The Early Roles Of 7 Bollywood Big Wigs Who Worked As Junior Artists And Extras

As a recent college graduate can attest, everyone needs to start somewhere.

Many get their head start in life by being in the right place at the right time, many get it because either their father or mother or both did all the hard work for them. But there are still many success stories that happen the old-fashioned way. With hard work and dedication as we can see with these Bollywood actors who started off as junior artists.

Either luck or hard work led them to the position of background artist and soon enough, their talent carried them far. Also, we’re including minor roles which might even have only been on screen for a few seconds and not full-fledged characters.

#1 Nawazuddin Siddiqui


The accomplished actor we know from films like Kahaani and Gangs of Wasseypur made his debut with a 139-second role in Sarfarosh starring Aamir Khan.

He played a petty thief in a police lock-up but after his break out role in Black Friday, his career has moved from strength to strength.

#2 Rajpal Yadav


The criminally underrated actor is awesome as a disgruntled coolie in RGV’s Shool. He also featured as an extra in films like Dil Kya Kare and Mast.

Yadav found his passion for acting after graduating from the Bhartendu Natya Academy and heading off to drama school.

#3 Mithun Chakraborty


Technically, Mithun Chakraborty debuted in Mrigayaa directed by Mrinal Sen. And for his very first role, he took home the National Award for Best Actor. However, with respect to mainstream Bollywood, he made his debut in Do Anjaane, starring Amitabh Bachchan.

His performance was all of ten seconds but his career is one that remains undiminished by time, starting with Disco Dancer.

#4 Zoya Akhtar


As the daughter of Javed Akhter and Honey Irani, it’s natural Zoya would give acting a shot. And she did. As an extra in the controversial film Kama Sutra.

Following which she worked as an AD and has moved on to write and direct some of the most influential films in recent memory.

#5 Irrfan Khan


Back in 1988, Irrfan Khan  debuted in the film Salaam Bombay!

The movie was nominated for an Oscar and Khan went on to work in films like Kamla Ki Maut and The Cloud Door. His breakthrough role came along in Maqbool which put him on the map for casual moviegoers.

#6 Sanjay Dutt


Being Sunil Dutt’s son probably made things easier for Sanjay Dutt than most. But the actor appeared in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in the film Reshma Aur Shera as a qawwali singer.

Dutt’s career has been going strong since his debut, but the effect his personal life had on his career still remains.

#7 Anaita Adajania


The fashion director for Vogue has made her mark on Bollywood by working on films like Cocktail, Love Aaj Kal and the Dhoom series.

But she did briefly appear as an extra in  Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge as Kajol’s friend.

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