Showbiz is not for everyone. Some realise it sooner and tread different paths to make different achievements in life, while others keep trying till the industry throws them off.
In this giant rigmarole of realisations and refusals, we have seen many of our beloved celebs fading out into oblivion, leaving us wondering, “where are they, how are they...?”
This “Missing Report” series digs deep into the untold stories of such missing stars, and today we are covering the lost star of the 2000s, Imran Khan.
Imran Khan and Genelia D’Souza became instant favorites with young movie-goers in the year 2008 after their coming of age movie Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na became a box-office hit. Though it was not Genelia’s debut, the movie certainly refreshed the brief Bollywood career she had before tying the knot with Ritiesh Deshmukh. But the star of the movie was Imran Khan. With his typical chocolate boy looks - which were strongly reminiscent of his uncle Aamir Khan - Imran became an overnight sensation, winning the hearts of millions of young girls.
He not only had his audience impressed, but got thumbs up from critics als, who saw him as the next big thing in Bollywood. He hit the ball out of the park with his first release and was now counted at par with the reigning stars like Shahid Kapoor, and stood first in the race against contemporary new comers like Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh.
However, not many know that Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na was not his first release. Imran had appeared as Aamir Khan’s younger version in movies like Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikander and Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak.
He was able to bag a couple of quick releases after his initial success with Jaane Tu..., and an action-thriller with Shruti Hassan, Luck, was able to fetch a good start in single screens also. The next major release, I Hate Luv Storys, came in 2010 as his romantic pairing with Sonam Kapoor managed to keep its viewers enticed.
Three years into the industry, Imran had carved out quite a niche for himself. He was experimenting with roles of different shades and his flair was evident in all his avatars. 2011 was a special year for him. He had two releases. Despite the A-Certificate for profanity and sexual content, black-comedy Delhi Belly had an impressive opening at the box office. On the other hand, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan collected a net of 255 million on its first weekend.
2011 was also special on his personal front for the star decided to take the plunge and exchange vows with childhood sweetheart Avantika Malik who was the daughter of CNBC-TV18 CEO, Vandana Malik. Avantika and Imran welcomed their first child in 2014, and named her Imara Malik Khan.
Though life seemed to be thriving on the domestic front, a major setback had clouded Imran’s career since 2013. Matru ki Bijlee Ka Mandola was a political satire starring Anushka Sharma that tanked badly. His easy charm was pleasant in Gori Tere Pyar Mein, but failed to speak to his audience, and Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara! had the critics confused. Perhaps the crown of “Bollywood’s next best’ was bestowed upon the young actor a little too soon.
As his professional life started to shake, tremors were felt at home also, as glossies reported on Avantika moving out of Imran’s place to stay with her mother. Media outlets were speculating a divorce in the offing, and many attributed the separation to Imran’s joblessness. The Luck star hadn’t faced much luck as an actor. His last known release with Kangana Ranaut was Katti Batti that bombed badly at the box office.
Imran has not been seen on screen since 2015, which makes it 5 years of hiatus. He has lived a non-controversial life and doesn’t make many public appearances either. Back in June 2019, he was spotted outside the gym, and his frail silhouette had fans worrying about his well being. But he stayed… quiet.
Imran has now ventured into direction and his short film Mission Mars: Keep Walking India, was released digitally in 2018. Produced under the banner of Dharma Production, Imran’s directorial was predicated on the Mars Orbiter Mission. When a reporter asked him if he plans to return to acting, Imran minced no words and stated "I'm not particularly excited by acting. I'm more thrilled to be in the driver's seat where I can decide what is happening on set."