To begin with, let’s first understand what nepotism actually means. It’s an act of utilizing your power to grab good jobs. In the Bollywood industry, Nepotism is very common. Getting to do more films, because his or her father is a well-known director or actor is so prevalent nowadays. It hardly matters then whether the actor has got talent or not. Nevertheless, there are some superb Bollywood actors who don’t have what we call Godfather in the industry,but still enjoy the same amount of fame and are hugely successful. Here is the list of such actors.
1. IRRFAN KHAN
Does this actor need any introduction? Before stepping into acting, he was an air conditioner repairman in Mumbai. Starting his career with a minor role in Mira Nair’s SALAAM BOMBAY, this actor has proved that you can achieve anything you want if you have passion. His hard work paid off and thus he bagged some of the best accolades including four Filmfare Awards. He might not be with us today, but his phenomenal acting and style is enough to make us fall in love with this man. Earning fame in both Hollywood and Bollywood industries, without any strong connection, is actually not a matter of joke. His outstanding performance in LIFE OF PI, THE LUNCHBOX and PAAN SINGH TOMAR makes him immortal.
2. AYUSHMAAN KHURANNA
Another superb actor to set fire on screen is none other than Ayushman Khurrana. Not only a successful actor but also a great human being, this man performs every kind of role so perfectly that it will leave any audience in awe. He was first noticed on TV at the age of 17 in a reality show on Channel V. At the age of 23 he turned out to be the winner of Roadies 2. Apart from taking part in such shows he was also a television host. He made his acting debut in 2012 with Shoojit Sircar’s romantic comedy Vicky Donor. He is not only a superb actor but also a great singer who sang Pani Da Rang for the above mentioned film soundtrack which earned him the Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer. He went on to establish himself with the comedies Bareilly ki Barfi (2017), Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017), Badhai ho (2018), Dream girl (2019) and Bala (2019). His spectacular performances as a blind pianist in Andhadhun and an honest cop in Article 15 won him two consecutive Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor and he also won the National Film Award for Best Actor for the former. Such versatile actors need no Godfather because they have their own pure talent.
3. PRIYANKA CHOPRA
An international star now, Priyanka Chopra has won the hearts of Indian audience with her brilliant acting. Despite facing insensitive trolls on social media, this actress has never stopped working hard. “I believe destiny and hard work go hand in hand”, she once said in a press conference. She earned her first fame when she was crowned ‘Miss World 2000’ and hence that changed her life. She got a lot of attention for becoming the first South Asian actress to lead an American series, QUANTICO. Her success story is a perfect example of how a simple girl turns to a global sensation.
4. RAJKUMAR RAO
Made his film debut with Love Sex aur Dhokha, this actor is exceptionally good. He also featured in the drama film Kai Po Che and rose to prominence with his portrayal Shahid Azmi in the biographical drama Shahid for which he was awarded the National Film Award for Best Actor and the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor. His Bareilly Ki Barfi and the black comedy Newton were highly successful which won him several accolades. Very simple in his real life,Rao is one of the most versatile and talented actors of Bollywood.
5. DEEPIKA PADUKONE
Deepika Padukone gained recognition with a TV commercial for the Liril soap and modelled for various other products and brands. Deepika’s fame increased when she won the ‘Model of the Year’ award at the Kingfisher fashion Awards in 2005. In 2007 Farah Khan cast her in her movie Om Shanti Om opposite Shahrukh Khan which was a big commercial hit which won her the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. She formed her own company Ka Productions in 2018, under which she produced Chhappak. She is also the chairperson of the Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image and is the founder of The Live Love Laugh Foundation which creates awareness on mental health in India. She inspires millions of women not only in India but all over the world.
6. BOMAN IRANI
Popular for his roles in super hit movies like Munna Bhai M.B.B.S,Lage Raho Munna Bhai and 3 Idiots Irani was a waiter who became a film star.What can be more inspiring than this he often spoke of his struggle and left the audience teary-eyed. “I had a problem of speech impairment then. I could not even articulate my thoughts and had a thin voice and… people would make fun of me.” If this is not struggle then what is? His performance in 3 Idiots won him the Filmfare Award for Best supporting Actor and the Award for Best Performance in a Comic Role for Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. Boman Irani proved that it is never too late to dream.
