By Sonali Sachdeva Last Updated:
It is truly said that success only comes to those, who work hard. Be it professional or personal, it is one’s hard work which takes them higher in their lives. Just like any other profession, the entertainment industry also requires hard work. Most of us are aware that nepotism prevails in the Indian film industry, and it is not easy for a common person without an acting background or connections to enter the entertainment world.
However, at the same time, we cannot overlook the stories of the superstars who entered the industry as outsiders and became popular stars of Indian cinema with their pure willpower and hard work. These celebrities went from rags to riches and turned their fate with their talent. Moreover, they also made a remarkable story to inspire others. Let’s look at these Indian celebrities who are well-known faces of the Indian cinema now.
Shah Rukh Khan popularly known as ‘King Khan’ of Bollywood, was an ordinary man from the streets of Delhi who became a global star. Shah Rukh dreamt of becoming an actor, and in order to achieve his dream, he quit his Master’s degree in Mass Communication. Without any connections, King Khan made it big in Indian cinema. He traced his own path to success from TV to films. Khan started his journey from the TV show, Fauji in 1989, in which he played the role of 'Abhimanyu Rai'. And since then, there has been no looking back for him. His hard work and dedication paid off, and he made it to the top in the B-Town. As reported by Pinkvilla, in an interview, King Khan disclosed about seeing many failures in his life, when he was not a superstar. He had said:
"Coming from a lower-middle-class family, I saw a lot of failures. At a certain juncture of my life, I was thrown out on the road because we could not pay rent. Poverty instils fear, stress and sometimes depression.” He also said, "I was an odd-looking guy, I was not from a film background, I spoke too fast but I am thankful all the filmmakers and those friends who gave me an opportunity."
SRK is one of the highest-paid actors in Indian cinema and tops the list of the richest actors in Bollywood. The King of Bollywood, Shahrukh Khan, has a net worth of $700 million USD, which is Rs. 5,100 crores in Indian currency.
Bollywood’s Khiladi, Akshay Kumar, is a popular actor. Akshay is amongst one of the highest-paid actors in the industry. However, to make a place in Bollywood, the actor had worked really hard as success did not come easily to him. Not many know that Akshay comes from a humble background. He dropped out of college during higher education and went to Thailand to learn martial arts. However, there he also worked as a waiter in a restaurant and with time he got a promotion and had become a chef. Akshay Kumar began his acting career with the film, Saugandh in 1991. In an interview with Hindustan Times, Akshay opened up that money matters to him because he puts a lot of hard work into earning it. He had shared:
"Money does matter to me but only in a limited way. And I know it’s my hard-earned money. I work extremely hard for each and every penny. Money doesn’t come easily to you. I have put my sweat and blood for that. So, yes, it does matter to me."
The actor charges a hefty payment of Rs. 25 to 30 crores for doing movies and endorsements. Akshay Kumar has a total net worth of $325 Million. In the Indian currency, his net worth is estimated at around Rs. 2,414 crores. As of 2015 and 2019, Kumar was on the Forbes list of highest-paid entertainers in the world, ranking 52nd with earnings of $48.5 million.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui was one of the eight children hailing from a farmer family from the village Budhana in district Muzaffarnagar of Uttar Pradesh. While education was only meant for the privileged then, he and his siblings still managed to study. After completing his studies, he juggled a couple of odd jobs, starting from working in a pharmacy to working as a watchman. He did it all to earn money and make a living. However, due to his interest in acting, he enrolled himself in the National School of Drama and completed his course in 1996. This changed his luck he debuted in his first film, Patang, in 2012. With his spectacular acting, he has made a special place for himself in Bollywood. In an interview with DNA, Nawazuddin Siddiqui shared his journey. He had said:
"In my village, only three things work ,gehu (wheat), ganna (sugarcane), and gun. The fear this gun culture instilled made us move out of our village. It was much later that I started taking interest in theatre. After completing my studies, I took up jobs like that of a chief chemist in Baroda. Then I joined a theatre group in Delhi. Since there is no money in the theatre I had to take up a job as a watchman. All these things happened simultaneously. Then I enrolled myself in the National School of Drama (NSD), passing out in 1996. I worked in Delhi for four years before finally moving to Mumbai in 2000.”
The Gangs of Wasseypur actor is amongst the most popular actor in India. With so many projects in hand, the total net worth of Nawazuddin Siddiqui is estimated to be around 13 Million USD, which in Indian currency is approximately around Rs. 96 crores.
