The unsung heroes of any film in the truest sense, ones who have effortlessly elevated the film from slack to fab with their rip roaring performance, the supporting cast has never got much due recognition, courtesy the glamour and glitter attached with the titular actors. In a year when there were few marvelous lead performances and a lot more spectacular supporting roles that people were cast in, the nominations get a total new dimension.

From veterans to newbies, there’s a flurry of names listed on this coveted list as we honour the Supporting Actors who stole away the thunder!

Anupam Kher for Special 26:

Anupam Kher in a still from movie 'Special 26'
Anupam Kher in a still from movie ‘Special 26’

A motivational film that dealt with a rather unconventional theme had been pushed to the borders of sheer brilliance, thanks to a thundering performance by Anupam Kher. Known to have always embellished his films with superlative performances and powering acts, Kher delivered a top notch performance as he essayed Akshay’s accomplice P.K. Sharma with consummate ease.

Manoj Bajpai for Special 26:

Manoj Bajpai in a still from movie 'Special 26'
Manoj Bajpai in a still from movie ‘Special 26’

As the compelling and efficacious police officer Waseem Khan, Manoj Bajpai marveled in the film, that was loosely based on the backdrop of a string of scams that plagued the Indian financial platform. Intimidating and intense, Bajpai’s ardent efforts drove him towards perfection. Somehow, this man never fails to impress and how!

Irrfan Khan for Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster Returns:

Irrfan Khan in a still from movie 'Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster Returns'
Irrfan Khan in a still from movie ‘Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster Returns’

The story would have remained all incomplete had there been no gangster and when you have Irrfan Khan playing the gangster, half the battle is already won! Rugged and beasty, Irrfan packed in quite a punch as he went from wham bam to love-shuv with a certain amount of tranquility and repose!

Boman Irani for Jolly LLB:

Boman Irani in a still from movie 'Jolly LLB'
Boman Irani in a still from movie ‘Jolly LLB’

He has always been a marvel of an actor and a scene stealer of sorts. But when Boman decided to go the brainy manipulative way in playing Tejinder Rajpal, the star litigator that he played in this Subhash Kapoor satire, he delivered so with powerful aplomb. Be it his meandering ways to prove himself right to his funny satirical feud with the film’s lead, we enjoyed it all!

Anil Kapoor for Shootout At Wadala:

Anil Kapoor in a still from movie 'Shootout At Wadala'
Anil Kapoor in a still from movie ‘Shootout At Wadala’

A sequel to a wonderfully executed gangster flick, SAW was another feather in Anil ji’s cap as he wonderfully played the role of an encounter specialist with comfort. Amidst industry cops playing the action entertainers doing all the dhishoom dhishoom and cracking mindless dialogues, Anil Kapoor as the indomitable encounter specialist was truly jhakaas!

Gulshan Devaiah for Ramleela:

Gulshan Devaiah in a still from movie 'Ramleela'
Gulshan Devaiah in a still from movie ‘Ramleela’

The strangled story of two raging communities start off with Bhavani’s supremely menacing maneuvers and the goliyon ki raasleela that nudges henceforth. Gulshan Devaiah as Bhavani delivers his career best, in a role that’s spectacularly grey and uninhibited. Standing out amongst the feisty love birds was extremely difficult but Gulshan kind of nailed it there as well!

Aditya Roy Kapur for Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani:

Aditya Roy Kapur in a still from movie 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani'
Aditya Roy Kapur in a still from movie ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’

He had just delivered a mammoth superhit film and the very next month, he decided to play sidekick to Ranbir Kapoor in this fresh and frothy Ayan Mukerji flick. Aditya Roy Kapur is definitely the new Bolly heartthrob that every girl wants to date and why not! This Roy Kapur lad has delivered a top notch performance as Avi, being funny, flirtatious and frustrated all at the same time.

Jimmy Shergill for Bullett Raja:

Jimmy Shergill in a still from movie 'Bullett Raja'
Jimmy Shergill in a still from movie ‘Bullett Raja’

Playing confidante to Saif’s Bullett Raja, Jimmy Shergill, as usual was flamboyantly delicious as he made his way to this list without much a do. He ran, he loved, he shouldered and he made a flabbergasting impact on the minds as Rudra. And given it was Tigmanshu’s film, having him as the muse was nothing surprising.

Mohammed Zeeshan for Raanjhanaa:

Mohammed Zeeshan in a still from movie 'Raanjhanaa'
Mohammed Zeeshan in a still from movie ‘Raanjhanaa’

Playing the hero might come easy, but playing the support to a crazy hero who does inane things is extremely impressive. Well, Mohammed Zeeshan, who was the influential supporting hero in this beautiful romantic flick had been instrumental in trying bazillion times to bring back Dhanush right on tracks, knocking some sense in him. A sensible and reasonably practical character, Zeeshan’s Murari did leave an ever lasting impact on us.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui for The Lunchbox

Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a still from movie 'The Lunchbox'
Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a still from movie ‘The Lunchbox’

Technically he played the supporting lead in one of the best films ever made in the history of Indian cinema. Subtle and relatively subdued, this tale of romance might have had no place for a character as Shaikh but when you have the hugely gifted Nawazuddin Siddqiui taking the reins, it can never go wrong. And so it didn’t. As the lazy, strenuous and indulgent office colleague, Nawazuddin was splendid. At one end when we were busy losing our hearts to the Irrfan-Nimrat duo, Nawaz too made sure he was noticed and how.

Arjun Rampal for D-Day

Arjun Rampal in a still from movie 'D-Day'
Arjun Rampal in a still from movie ‘D-Day’

He is often blamed for his insipid and banal characterization and much more for his one and half expressions that tend to remain constant in all the films he does. But Arjun Rampal was a revelation in D-Day. Breaking the stereotypic mould with elan, Arjun Rampal was stoic, powerful and showed signs of a triggering change from his usual self. We could not help but admire him.

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