Bollywood often produces a plethora of films that give us a glimpse into the life of Indian military personnel. Oftentimes, the actors chosen for those roles undergo rigorous training to be able to play the role well. And most times, these actors also wanted to join the Army. Celebrities like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, and Mohanlal Viswanathan Nair have received honorary ranks.
But how often do we know of faujis who have served on the front lines and are now in the film industry?
Here are six celebrities who have served in the military and then chose to join the film fraternity.
1. Bikramjeet Kanwarpal
We have seen him in numerous films, television shows, and web series. His memorable performances have been as Samar Anand's Senior Army Officer in Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Rajji Mama in 2 States, and 24. The late actor was commissioned into the Indian Army in 1989. He retired as a Major in 2002, and in 2003 he made his Bollywood debut to fulfil his dream of being an actor.
2. Achyut Potdar
He is known for his role as a teacher who taught machines in 3 Idiots. He has worked in films such as Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Dabangg 2, and Parineeta to name a few. The retired captain has worked in numerous Bollywood films, TV serials, plays, and even ads. He retired as a captain from the Indian Army in 1967. Following this, he worked a corporate job. At the age of 44, he entered the film industry.
3. Anand Bakshi
He has written songs for movies such as Coolie, Shahenshah, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, and Dil To Pagal Hai, to name a few out of the 3000+ songs he has penned. The lyricist joined the Indian Navy after he finished his studies. But after Partition, he moved with his family to India and even worked for the Indian Army. He passed away in 2002.
4. Gufi Paintal
Known popularly for his role as Shakuni in the hit epic TV series, Mahabharat, Sarabjeet Gufi Paintal is a household name. He has also acted in CID, and Bharat Ka Veer Putra – Maharana Pratap. Back in 1962, he was studying engineering and this was the time when the army was looking for direct recruits from colleges. The actor narrated how he took that opportunity because he wanted to join the army. He was posted in the Army Artillery on the China Border. The actor now also works as a casting director.
5. Mohommed Ali Shah
He has acted in Agent Vinod, Haider, and Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Before becoming an actor, he was deployed on the LOC in Jammu and Kashmir, then as an ADC in the North East, and finally to the rank of a Major while he was posted with the Assam Rifles. He has also worked as a television commentator, a corporate job, and is also a TEDx speaker. Actor Naseeruddin Shah is his uncle.
6. Rudrashish Majumder
This actor is a retired Major and has served in the army for 7 years. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and Indian Military Academy (Dehradun). You might have seen him in Chhichhore and Jersey.
From the front lines to showbiz, these celebs have aced it all.