New Delhi, March 31 The power of the moustache is in full flow in Bollywood. Screen idols are banking on it to look different on screen — if Saif Ali Khan has gone for the zappa, Aamir Khan boasts of the chevron and Shahid Kapoor the painter's brush.
When Salman Khan was seen as funny cop Chulbul Pandey, sporting a pencil moustache in the super duper hit "Dabangg", his fans went crazy, especially those from Uttar Pradesh where the movie was set.
Another popular actor to be seen on screen with a moustache is Abhishek Bachchan in "Dum Maro Dum". Director Rohan Sippy, who keeps changing his facial hairstyle in real life, has cast the actor as a cop in this suspense thriller that will hit the theatres April 22. Abhishek, who usually has a stubble, sports a moustache in the movie to look like a real cop.
Aamir is also taking the trend forward with his bow-shaped chevron on his upper lip for Reema Kagti's second directorial venture.
Bollywood's Mr. Perfectionist, who tries to look different in all his films, whether it was "Dhobi Ghat", "Ghajini" or "Taare Zameen Par", had earlier grown a moustache for the period film "Mangal Pandey", but it failed to impress.
So far his new look for Kagti's suspense thriller has no doubt created a buzz.
Another Khan, Saif Ali, has also joined the bandwagon for his role of a teacher in Prakash Jha's issued-based "Aarakshan".
"A lot of men do. If you think of a teacher in a rural town, they have a moustache. Most Indians would have it. So it was a demand for the character and I had to wear it," Saif, who dons a similar look in his home production "Agent Vinod", said.
After the stupendous success of comic caper "Yamla Pagla Deewana", Sunny Deol has turned serious for his next "Mohalla Assi" that will see him as a pandit in dhoti-kurta, moustache and a small ponytail.
Even Om Puri will be seen with one in his upcoming film "Teen Thay Bhai".
Known for his offbeat roles, Rahul Bose has also grown a moustache for an untitled film, which he says "cannot be named".
After finishing the shoot, the actor took to microblogging site Twitter to talk about it, saying, "My last day of shoot. Then this moustache comes off. Children can come out from under their beds. Fervent pleas from friends to keep the moustache. I was very touched till they explained it made them look irresistible in comparison."
Shahid will be seen with a thick 'painter's brush' for his dad's directorial debut "Mausam" where he is seen as a pilot.
Neil Nitin Mukesh of "Johnny Gaddar" fame, who sports a stubble in real life, was seen wearing a moustache as an army major in Vishal Bharadwaj's "7 Khoon Maaf".
"I really liked my look in '7 Khoon Maaf', it's very interesting and different. This is the first time I ever sported a moustache and I really like it. It was inspired by my uncle (chacha) Mohnish Mukesh," Neil said.
It took almost a year for Vivek Oberoi to grow a thick moustache for his role in Ram Gopal Varma's "Rakta Charitra".
Yesteryear dancing star Rishi Kapoor, who in his heyday preferred a clean-shaven look, went for a complete makeover for "Do Dooni Chaar". He played a middle-class man in the film, and his role of a teacher required him to sport a moustache. And he did so.
In fact Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, mostly clean-shaven for his romantic roles, wore a moustache in Amol Palekar's "Paheli" and Yash Raj Films' "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi".
To make his character more effective in "Omkara", "Aakrosh" and "Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai", Ajay Devgn went for different facial hairstyles for the respective roles of a criminal, police officer and underworld don.
Heartthrob Hrithik Roshan looked elegant with a moustache in historical drama "Joddha Akbar", which also got him the best actor award.
Action star Akshay Kumar was first seen with a moustache in "Jaanwar" and again in "Chandni Chowk to China".
In the black and white era, some top-notch actors like Guru Dutt, Raj Kapoor and Pradeep Kumar sported a moustache. In the 1980s, Shatrughan Sinha and Randhir Kapoor had one. But by and large, the new crop of actors, especially those in romantic roles, have preferred the clean-shaven look.
Now, with the new trend, are Jackie Shroff and Anil Kapoor twirling their long kept moustaches in delight?