Where is the line between established and promising? After two or three movies some actors are already established if not yet major stars. Depending on how you view it there are only a very few major stars and lots of established actors with a following. They jockey for fan support and suitable job opportunities. Eventually the major and established stars will move on and need to be replaced.
To make a living in Bollywood (or Hollywood) you have to be willing to cater to what the market expects. I like to think of myself as selective in my viewing, but recognize money is made by catering to consumers who expect sex, violence, action, romance and not simplicity. If actors and technical staff want to survive they have to fit in. When I see an interesting actor in an above average movie I want to see more of them, but they have to make a living. Aamir Khan is admired and respected because he is very selective and then very focused. He has earned that. It is too bad that new talent has to go through a lot of hoops.
Trusting an untested actor to help carry a film is risky, but a bonus is that it is cheaper. Often it is a producer director team that decides Sometimes an established producer has the confidence and desire to launch a new star and gain new respect. When an actor is hot they generally have new opportunities, but they have to be careful not to get bogged down in mediocre or worse films.
Ayushmann Khurrana starred in "Vicky Donor" and came from a tv background. This first movie was a big winner with critics and fans. The more recent "Bewakoofiyaan" with Sonam Kapoor, an enjoyable, but not excellent romance comedy.
Alia Bhatt in "Highway" showed good acting, but not sexy in my opinion. "2 States" was, one of my favourites for the year and Alia was a big part of my enjoyment. Not so impressive in "Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania" but it must be said a script and director do make a difference. Looking forward to watching her in future projects. Check out post on "2 States" at http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2014/07/2-states-new-favorite.html
Sidharth Malhotra got off to an unusual start as an assistant director for "My Name is Khan." His screen debut was with "Student of the Year" I watched and enjoyed him in "Ek Villain" and "Hasee toh Phaee" Apparently he will be playing opposite Katrina Kaif which represents a step up in box office acceptance.
Yami Gautam in "Vicky Donor" got off to a good start in Bollywood, but I was not impressed with "Total Chaos" I watched an earlier Punjabi movie, "Ek Noor" where she had a bit part in a movie I loved. I hope she gets a chance to show her talent.
Ileana D'Cruz comes from non Hindi background, but once established in Telegu and Tamil films Bollywood brought her to be one of three leads in"Barfi" a critically acclaimed move that was a lot better than the trailer led me to believe it would be. Ileana played a philosophical woman who lost her love over many years. She seems to have been in a few poorly reviewed movies since then, but still seems possible to break through.
Varun Dhawan got started with a showcase movie, "Student of the Year" directed and written by Karan Johar with two other debutantes which did well at box office, but not with critics. I missed that one, but did see him in "Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania" and although ok, not impressed.
Sonaski Sinha apparently had good connections and started off as a leading lady with the likes of Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan and Shahid Kapoor in mostly action movies. I saw only clips of most of them, but can say she is an impressive dancer. She was exceptionally good opposite Ranveer Singh in "Lootera," but just fluff in "Holiday" a very successful movie and one of Akshay Kumar's better movies.
Sushant Singh Rajput got his start in television series and did his movie initiation with "Kai Po Che" Since then has done "Shuddh Desi Romance" He has a few interesting movies lined up. Check post on "Kai Po Che" at http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2013/05/kai-che-po.htmlhttp://www.johnfdavidson.com/2013/05/kai-che-po.html
Rajukumar Rao was first noticed by me in" Kai Po Ch"e which was a movie from a book by Chetan Bhagat. But Raj upset me by playing the role of the guy who broke Kangana Ranaut's heart as an arrogant, indecisive fiancee, in "Queen" but in all fairness we weren't supposed to like him. "Shahid" was not a big money maker, but he played a sympathetic character. In "City Lights" he also showed a great emotional range--a country bumpkin coming to the big city and right away being ripped off and later being led into a corrupt job. He has taken some tough roles and has shown some versatility.
Shradda Kapoor has done a few movies, but stepped up to an impressive leading role in "Asqui 2" and followed it up in "Ek Villain" where she was killed off in the beginning, but seen in many flashbacks. I haven't yet seen what some describe as the best Bollywood film of 2014, "Haider" but I understand she played a difficult supporting role well. This last movie was such she will probably be given more opportunities.
Parrineeti Chopra started in "Ricky Bahl vs the Ladies" supporting the stars, but drew attention from both reviewers and movie goers. Saw and enjoyed her in "Hassee toh Phasee" where she played a really odd character. "Shuddh desi Romance" was her first solo movie and she performed very well in a so-so movie. A big surprise was Vanni Kapoor who took a bit role and left an impression. Parineeti is appearing next in a Tamil film that seems a remake of "The Wedding Planners" that launched Ranveer Singh and helped boost Anuska Sharma to an established star. Parineeti is the most likely to succeed-- as she not only has good screen presence, but I read she gets along with those she works with. "Kill Dil" is getting mediocre reviews, but I want to see it for her and the Shankar Ehsaan Loy music.
I am waiting for one of my new favourites to emerge in bigger roles. Rajeev Khandelwal, like a few others started in television. In 2008 his first movie was "Aamir" followed by other critical successes, "Shaitan", "Soundtrack" and "Table no 21" Not quite in the big leagues, but an established recognized star.
There are many more that could have been mentioned, but the ones in this post I have been fortunate enough to have seen and for the most part enjoyed. If your favourite or someone you think noteworthy was left out please feel free to comment.
It boils down to selection. If you are too fussy you won't get a chance to know and be known, but if you accept a pattern of roles you can be type cast. The budget dictates the support any individual actor will get. Every detail adds or subtracts from the impression. All a movie fan can do is support what you like as best you can and hope others share your preferences.