There are many actors in the film industry who have worked their way to the top from scratch. From working as a junior artist to working as a background dancer, they’ve done it all, before making it big in the industry.

So without further ado, here’s a list of some of the Bollywood stars who played minor/less significant roles before they became famous.

1. Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Munna Bhai MBBS, Shool and Sarfarosh

Did you know Nawazuddin Siddiqui played the role of a thief in Munna Bhai MBBS (picture 1)? Well, he also played the role of a waiter in the 1999 film Shool (picture 2) and the role of a criminal in Sarfarosh (picture 3).

2. Pankaj Tripathi in Run 

Pankaj Tripathi has definitely worked his way to the top. In fact, his first ever appearance onscreen was in a brief but, hilarious sequence opposite Vijay Raaz in the film Run

3. Daisy Shah in Tere Naam

Daisy Shah worked as a background dancer in the movie Tere Naam in 2003 starring Salman Khan. We bet you didn’t see that coming?!

4. Manoj Bajpayee in Bandit Queen

Manoj Bajpayee got recognition after his exceptional performance in Satya (1998) but before debuting as a leading actor he played the role of a dacoit in Bandit Queen

5. Kajal Aggarwal in Kyun Ho Gaya Na

Kajal Aggarwal played the role of Aishwarya Rai’s friend in the movie Kyun Ho Gaya Na.

6. Radhika Apte in Vaah Life Ho Toh Aise!

This might come as a surprise but, Radhika Apte played the role of Amrita Rao’s sister in Vaah Life Ho Toh Aise!

7. Kubra Sait in Ready 

Way before winning our hearts with her gripping performance in Sacred Games, Kubra Sait played the role of a maid in Salman Khan-starrer Ready in 2011.

8. Vicky Kaushal in Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khuarana and Bombay Velvet

No kidding! Vicky Kaushal played a small cameo as Kunal Kapoor’s younger version in Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana (picture 1). The actor also played the role of KK Menon’s junior assistant in Bombay Velvet (picture 2).

9. Deepika Padukone in Naam Hai Tera Tera music video

Deepika Padukone got her first break in the film industry as a dancer in Himesh Reshmiya’s music video Naam Hai Tera Tera where she was seen as the protagonist that the music video was based on.

10. Irrfan Khan in Salaam Bombay

Many may not know this but, Irrfan Khan played the role of a letter writer in a two-minute scene in the 1988 film Salaam Bombay

11. Sushant Singh Rajput in Dhoom 2

Sushant Singh Rajput made his debut with Kai Po Che but he worked as a background dancer in the song Dhoom Again from the film Dhoom 2 before he became famous.

12. Akshay Kumar in Aaj

Before making his debut as a leading actor in the 1991 film Saugandh, Akshay Kumar did a minor role in the 1987 film Aaj that was directed by Mahesh Bhatt.

13. Dia Mirza in En Swasa Kaatre (Tamil film)

Dia Mirza’s debut film Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein was a huge hit. But, did you know she worked as a background dancer in a song from the film En Swasa Kaatre that released in 1999 before being cast as a leading lady in the Hindi film industry?

14. Shahid Kapoor in Taal and Dil Toh Pagal Hai

Shahid Kapoor was seen sharing the same frame with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the song Kahin Aag Lage Lag Jave from the film Taal. He also worked as a background dancer in Dil Toh Pagal Hai. Surprised?

15. Abhishek Banerjee in Rang De Basanti

Paatal Lok actor Abhishek Banerjee played a small role in Aamir Khan’s Rang De Basanti way back in 2006.

Did you notice them too?