Born in Bhambla, a small town in Himachal Pradesh, Kangana Ranaut aspired to become a doctor at her parents' insistence. However, she had no interest in science or becoming a doctor. She was determined to build her career as an actress. At the age of 16, she had left her house and shifted to Delhi and took up modelling for a brief period of time. With no guidance and experience of living in a city, Kangana struggled a lot alone. And having no connection in Bollywood, she still came out stronger and made an entry in Indian cinema with the blockbuster film, Gangster in 2006. In an interview with Times of India, Kangana shared that she was not getting much success in modelling and was in dire need of work. She had said:
"When ‘Gangster’ happened, I was in desperate need of work and it was seeming like forever. I had left home and stayed in Delhi trying to figure out what I wanted to do and then I was struggling in Mumbai doing ads. I wasn't getting much success in modelling. Even though it was quite quick, within a few months of being in Mumbai I got this break but yet everyday rejections and every day failing in auditions, it just felt so demotivating."
The self-made actress, Kangana Ranaut has a total net worth of $13 million, which in Indian currency is Rs. 95 crores. Apart from movies, the actress also earns a big amount of money through her social media endorsements.
Boman Irani is known for his funny acting in Hindi films. He has made us laugh with his performance in the movies Munna Bhai MBBS and 3 Idiots. Boman has excellent acting skills, however, he had no links with acting in the past. As a child, Boman had dyslexia and was not good at academics. So, he decided to do a course to be a waiter and joined The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel as a waiter. There he had worked for two years. Boman Irani also managed his mother’s bakery and namkeen shop until the age of 32. Later, the film producer, Rajkumar Hirani, spotted Boman while doing photography and offered him the role of Dr Asthana in the film, Munnabhai M.B.B.S. After that, he never looked back. According to the reports of Mensxp, Boman had once shared about his journey. He had said:
“As a kid I had a speech defect, I had a lisp, I used to actually talk like my character Virus from 3 Idiots. To make matters worse I was dyslexic, who was not good at academics. People used to call me Boman the duffer. So I decided to do a course to be a waiter and joined The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel as a waiter. I worked there for 2 years and put my heart into it. My granny used to say – ‘gali ka mochi bano, toh bhi sabse acha mochi bano’, basically be the best in anything you do and that has stayed with me always.”
Boman is one of the top senior Bollywood actors in the Indian film industry who has worked in several films. As reported by many sites, Boman Irani's net worth is $12 million USD which in Indian rupees is Rs. 89 crores.
Farah Khan is a famous Indian film director, producer, actress, dancer and choreographer. She was born on January 9, 1965, in a not so financially stable family. She and her younger brother, Sajid Khan, had a rough childhood as their parents had separated when they were little. The family’s financial condition was in shambles after the demise of her father. Even though she did not have enough guidance or financial support, Farah followed her passion of becoming a choreographer. She had not been professionally trained but learnt dancing on her own. She forayed into the film industry as a choreographer with her compositions for the song, Pehla Nasha in the film Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, released in 1992. It was the famous choreographer, Saroj Khan who had given her this opportunity which had helped her gain substantial recognition among the masses and top directors. In a candid interview with iDiva, Farah Khan had shared about her hardships as a child. She had said:
"My dad used to rent out our house at 30 per day for people in the building to come and play cards. Due to his excessive drinking, our father developed cirrhosis and died within a year of our coming to live with him. Unlike me, Sajid never saw the good times at all. Today when both of us look back positively and not as a tragedy, my life is truly like an exaggerated script."
The popular choreographer and film director, Farah Khan's net worth is $10 million USD, which in Indian currency is Rs. 75 crores. Apart, from choreography and film direction, Farah also judges dance reality shows.
Bollywood actor, Arshad Warsi, had a tough life as a child. He was only 14 years old when he had lost his father. And so, he dropped out of school in 10th grade to earn a living. Arshad had worked very hard to sustain. He switched one job to another to make money. Starting from being a door-to-door salesman to working in a photo lab, he did all he could to survive at a young age. With no connection in Bollywood, he still managed to make a place for himself. In 1996 he made his debut with the film, Tere Mere Sapne. The actor bagged the role of ‘Circuit’ in the movie, Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. in 2003. The actor revealed in an interview in Inuth that success does not matter to him anymore. He had said:
"I am a little bit of a weird guy. I believe that your happiness and your sadness and what happens in your life – you are responsible for everything and nobody else. Nothing else should make a difference. There are people who are sad all the time, they are bringing that on to them. It’s not that the world is doing it. For me, I look at it this way – if a film does good, I am happy. If it doesn’t, I am not going to bog myself down. It’s absolutely fine. If I am extremely successful, I am good. If I am not, I am fine. Life is way beyond that. It doesn’t matter to me."
