Bollywood has undergone a massive change over the years and we no more have our leading ladies being portrayed as mere icons of beauty. They represent strength and even manage to shoulder the films on their own. Several films today have female leads as the sole protagonists and this is probably the best time for ladies to be in the film industry.

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Let’s have a look at last year’s amazing performances by lead actresses and the nominations for Best Actress of 2015 :

Anushka Sharma – NH10

Anushka Sharma in a still from movie 'NH10'
Anushka Sharma in a still from movie NH10

Actress Anushka Sharma ventured into the production with NH10 and was also the lead actress of the film. The film was a thriller that stunned everyone with her strong performance of Meera. Unlike her previous performances which mostly had her play a bubbly North Indian, Sharma’s act of an emotionally bruised and a vengeful Meera was a breath of fresh air. With this film, Anushka proved that she can be versatile.

Deepika Padukone – Piku

Deepika Padukone in a still from movie 'Piku'
Deepika Padukone in a still from movie Piku

Deepika Padukone has shown a great potential with each of her film in recent times and signing a film like Piku shows her intelligence as an actress. Even though her role specifically was not challenging enough, the brilliant writing of the film, made Piku a lovable and relatable character. The film’s light-hearted vibe and Deepika’s natural act as Piku worked its charm.

Priyanka Chopra – Dil Dhadakne Do

Priyanka Chopra in a still from movie 'Dil Dhadakne Do'
Priyanka Chopra in a still from movie Dil Dhadakne Do

Dil Dhadakne Do was a fancy multi-starrer affair that did not cater to mass audiences. Priyanka Chopra who was a female lead in the film essayed the character of Ayesha, a successful businesswoman married to a conventional high society man. The character had demanded Priyanka to not only look spot-on but also emote an unhappy soul who is ambitious yet family oriented. She did a great job and received enough praises for her performance.

Kangana Ranaut – Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Kangana Ranaut in a still from movie 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns'
Kangana Ranaut in a still from movie Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Kangana Ranaut managed to give the performance of her life with Queen and hence expectations were high with this film too. The movie Tanu Weds Manu Returns, had her essayed a double role of Datto (A Haryanvi spots gal) and Tanu which everyone was familiar with. Her double role act in the film was bang on and especially as Datto, Kangana impressed everyone with her Haryanvi dialect that she mastered so easily.

Deepika Padukone – Tamasha

Deepika Padukone in a still from movie 'Tamasha'
Deepika Padukone in a still from movie Tamasha

Tamasha was one of the most-awaited films of the year as it brought together the sizzling on-screen couple of Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone. The Imtiaz Ali film was quite different and Deepika’s role as Tara received a lot of praises. Her layered character was emotionally riveting and the comfort with which Deepika pulled off the role was extraordinary.

Deepika Padukone – Bajirao Mastani

Deepika Padukone in a still from movie 'Bajirao Mastani'
Deepika Padukone in a still from movie Bajirao Mastani

Deepika Padukone bagged the dream role for an every aspiring actress of Mastani in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani. The film had been in the making for years, until Bhansali finalised his perfect cast consisting Deepika as Mastani and Ranveer Singh as Bajirao. The actress not only looked mesmerizing as the period beauty but also managed to put up a stellar performance. The magnum opus became one of the most successful films of the year.

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