In recent times, Bollywood has faced a lot of criticism for promoting nepotism. It has been called out for not giving outsiders a fair chance and favoring star kids over outsiders. Many have shared how people coming from film families have it easier because of their background.
In midst of this unfair treatment, there are some inspiring actors, who belonged to small cities and left everything behind to pursue their Bollywood dream. Despite being from small cities and with no godfather in the industry, these actors conquered millions of hearts with their hard work and pure talent. These talented actors showcased how no dream is too big, and no dreamer is too small!
Actors From Small Towns Who Conquered Bollywood With Pure Talent & Hard Work
Here are 8 such talented actors who belonged to small towns but managed to make it big in Bollywood :
1. Kangana Ranaut – Bhabla
Kangana Ranaut was born in a small town called Bhabla in Himachal Pradesh. And, with three National Awards, Kangana Ranaut is one of the most successful actors of recent times. But, it hasn’t been an easy journey. From fighting against her own family for her Bollywood dream to fighting a lone battle against nepotism, Kangana Ranaut has inspired many to stand up for their dreams. In her career so far, she has delivered many great performances in the movies like Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Fashion, Queen, Manikarnika, and many more.
2. Manoj Bajpayee – Belwa
Another successful outsider who won millions of hearts is Manoj Bajpayee. Born in a small village named Belwa in Bihar, no one could have ever imagined that he will reach such great heights. But, his journey as an outsider has been really difficult. Though Manoj Bajpayee struggled a lot, he made sure he never gives up on his dreams. With his powerful performances in Satya, Gangs of Wasseypur, Sonchiriya, Pinjar, Shool, and many more, Manoj Bajpayee has established himself as one of the finest actors of our times.
3. Pankaj Tripathi – Belsand
Pankaj Tripathi’s childhood in Belsand, a small town was deprived of many modern-day amenities. But, he still had no regrets. With his pure talent and hard work, he set out to make a career in Bollywood, which gives family names more importance than talent. But, Pankaj Tripathi proved everyone wrong with his strong performances in movies like Omkara, Gunjan Saxena, Ludo, Mimi and so many more.
4. Vidya Balan – Puthur
Vidya Balan’s Kahaani made her one of the few female leads, who could carry a whole film on her own. Born in Puthur in Palakkad district of Kerala, Vidya Balan shared how she faced several ups and downs in her career because of nepotism. But, she never let it destroy her spirit.
5. Sanjay Mishra – Darbhanga
Do you know Sanjay Mishra was born & raised by a middle-class family settled in Darbhanga, Bihar? Irrespective of his humble beginnings, he never doubted his dream of becoming an actor. In 1991, Sanjay Mishra started his career with a role in TV series titled Chanakya. With his sheer brilliance and persistence, he managed to carve a place for himself in Bollywood.
6. Sushant Singh Rajput – Patna
Sushant Singh Rajput’s death brought the spotlight on how so-called ‘outsiders’ are allegedly ‘boycotted.’ In his brief career, he showed his talent and created a robust fanbase. It is quite amazing how a boy born and raised in Patna’s middle-class family pursued his dreams with so much passion. With successful TV shows and heart-touching movies, Sushant Sing Rajput won millions of hearts. With movies like Kai Po Che, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, Sonchiriya, and Chhichhore, Sushant was definitely one of the most talented and inspiring actors of recent times.
7. Nawazuddin Siddiqui – Budhana
Born in the small town of Budhana in the Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh, Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s story is no less than any rags-to-riches story. Do you know he used to get up at 5 am every morning to work in the fields of UP? After completing college, he left his birthplace to graduate from NSD in 1996. He made his Bollywood debut in the Aamir Khan starrer Sarfarosh in 1999. The super-talented actor is popularly known for his pathbreaking roles in movies and webseries such as Black Friday, Peepli Live, Sacred Games, and Gangs of Wasseypur.
8. Jaideep Ahlawat – Meham
With his hard-hitting performances in series like Pataal Lok, Broken News, Jaideep Ahlawat has created a name for himself. This talented actor was born in a small village – Meham in Rohtak district of Haryana. He completed his graduation from FTII in 2008 along with actors like Rajkumar Rao, Vijay Verma, and Sunny Hinduja. He entered the movie world the hard way, without any godfather. After two years of brutal struggle, Jaideep Ahlawat was first noticed in a negative character in Priyadarshan’s Khatta Meetha in 2010. Post which, he was also seen in Ajay Devgn’s Aakrosh and Kamal Hasan’s Vishwaroopam (2012). But, it was Gangs of Wasseypur that became a turning point in his life as he received nationwide recognition for his role.
All these talented actors may belong to small towns but they managed to make it big in Bollywood. These success stories are just a reminder that no dream is too big! Which one is your favorite success story? Tell us in the comments below.