He is one of the few actors in Bollywood Industry who achieved so much success in his career with his hard work. Arshad Warsi's net worth is around $40 Million USD. In Indian currency, it is Rs. 298 crores.
The ‘Disco Dancer’ fame, Mithun Chakraborty is a famous 70s actor. Before he made it into the movies, he was an ordinary man from Kolkata. Mithun came from a simple, middle-class family. He earned his B.Sc. degree in chemistry from Scottish Church College in Kolkata. After which got graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune. He started his career in Bollywood with the film, Mrigayaa in 1976. However, he received fame when he played the role of ‘Jimmy’ in the film, Disco Dancer in 1982. Mithun Chakraborty is a self-made man, and with his hard work, he has become successful. Talking to Headlines Today in 2010, Mithun said that he does not want to talk about his struggle in Bollywood, as it is ‘so depressing’. He had said:
“I don’t want to demoralise or discourage so many people. I won’t take names, I don’t want to get into that. Of course, when I became a star… How much it is true, I don’t know, but I could hear that heroines are refusing to work with me because the other heroes did not want them to work with me. I did face a lot of obstacles but I thought, if I am good, one day, they will come to me. Maybe I am lacking somewhere, which is why they are saying no to me, so I must correct myself. Somewhere, I am 99, I have to be 100.”
Mithun Chakraborty is a very big name in the film industry and has years of experience in acting. Mithun Chakraborty has a net worth is $38 million, which in Indian currency is Rs. 282 crores.
The Indian film director, Rakeysh Omprakash, directed some famous movies like Rang De Basanti and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Rakeysh studied at Shri Ram College Of Commerce in Delhi. Later, he started working as a salesman and sold vacuum cleaners. However, he had no interest in his job. So, he decided to follow his passion as an advertisement film-maker and started Flicks Motion Picture Company Private Limited. Soon he got his first big break with the movie, Aks where his company had released its first full-length feature film, starring Amitabh Bachchan. After this, he also released his second film, Rang De Basanti, in 2006. In an interview with Outlook, Rakeysh spoke about his passion for writing and what has made him successful today. He had added:
"I am actually a writer and a director at heart. What happens around me moves me emotionally a lot, both good and bad things. I express my feelings through my work and there is no better platform than the cinema to do that. Life has brought me here. Had I been only a writer, I would have written fiction and if I were a businessman I would have contributed my bit to society through CSR."
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is a famous film writer, producer and director. He is also amongst the most successful producers in India. Rakeysh's net worth is $17 million, which in Indian currency is Rs. 127.5 crores.
Rajinikanth is not only a famous Tollywood actor but also a Bollywood actor. His acting is loved immensely by the whole nation. But before he achieved fame, he took many mediocre jobs to make a living, as he did not belong to a financially sound family. From being a bus conductor to a coolie, Rajinikanth saw the worst of days in his life until he started playing small roles in mythological plays. He was so dedicated to become an actor that he also learnt Tamil. Later in 1975, Rajinikanth started his acting career with the Tamil film, Apoorva Raagangal. His interest in acting and hard work took him to the movies and made him a successful actor. In a throwback video, Superstar Rajinikanth spoke about an incident in the late 70s where a producer humiliated him and made him walk back home. He had said:
"It was a good character and fortunately I had the dates as well. I agreed and we discussed my remuneration. I started by quoting Rs 10,000 and eventually agreed for Rs 6,000. I had asked him a token advance of Rs 100 or Rs 200, just to confirm the role. The producer said that he'd pay Rs 1,000 later as he didn't have money on him. Next day, I went to the shoot and I still didn't get my advance salary. The production manager told me that the hero had arrived and asked me to sit for the make-up. I refused. I told him that I won't proceed without getting Rs 1,000. He was furious. He asked me, 'Are you a big artist or what? Just because you had done a few films, won't you sit for make-up without advance? No character for you. Get out'."
With such a successful career as an actor, Rajnikanth has gained huge wealth. His net worth is estimated to be $50 million, which in Indian currency is Rs. 365 crores.
All these celebrities have worked very hard to make their name in the entertainment world. And they have proved that hard work is the key to success.