15 Bollywood Actresses Who Played Sex Workers On Screen

Sex worker or a prostitute – this is one of the worst professions for women. Those involved in this profession are not seen with respect, but Bollywood actresses are bold enough to play these characters onscreen. From Rekha to Kareena Kapoor and Vidya Balan, many actresses have played prostitutes in different movies. Playing sex workers even in movies is not easy. Let’s have a look at some of the actresses who dared to take up these roles and got praised for their work.

  1. Vidya Balan – Beghum Jaan

Latest name in the list of actresses who played prostitutes on screen is Vidya Balan. She will be seen as a sultry and bold brothel owner in her upcoming movie Begum Jaan.


  1. Madhuri Dixit – Devdas

As the courtesan Chandramukhi in Devdas, Madhuri Dixit made people fall for her. Not just her iconic dance movies, but her ‘adaa’ and sensuous expressions also ‘nailed’ the role.


  1. Tabu – Chandni Bar

Tabu won the Best Actress award for her role of a bar dancer in Madhur Bhandarkar’s critically acclaimed movie Chandni Bar. The movie played a vital role in highlighting the situation of bar dancers in Mumbai.


  1. Kareena Kapoor – Chameli and Talaash

Kareena Kapoor proved her active prowess and got critically acclaimed for her roles of prostitute in movies Chameli and Talaash. She also won an award for her role in Chameli.



  1. Huma Qureshi – Badlapur

Huma Qureshi played a sex worker Jhilmil in Sriram Raghavan’s revenge drama Badlapur. However, her role in the movie was very small she did complete justice to her character and got nominations as a best support actress for several awards.


  1. Kangana Ranaut – Rajjo

Kangana Ranaut, who is known for her acting talent and blunt nature, played a seasoned sex worker in Rajjo. The movie shows love story of a prostitute and a young boy, and the troubles faced by them.



  1. Neha Dhupia – Julie

When all the other actresses prefer simple and sober roles to start their journey in Bollywood, Neha Dhupia entered the industry with a rather bold role. She played a sex worker in her debut movie Julie.


  1. Manisha Koirala – Market

Manisha Koirala proved her acting prowess with the role of a sex worker in her movie Market. She played Muskan Bano whe was sold off into flash trade by her husband. The film showed a story of a lady who takes revenge from her husband after spending her life in brothels.


  1. Kalki Koechlin – Dev D

Kalki Koechlin played a modern Chandramukhi in her debut movie Dev D. She was interpreted as Chanda in Anurag Kashyap’s iteration of Devdas. Needless to say, the actress blew our minds away with her amazing acting skills.


  1. Rani Mukerji – Sawariya and Laaga Chunari Mein Daag

This brown eyed Bengali beauty played sex worker not in one but two movies: Sawariya and Laaga Chunari Mein Daag. Though movies didn’t work well, Rani Mukerji got praises for her acting.

Rani Mukerji - Sawariya

  1. Aishwarya Rai

She played role of a courtesan in Umrao Jaan and made the character more powerful with her personal touches.

Aishwarya Rai Umrao Jaan

  1. Rekha – Aastha

Rekha played a prostitute online in the movie Aastha. The film shows her as a simple housewife who moves to prostitution to support her family.

Rekha - Aastha

  1. Shruti Haasan – D Day

Shruti Haasan also played a sex worker in Nikhil Advani’s D Day. She played Suraiya, a Pakistani prostitute, who later falls in love with Arjun Rampal and helps him in his mission.

Shruti Haasan - D Day

  1. Sushmita Sen – Chingaari

The actress is known for her boldness in real life. She has also portrayed some bold roles in movies one of which is of a sex worker in Kalpana Lajmi’s Chingaari. She was shown as a single mother, who works in red light area to nurture her daughter.

Sushmita Sen - Chingaari

  1. Preity Zinta – Chori Chori Chupke Chupke

Preity Zinta played a bar dancer and a low key prostitute in Chori Chori Chupke Chupke. But her role in the movie was more highlighted as a surrogate mother.