It's not a cakewalk for any actor to make it big in Bollywood. Starting from superstars like Shahrukh Khan, Kangana Ranaut, Akshay Kumar and many more, they all had their own share of rejections, struggles, and did odd jobs to earn their bread and butter.
Here, take a look at their real-life stories which are full of emotions, nostalgia, and drama:
Shah Rukh Khan
Before tasting stardom, the actor tried his hand at the restaurant business in Delhi, worked as a concert attendant, and even sold tickets at the booking window of a Mumbai theatre on the opening day of his 1994 film- Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa.
Shah Rukh only had 1,500 bucks in his pocket when he shifted base from Delhi to Mumbai, and sometimes slept on railway platforms. He confessed in an interview to Hindustan Times, "I have seen a lot of poverty. I was scared of being poor. I don't like to be poor and it is this fear that makes me work hard. I don't let go any chance or opportunity to earn a living "
Kangana belonged to a conservative, joint family in Himachal Pradesh, and initially her parents didn't approve her decision to enter entertainment industry. She moved to Delhi to be a model when she was just 16, and later joined a theatre group. After garnernering a positive response for her acting skills, Kangana shifted to Mumbai and started in a four month acting course.
Shunning any kind of financial aid from her family, the actor many times ate only 'bread and pickle' during her struggling period, and has even claimed being subject to physical abuse. She told about her struggle in an interview, "It was no fairytale. I was nothing like I am today - I couldn't speak a word of English. In England, people might be understanding of that, but in Mumbai if you don't speak English, people would ask 'How does she expect to work in Hindi films?"
This renown action star first dropped out of college and then moved to Bangkok to focus on his martial arts training. Akshay worked as a waiter and chef to survive, and even sold jewellery in India which he brought back from Bangkok to earn money. After finishing his training, Akshay returned to India, and started his own training classes. Slowly and intelligently, the actor made his way into modeling, and from that point on, there was no looking back.
Born into a family of eight siblings, Nawazuddin Siddiqui came from a farming background. He worked as a chemist and watchman before moving to Mumbai. He got a lot of flak for his looks, and never quite managed to land a role in television for several years. He made his Bollywood debut in 1999 with a small role (61 seconds long, to be precise) in the Aamir Khan starrer Sarfarosh, but went unnoticed. Nawazuddin was largely out of work from 2002 to 2005, and lived in a rented apartment that he shared with four other people. He was finally recognised for his role in Anurag Kashyap's Black Friday.
The 38 year old actor had a pretty rough start, and was labelled 'jinxed' in the industry when her projects kept getting consistently shelved. When three of her films failed to take-off, she was even thrown out of another project because of the 'unlucky' stigma that stuck with her.
When she was finally offered the role of the protagonist in Parineeta, Vidya thought the film would also be eventually stalled, but the rest, as they say, is history...