7. AKSHAY KUMAR
The journey from being a waiter to being a Bollywood star is not easy at all. Our all time favourite action hero Akshay Kumar manages to steal the hearts of millions of girls in India and abroad with his acting skills.His movies like Kesari, Padman, Mission Mangal,Rustom,Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Baby, Holiday and Gold makes him one of the most popular Bollywood stars who defeated nepotism and rose to fame through his sheer hard work. In 2009,he was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India. In 2011, he received The Asian Awards for his spectacular performance in Indian cinema. Having said about his early life, achieving success was not at all easy for him and his contribution towards the Bollywood industry is irreplaceable.
8. SHARUKH KHAN
The King Khan is the heartthrob of the Bollywood industry. With his talent and awesome acting ,he is ruling the industry even today. He made his acting debut with the 1988 television show Dildariya and continued doing minor roles in various television series such as Umeed Wagle Ki Duniya. His Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge became the highest-grossing Hindi movie in 1995. A boy from a middle class family whose parents did not have enough money to take him to the movies Shahrukh Khan has seen many struggles in his life. Amidst all the chaos and challenges,he is one of the greatest actors in Bollywood winning numerous awards for his exquisite performance.
9. SUSHANT SINGH RAJPUT
It is still shocking that he is no more with us. He made his debut in the buddy drama Kai Po Che. His outstanding performance in Chhichhore is unforgettable. He received his first nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor for MS Dhoni. Started his career with television serials, this excellent actor never failed to impress us with his superb acting skills. He will be missed.
10. KANGANA RANAUT
The small town girl whose accent made everyone laugh and the actress that everyone dismissed has become a Bonafide Bollywood star. The QUEEN star once said, ‘I am quite self-sufficient…as I have launched my own production house.’ She is fearless which enables her to speak her mind in front of the media. She had no superior connections and rose to fame through her amazing acting. In 2020, she was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, by the Government of India, for her contribution to arts. Much Wow.
11. MANOJ BAJPAYEE
The most prominent and versatile Indian actor Manoj Bajpai got his first breakthrough in Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya. That movie helped him to receive the National Film Award for Best supporting actor and Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor.
12. NAWAZUDDIN SIDDIQUI
He appeared in four major movies in 2012 earning the title of Breakthrough Talent at the 2012 GQ Men Of The Year Awards. He also gained international recognition for his work in Black Friday. His all performances are excellent and that is what makes him so successful today. He was awarded the Special Jury Award at the 60th National Film Awards 2012,for his work in KAHAANI,GANGS OF WASSEYPUR,DEKH INDIAN CIRCUS and TALAASH.
13. VIDYA BALAN
She was replaced in 12 films and was thrown out of a Tamil movie in the beginning of her career. But that didn’t stop the KAHAANI actress. She gained our admiration in PARINEETA and became an overnight star with the success of THE DIRTY PICTURE. Her amazing performances in PAA and BHOOL BHULAIYAA are commendable.
14. PANKAJ TRIPATHI
When it comes to being successful without having strong connections in Bollywood, how can we forget such talented actors? Pankaj Tripathi a very well known face now, has said,”I used to work in a hotel kitchen at night and do theatre in the morning”. It is his story. His breakthrough came in 2012 for his supporting role in The Gangs of Wasseypur film series. His brilliant performance in Newton has earned him several awards including a National Film Award-Special Mention.
15. DEEPAK DOBRIYAL
He worked in many Bollywood films such as Omkara (2006), Shaurya (2008), Tanu Weds Manu (2011), Dabangg 2 (2012), Chor Chor Super Chor”(2013) Tanu Weds Manu Returns (2015), Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015) and Hindi Medium (2017), Angrezi Medium (2020). His acting is so amazing and seems so original. He has won many awards. He was appreciated for his comic role in Tanu Weds Manu:Returns and awarded Producers Guild Film Awards for the same.
The list actually never ends here cause there are more actors.But these are the most prominent 15 actors who defeated Nepotism and are successful. Their stories are inspiring and prove that you don’t always need a superior connection in order to enjoy fame. Hard work and Passion is what you need to create magic. Do let us know who is your favourite.