Success stories of the best self-made Bollywood actors

Charlotte Miller

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Carving out a niche in the film industry is no child’s play. But some people have, against all odds proved their worth and made it on the big screen without any external support or godfathers. Such people make you question if they just got lucky or did their determination was larger than life itself? Let us find out. Here are a few success stories of actors who made it big on their own:

Ayushmann Khurrana: Khurrana was a Radio Jockey and a TV anchor. He is also the proud title holder of MTV Roadies Season 2, but fame did not grace his doorstep until his debut in the popular movie Vicky Donor (2012). He was awarded the Best Male Debut and the Best Male Playback singer for his song Pani Da Rang in the movie. 

Today we adore him as one of the top 10 famous actors who takes on experimental roles and gives them his own spin and touch. He caters to his fans with earnest performances and his boyish charms.

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Rajkummar Rao: The undisputed dark horse of Indian cinema, Rao debuted in the anthology Love Sex Aur Dhokha(2010) after graduating from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). He claims to have been inspired by Manoj Bajpayee’s work. Rao’s early life has been an uphill battle and he has revealed that there was a time he only had 18 Rupees in his bank account. To go from such a rough patch to receiving a National Film Award and being one of the most celebrated actors of Bollywood is not for the faint-hearted. His most recent performances in Ludo and The White Tiger have been nothing short of hypnotizing. Rao’s success can be attributed to his unwavering grit and acting prowess. 

Nawazuddin Siddiqui: Siddiqui has not been dealt the best set of cards in his earlier professional life. He struggled for 12 years before landing himself a big break. He remained largely unknown until the crime film Gangs of Wasseypur, which is known for his enthralling acting. There were times when he was mostly out of work, sharing a small apartment with four other people and barely surviving day-to-day. Siddiqui is thankful for his hard times and says they are equal parts responsible for his triumphs. Today, he has a massive fan following and is known for his roles in Raman Raghav 2.0 and Gangs of Wasseypur. Paulo Coelho, the world-famous author even recommended Sacred Games to his Twitter followers, applauding Siddiqui’s work in particular.

Vikrant Massey: We know him as one of the most promising actors in Bollywood today but he did not get off to a great start career-wise. Starring in side roles on TV, Massey took these performances with fervour and impacted the audiences even with a brief screen time. After transitioning to the big screen, he gave hits like A Death in the Gunj andChhapaak. His role as Bablu in the popular web series Mirzapur has garnered him much attention and critical acclaim. Massey always delivers his assignments with vigour and leaves his fans in awe.  

Ali Fazal: Fazal made his Bollywood debut as Joy Lobo in the National Film Award-winning movie 3 Idiots but it was only a short appearance. What many people do not know about him is that he has worked in a Hollywood movie even before entering Bollywood. He went on to perform in movies like Always Kabhi Kabhi, Fukrey, and Sonali Cable. He became a hit with the masses for his role as Guddu in Mirzapur. Today, he has successfully ventured into Hollywood with films like Furious 7 and Victoria and Abdul

Bhumi Pednekar: Her career commenced with an assistant casting director stint at Yash Raj Films. She tried her hand at acting with her Debut movie Dum LagakeHaisha (2015) opposite Ayushmann Khurrana in which her performance was acclaimed by Rajeev Masand. Later she gave her audiences a feast with challenging roles in the films Toilet; Ek Prem Katha, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, and Lust Stories. 

Sayani Gupta: Another graduate from FTII, Sayani made her debut with the film Second Marriage Dot Com (2012). She has managed to steer the audience’s attention in her direction despite having worked alongside some of the most notable actors in the industry. Starring in hits like Jolly LLB 2, Article 15, and the web series Four More Shots Please has made her prominent.

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Learn Acting Online with Manoj Bajpayee

If you are an aspiring actor with no industry connections backing you up and if you are stuck in the endless cycle of auditions and rejections, do not throw in the towel yet. An aspiring actor should have enough faith and confidence in their acting abilities that they are determined to surmount any set of obstacles. If you think your skills still need some honing, try our online acting course by Manoj Bajpayee, a self-made method actor with a huge fan following. Check our website for more information on acting lessons.