words began over on social media. Sherlyn and Rupesh left no chance to humiliate each other. They had also filed cases of abuse and defamation.
A Times of India report in March 2014 mentions that Rupesh and Sherlyn had misunderstandings, but they eventually put their differences aside.
However, Saira Khan came into replacing Sherlyn as the director of the film had lost confidence in the latter. The actress also seduces her co-star in Red Swastik (2007).
Just when we thought only young Bollywood actresses could go nude, we have an icon who slew it with her oomph factor in her forties.
Born to economist Amartya Sen and noteworthy author in Bengali literature, Nabeeta Dev Sen, Nandana Sen radiates explicit talent.
True to her genes, this intelligent actress is fond of art, politics and social themes.
Nandana prefers to take up roles that signify her interests in society. She does not believe in filling her bag with a bunch of films.
Rang Rasiya (2014), a biopic on the painter Raja Ravi Varma has Nandana (Sughanda) posing for some aesthetic nude scenes alongside Randeep Hooda (Raja Ravi Verma).
Nandana was fourty-one when the shooting of the film took place in 2008. Due to objections from the Censor Board, the film came out late in 2014, when she was 47.
Nandana takes pride in describing her nudity for the controversial film when speaking to the media.
Her grace and charm on-screen are from being obscene.
The Canadian porn star turned Bollywood actress got her name etched in the hearts of Indian audiences.
At the advent of 2010, Bollywood actresses became known to have performed some eye-popping item numbers. Sunny Leone tops the list.
Apart from item songs, the baby doll has also gone nude, justifying her roles in Jism 2 (2012) and Ragini MMS 2 (2014).
Jism 2 was her debut in Bollywood alongside Randeep Hooda and Arunoday Singh. The intimate scenes between Randeep (Kabir Wilson) and Sunny (Izna) barely leave anything for our imagination.
Sunny also had bold scenes in the horror-erotic film, Ragini MMS 2. As always, she sizzles on screen.
Sunny is a strong promoter of animal rights. She does not shy away from posing nude for the animal welfare association – People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Esha Gupta gained popularity after winning the title of Miss India International in 2007.
She made her debut in Jannat 2 (2012) alongside Emraan Hashmi. In the movie, Esha (Dr Jhanvi Singh Tomar) shared sensual and titillating lip-locks with Emraan (Sonu Dilli).
Esha then shed her inhibitions by going nude in Raaz 3: The Third Dimension (2012).
Initially, Esha was sceptical about doing such a bold scene early in her career. Her co-star, Bipasha and director Vikram Bhatt made her feel comfortable.
In the scene, Esha (Sanjana Krishna) had to strip at a party where she gets frightened on being attacked by a swarm of cockroaches.
Whilst interacting with the Hindustan Times, Esha reveals that it is irrelevant whether she was nude or not.
What matters to her is the context of the scene and not the nudity.
Meanwhile, makers of the film were quite disappointed with Esha not openly talking about the scene. They felt that the audience can make their own decision on this.
Undoubtedly, she has kept both men and women drooling with her awe-struck poses and vitality. She continues to lure fans through her Instagram posts.
A chemistry post-graduate, the dusky beauty Paoli Dam began her acting career through Bengali films.
She was slashed for exposing her frontal nude body in the Bengali film Chatrak (2011). Unbosoming to Telegraph India that she had gone completely nude in a scene, Paoli comments:
“The scene involves love, sex and pleasure. But I must admit that it was difficult for me.”
Famous for her bold display in Bangla films, Paoli quickly had come to everyone’s notice. Thereby, an erotic-thriller film Hate Story (2012) came her way.
The actress plays the role of a crime reporter who engages in prostitution to seek revenge. Acquainted with the controversies that revolve around boldness, she shed her inhibitions for the flick by Vikram Bhatt.
The actress has posed semi-nude in a few scenes. She also got indulged in steamy sexual acts that will arouse your guilty pleasures.
Interestingly, the talented actress desires to have a nude portrait of herself. Paoli, who has no apprehensions in going nude for her future projects expresses:
“What is bold for you may not be bold for me. Boldness is a state of mind.”
No doubt going nude is open to interpretation. Some are comfortable with such bold scenes, whereas others may feel it is too much, particularly in a family environment.
Daughter of famous singer and actor, Salma Agha, Sasha Agha made her Bollywood debut alongside Arjun Kapoor in Aurangzeb (2013).
Sasha changed her name from Zara. While talking to GulfNews, the Mumma’s girl reveals that her mom believes the name Sasha brings more good luck.
Unlike the meek image of her mother, Sasha stepped into Bollywood with an exactly opposite image.
Sources say that this newbie was so nervous doing risqué scenes that she asked her mom to accompany her on sets.
They say everything is possible with the moral support of parents.
Sasha (Ritu) proved it true by giving a treat to our eyes in her bikini-clad and intimate scenes with Arjun Kapoor (Ajay/Vishal Singh. This was all with her mom’s support.
French beauty Kalki Koechlin was inclined towards theatre and acting from a very young age.
The bold actress worked hard to establish herself in the industry. She was in the spotlight due to her personal life as well.
Kalki has been critically acclaimed for her acting in Margarita with a Straw (2015). Her character shows that those with deformities too have hopes, aspirations and a sexual side to them.
While depicting the same, Kalki (Laila Kapoor) took the challenge of going nude. The film shows a sex scene of the actress with William Moseley (Jared).
Kalki’s character also demanded her to get up close with another female character, which is played by Sayani Gupta (Khanum). The two, share an intense scene where they indulge in making out.
The lady with a bright smile had also put up a bareback black and white naked picture of hers on Instagram, which was as beautiful as her.
The bold and beautiful, Radhika Apte took a long time to establish herself in the industry.
Radhika got her first break in Bollywood in the movie Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi! (2005). She did this assignment during her college days.
Noticed by Rahul Bose in a play named Bombay Black, she set her foot in the Bengali film industry through Antaheen (2009).
While speaking to Indian Express, Radhika mentions that the movie Badlapur (2015) changed the audiences’ perception of her.
The character of Kanchan ‘Koko’ Khatri shows Radhika forced to strip down to her undergarments. This is by a man who is about to rape and kill her.
After being critically acclaimed for the film; the actress confesses that she had to decline roles in sex comedies as a ‘seductress.’
She then gave her everything for the Ajay Devgn Films production, Parched (2016).
She plays the role of Lajjo, a rural village girl. The film revolves around women battling with societal evils, long-established traditions and patriarchal norms.
The actress who is given the title of an infertile woman by the villagers plans to experiment having sex with another man.
Radhika’s bold moves towards Adil Hussain and the act of making love is the most talked-about scene in the entire film.
The courageous lady has also been pictured in Anurag Kashyap’s short film, Madly (2017). As Archana, she has exposed her genitalia, with the role demanding it.
In an interview with Dainik Bhaskar, talking about nudity the actress emphasises:
“Nudity is right for the justified story, not for entertainment.”
In a country like India where people take inspiration from Bollywood, there are mature directors and producers who touch on sensitive topics to bring awareness amongst the masses.
Most of the topics relating to social stigma revolve around women. Some issues demand nudity to express the situation more aptly.
Addressed with names like ‘sex symbol’, ‘item girl’, ‘sex siren’ and ‘seductress’, there is much more to the part played by these Bollywood actresses.
We hope the Indian Censor Board differentiates between what is the need of the hour and what is unnecessary.