With the grace of New York Magazine‘s sensational nepo-baby article on Hollywood celebs, the nepotism debate is buzzing again. But this time, we’re talking about something entirely different. People gaze at privilege and assume kids born with a golden spoon only had to do a cakewalk in their career.
That ain’t entirely true. There are stars from inside and outside the entertainment industry who were born to rich parents, but are entirely self made.
1. Vicky Kaushal
Vicky Kaushal was born to action director Sham Kaushal and homemaker Veena Kaushal. Even though his Dad had a connection in showbiz, Kaushal rose the success ladder on his own. He graduated with an engineering degree, after which he realized his inner passion. He did theatre and backstage work, gave multiple auditions, played minor roles, and worked as an Assistant Director to Anurag Kashyap until he landed a leading role in Masaan.
2. Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka Chopra was born to parents Ashok and Madhu Chopra, who were military physicians. Due to the association with the army, the family had to move throughout India frequently. During her early teens, Chopra moved to the US for schooling and stayed with her aunt. The actress wanted to become an Aeronautical Engineer at NASA. After her return to India, she won a local beauty pageant, following which her mother entered her in the Femina Miss India contest of 2000. And just like that, HER LIFE CHANGED.
3. Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan was born to poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan and activist Teji Bachchan. After completing his secondary education, he pursued a Bachelor of Science degree from Delhi University. His family had close relations with the Gandhi family. The actor was friends with Rajiv and Sanjay Gandhi much before he rose to fame. His Dad had approached Prithviraj Kapoor for him to no avail. After failing an audition for All India Radio, the actor became a business executive in Kolkata while working in theatre. He debuted in 1969.
4. Deepika Padukone
Deepika Padukone was born in Copenhagen to professional badminton player Prakash Padukone and travel agent Ujjala. Throughout her school years, she focused on building a career in Badminton while occasionally modelling as a child actor. When she appeared as a guest on The Ellen Show, she shared that she borrowed ₹10,000 from her parents to get a professional portfolio shoot done at the age of 16. This was when she had realized her passion for cameras.
5. Ranveer Singh
Ranveer Singh was born to Anju and Jagjit Singh Bhavnani in 1985. He is the grandson of actress Chande Burque who got her first break in Bollywood through Raj Kapoor in Boot Polish (1954). The actor is also related to Anil Kapoor through his wife, Sunita Kapoor, whose his aunt. The actor got his BA degree from Indiana University in the USA. Upon returning to India, the actor worked as a copywriter before sending out his portfolios and going through the rigorous audition process. The actor has also opened up about facing the casting couch. He debuted in 2010 with Band Baaja Baaraat.
6. Kiara Advani
Kiara Advani was born to businessman Jagdeep Advani and teacher Genevieve Jaffrey in 1991. Her father is a childhood friend of Juhi Chawla. She’s also related to actors Saeed Jaffrey and Ashok Kumar through the maternal side of her family. The actress debuted with Fugly (2014), which did not perform well at the box-office. Talking about her struggle in an interview with Pinkvilla, the actress shared she wasn’t sure if she’d get another chance. She couldn’t get through many auditions until she landed a career-changing role in MS Dhoni’s biopic.
7. Babil Khan
Babil Khan is the son of veteran actor Late Irrfan Khan and dialogue writer Sutapa Sikdar. The actor has recently debuted with Qala, and is being applauded for his compelling performance. Amidst a time when star kids get trapped in the nepotism debate, Khan has managed to steer away from it. In an interview with Hindustan Times, the actor confessed he can’t imagine using his dad’s name to succeed in his career. He said, “I don’t think my mother can ever pick up the phone and ask for a favour. I have to go give auditions nahi to aisi maar padegi ghar pe.”
Safe to say, all their hard work has paid off! Who is your favourite self-made Bollywood star?