Amid all the Kapoors, Khans and Bhatts, Bollywood has seen a lot of newcomers break through the industry. These outliers have established a name for themselves, overcoming many hurdles along the way.
Without much ado, here some 6 Bollywood superstars who made it to the big leagues over the past few years.
1. Ranveer Singh
One of India’s biggest brands today, it is astonishing that Ranveer has no industry background. The actor made his Bollywood debut with Band Baaja Baaraat (2010). Now he’s a pretty bankable star in 2018, with hits like Simmba and Padmaavat. His acting and rapping in Gully Boy also have fans excited.
A few years ago, rumors surfaced that the actor’s father had bribed his way into the industry. It was said that Ranveer’s father paid a huge sum of money to producer, Aditya Chopra to land his son a role.
Ranveer denies this and affirms that he paved his way through hard work. The actor worked with agencies like O&M and JWT as a copywriter. From there he worked his way into film.
He landed his role in Band Baaja Baaraat through Shanoo Sharma, the casting director at Yash Raj Films (YRF).
“I am what I am because of my own hard work and struggle, it has always been a dream to be a part of show business and I worked towards it to make it happen!.”
2. Priyanka Chopra
The former Miss World and Miss India has made a hell of a crossover to Hollywood. The actress has dropped films and albums.
She had her fair share of struggles to get where she is today.
“After winning the Miss World title, the first couple of years in Bollywood were horrible. I was 18 and didn’t know which film was right or wrong. There was a time when none of my films was starting. I was very close to quitting. But then by God’s grace, Andaaz happened.“
3. Deepika Padukone
The former tennis star and model turned actress is Bollywood’s richest actress. She’s also the first female in the top 5 Bollywood’s Richest Actors 2018 list compiled by Forbes India.
The Padmaavat actress has come a long way from Om Shanti Om. She was cast in XXX: Return of Xander Cage opposite Vin Diesel.
“I had already played badminton at a national level but I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do in life. A family friend suggested modelling to my parents. I landed in Bombay and got some assignments. The Liril and Closeup commercials got me a lot of attention and that’s how I landed Himesh’s music video. That’s where Farah noticed me and cast me for Om Shanti Om.“
4. Kangana Ranaut
Kangana Ranaut did a spectacular job in initial films like Gangster but it wasn’t until Tanu Weds Manu, and Queen that she became the highest paid actress in Bollywood.
She has received three national awards for her acting.
“I left home at 16 because of my choice of career. I came to Delhi where I enrolled in the Elite Modelling Agency. After some time, the agency sent me to Mumbai for an ad audition but I never came back. In Mumbai, an agent took me to Bhatts’ office where I was rejected for Gangster because I looked too young. However, after a few months, Anurag Basu called up to confirm my role in the movie.“
5. Sushant Singh Rajput
Sushant Singh Rajpoot started off in minor roles for films like Dhoom 2. In the world of television though, he landed key roles in famed soaps like Pavitra Rishta and Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil.
He wasn’t noticed in the film world till M.S Dhoni: The Untold Story, Kai Po Che and Raabta. He also starred opposite Sara Ali Khan in her debut Kadarnath.
“After an initial phase of struggle, I got noticed once I landed the lead role in Ekta Kapoor’s daily soap Pavitra Rishta. But I wanted to do films so I quit the show and was jobless for many months and like a true struggler worked at various coffee shops. And then, Kai Po Che happened and my life changed.“
6. Shahid Kapoor
The actor was said to be a SRK copycat for a while. All his romance films never made it big though.
Since he started doing diverse roles with Badmaash Company, Udta Punjab is when he made it big.
“I was with Shiamak Dawar’s Dance Troupe for 3-4 years. I was also a background dancer in several Bollywood movies. But I always wanted to become an actor on my own, so I started doing acting workshops. I went to audition for Ken Ghosh’s film Ishq Vishq, where I got rejected because of my thin frame. As luck would have it, his film also got stuck. In that one year, I worked hard on my body so when the film finally took off, Ken offered the role to me.”