What makes a story an inspirational one? Well, when a person rises from difficult circumstances to make it in life and their career, that for sure does it!


Which is why we’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of celebs who have spoken about their humble beginnings and taught us that anything is possible. Here take a look: 

1. Nawazuddin Siddiqqui

In an interview, Nawazuddin Siddiqqui talked about finding his way through a job as a chemist, a watchman, then joining NSD and then finally moving to Mumbai in the year 2000 to start his Bollywood journey. The actor clearly worked incredibly hard to get to where he is now!

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 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.

-Nawazuddin Siddiqqui told DNA

2. Samantha Ruth Prabhu

In Koffee With Karan‘s third episode of this season, Samantha Ruth Prabhu talked about how her father was unable to pay her student loans, which ultimately drove her to take up acting jobs so that she could support herself better. 

I didn’t have a choice actually, coming into this profession, because things were hard at home. We didn’t have much money to study further… but then I am really glad. When my father said, ‘No I can’t pay your loans,’ that changed my life.

-Samantha Ruth Prabhu on KWK, Episode 3, Season 7

3. Boman Irani 

Boman Irani is one of the legends of our film industry, his journey to becoming an actor is no less than a marvel either. Apparently the actor worked as waiter, in room service and as a photographer for quite some time before getting into theatre and Bollywood!

I did not have (that) qualification. Toh maine socha main khud kuchh karlu… toh main waiter bann gaya Taj Mahal hotel main. Do saal maine woh kiya, room service mein kaam kiya dedh saal. Fir French restaurant mein kaam kiya, bar mein kaam kiya…pachees pachees rupay mein main photos bhechta tha, it was fantastic.

-Boman Irani told Abish Mathew

4. Arshad Warsi

From working as a salesman to support his family, to becoming a choreographer and then to finally becoming an actor, Arshad Warsi took on heavy responsibilities from a young age. And we’re so happy to see him thriving now, because he really does deserve it. 

My parents fell ill, I could see my life crumbling. We had a house, but maintaining it became a problem, so we had to let go of it. From a bungalow, we shifted into a one room flat and I understood that life was changing. I quit school after 10th and started working. I did everything, from being a cosmetics salesman to working in a photo lab to assisting Bhatt sahab on Kaash and Thikana to joining Akbar Sami’s dance group.

-Arshad Warsi told TOI

5. Yash

K.G.F: Chapter 2 star Yash has also spoken about how he had very little money of his own when he began his acting career. The celeb had an ultimatum from his parents regarding his ambitions to act. 

I ran off from my home. When I came to Bangalore I was scared the minute I reached. Such a big and intimidating city. But I had always been a confident guy. I wasn’t scared to struggle. I had just 300 rupees in my pocket when I reached Bangalore. I knew if I went back, my parents would never allow me to come back. My parents gave me an ultimatum. I was free to try my luck as an actor but after that, if it didn’t work out I had to do what they asked me to.

-Yash told Spotboye

6. Rupali Ganguly

Known for her roles in Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai and Anupamaa, Rupali Ganguly once worked as a waitress to aid her family through a difficult time.  

My father was a filmmaker, Anil Ganguly, who made films with a lot of passion…Unfortunately, two three of his films tanked and we were literally on the streets. During those days I was doing films but I never took my career seriously. At that time the practice of casting couch was very prevalent. I decided I can’t deal with it. I stepped out and started doing hotel management from Dadar Catering. But I continued doing plays along with it. I had to also support my family, so I had to work as papa was not keeping well. I worked in boutiques, I was working as a waiter through my catering college. I would get ₹180 an hour. 

-Rupali Ganguly told TOI

7. Rekha

In an interview in 2014. Rekha spoke about how she was thrusted into the film industry at a very young age. It was not something she chose for herself, it was something she had to do to support her mother and herself.

I didn’t plan to come to Mumbai, or become an actor, or be single, or lead the life I do now. Someone decided this life for me… When I was young, my mother sent me into the film industry and I did four and five shifts a day for 15-20 years. I’m reaping the benefits of that today.

-Rekha told The Hindu


8. Akshay Kumar 

Akshay Kumar has always been transparent about his humble beginnings. About how he worked as a martial arts trainer and waiter, before he stepped into fame. 

I did Martial arts in Bangkok for 4-5 years. Later, I worked as a waiter, and there was no tip.

-Akshay Kumar

9. Manoj Bajpai 

I guess we’re all aware of Manoj Bajpai’s journey. He’s never shied away from speaking up about how he began acting, and how he really had to fight certain circumstances to finally step foot into Bollywood.  

I’m a farmer’s son; I grew up in a village in Bihar with 5 siblings, we went to a hut school. We led a simple life, but whenever we went to the city, we’d go to the theatre. I was a Bachchan fan & wanted to be like him. At 9, I knew acting was my destiny. But I couldn’t afford to dream & continued my studies. Still, my mind refused to focus on anything else, so at 17, I left for DU.

-Manoj Bajpai told Humans Of Bombay

I would say, “From rags to riches,” but I personally believe that a person is never truly “rags,” they’ve always been a diamond, yet to be discovered.