At the wake of the new millennium, Indian television took a leap from mediocrity to excellence. Television became the most booming phenomena and television actors attained greater popularity than even a few Bollywood stars. Television and Bollywood have always shared a pleasant symbiotic relationship, especially with many of their actors occasionally shifting between television and cinema. More often than not, actors who transition into cinema never go back to television. Still, for an actor good work must always be a priority, be it cinema or television.
Television stars are more of a household name compared to actors and hence it worth cashing in their popularity and talent. Television actors in India have often taken the big leap to cinema. While some have been brought down by severe reality checks, others have simply shone bright in Bollywood. Koimoi brings to you an elaborate list of stars who began their acting journey with television.
Shah Rukh Khan
Our very own Badshaah of Bollywood, had a rather humble acting beginning. Starring in Lekh Tandon’s Fauji in 1988 as Captain Rai won this dreamy determined chap critical acclaim. He followed his work in television with Aziz Mirza’s Circus. Both his shows were widely famous which finally gave him his first film Deewana in 1992 with Divya Bharti and Rishi Kapoor. There are reasons why Shah Rukh Khan is so charismatic a man. He is the quintessential example of the man who had a dream to make it big in the tinsel town, and today he rules it. (SRK bashers take note)
One might fondly remember Ekta Kapoor’s Hum Paanch, a show from before the K-mantra struck her. A story of household comedy, the serial was one of the most memorable sitcoms of the 1990s. Vidya Balan began her acting career playing the geeky nerd Radhika, bespectacled, deaf and often running into walls. Her journey was a hard one, as she waited a long time to get a break in cinema. Finally it was Pradeep Sarkar’s Parineeta (which she grabbed after torturous grilling) which gave her the much needed breakthrough in Bollywood. Balan has held on to her trophy of the Filmfare Award for Best Actress consecutively for two years now giving few of her finest performances in the last couple of years.
Khan is the official face of Bollywood in International Circuits. This legendary actor has starred in Hollywood films like A Mighty Heart along with Angelina Jolie, Academy Award winning director Ang Lee’s film Life of Pi, The Amazing Spiderman and Mira Nair’s The Namesake. Irrfan Khan has always been hungry for interesting work, be it Bollywood, Hollywood or television. His conviction is transparent from the roles he chooses. Irrfan began his acting career with serials like Chandrakanta, Banegi Apni Baat, Just Mohabbat, and The Great Maratha. In the truest terms, this man has always been fabulous on celluloid, giving acting standards a higher dimension and justifying his present popularity well enough.
The earliest image of R. Madhavan etched in my memory, is him playing Ghar Jamai to Satish Shah. Starring opposite Mandira Bedi, Maddy played a Tamil man married to a Punjabi woman and living with her brethren, especially the Punju Papa who hates his non-Punjabi son-in-law. The serial was well known for its inter regional cultural comedy. He also appeared in serials like Yule Love Stories and Banegi Apni Baat. Madhavan charming looks worked well in his favor and today he is one of the most recognized actors in this country. He has worked in films from seven multiple Indian languages including Bollywood films like 3 Idiots, Ramji Londonwale and Rang De Basanti.
Mention Sujal Garewal to a girl and *blush*. Yes, that man was appealing and handsome and an actor brilliant enough to sway the entire audience in his favor even when he played the badder guy in the serial. Rajeev Khandelwal was the chocolate boy of Indian television. His humongous fan following worked in his favor when Bollywood welcomed him with open arms. His first film Aamir was a huge hit with the critics and he became a Bollywood star ever since. He worked in innumerable shows like Kahiin To Hoga, C.I.D, Left Right Left, Kya Haadsaa Kya Haqeeqat and so on. His last film Table No. 21 released last month and was received with mixed reviews.
Kasamh Se’s Baani took a neat jump from being Ekta’s favorite TV girl to playing Farhan Ahtar’s wife in Rock On. Sitting comfortably as Farhan’s supportive wife, Prachi Desai executed her first stint in Bollywood with great confidence and poise. She went on to star in successful films like Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai and Bol Bachchan. Her next film will be I Me Aur Main with John Abraham and Chitrangada Singh. The teasers of the film look fresh and will release on 1st March.
Ram Kapoor has a varied experience with television which dates back to Sudhir Mishra’s Nyay in 1997. He worked in Balaji’s Ghar Ek Mandir, Heena and the popular sitcom Rishtey. He shuffled easily between television and cinema, essentially taking up work that interests him. He went on to appear in films like Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding, Sudhir Mishra’s Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi and more recently Udaan, Student Of The Year, Karthik Calling Karthik etc. He is one of the most successful television actors in India even now (as he plays Mr Kapoor in Bade Acche Lagte Hai). His next film is a YRF venture called Mere Dad Ki Maruti which will hit the screens in mid 2013.
Ayushmann Khurrana made ‘Sperm-Donor’ sound like a cool profession. His quirky debut film Vicky Donor, directed by Shoojit Sircar was a shinning star of 2012 consistently winning awards at all Award functions this year. He catapulted himself to fame by winning MTV Roadies Season 2 in 2004. Ever since then he remained one of the most adorable VJs of MTV. Vicky Donor was his ticket to Bollywood which he executed quite commendably. He is currently working on Nautanki Saala, Hamara Bajaj and an anonymous YRF film.
The defining lines of cinema and television are more stringent in India. Hollywood doesn’t differentiate much between television artists and stars with actors alternating between both cinema and television. Quality work remains their priority. Katherine Heigl who is best known for her role in ABC’s sitcom Grey’s Anatomy has worked widely in films like 27 dresses, The Ugly Truth, Killers and so on. Hollywood actors earnestly believe in good work and jump to cinema is appreciably never their primary motive.
This Friday’s release Kai Po Che! based on Chetan Bhagat’s bestseller 3 Mistakes of my Life shall serve as the launch vehicle for television actors Sushant Rajput and Amit Sadh. And glancing through the work of television actors who have made it big in Bollywood, we are hopeful they have a successful life in films. Koimoi wishes Sushant Rajput and Amit Sadh our best wishes for their debut release.