It is often believed that a person who wants to act must start by working in a theatre. Though there are many institutions that teach acting, there are still those who prefer the age-old method of acting. There are many new and old faces in Bollywood whose humble beginnings can be traced back to theatre and some of them still continue to be in touch with their roots in one way or another. Let's take a look at these actors.
1. Naseeruddin Shah
Naseeruddin Shah is one of the finest veteran actors of Bollywood. His immense success could be attributed to his theatre roots. In fact, the actor is so fond of theatre that he, along with his fellow actors, Tom Alter and Benjamin Gilani, formed a theatre group called Motley Productions in 1977.
2. Saurabh Shukla
Kallu Mama from Satya, aka Saurabh Shukla is a well known actor today. Before he hit mainstream success with his role in Satya, Saurabh had been active in theatres since 1984. He has a number of plays under his belt which includes the likes of A View From The Bridge and Look Back In Anger.
3. Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher who has fans not only in India but abroad as well, surprisingly, is a very humble man. He has been a theatre actor since his early days and still continues to grace the stage with his presence. His play Kuch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai, has been screened countless times over the last decade. The play is based on his own life.
4. Paresh Rawal
Paresh Rawal has acted in plays spanning multiple languages. He was a student of Narsee Monjee College and acted in a number of plays during his time there. Some of his most famous plays are Dear Father, Khelaiya, and Krishan vs Kanhaiya. He was an active part of the Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai.
5. Ratna Pathak
Ratna Pathak was introduced to theatre at an early age and fell in love with it. She got to share the stage with Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri in her second play. Inspired by their work, she decided to join National School of Drama. She's known as the one of the most influential theatre icons of India.
6. Rajpal Yadav
Though widely recognized as a comedian, Rajpal Yadav was quite active in the Shahjahanpur theatre and also worked with the Bhartendu Natya Academy before he found success in mainstream Bollywood movies.
7. Boman Irani
Boman Irani is a gem of a person and actor but before hitting the big screen he was active in theatres for a long time. That explains a lot about the ease with which he can fit into any role offered to him. He was mentored by Hansraj Siddhia from 1981 to 1983. One of his famous plays in I Am Not Bajirao, ran for over 17 staggering years!
8. Kalki Koechlin
Kalki has been winning the hearts of audiences worldwide with the variety of roles she's played in Bollywood movies over the years. However, lately, she has also been active in the theatre scene and impressed us in the same ways she has with her roles in films. Recently, she also co-wrote a play along with acting in it.
9. Manoj Bajpayee
One of the most sought after actors in Bollywood, Manoj Bajpayee was rejected admission into NSD. As unbelievable as it is, he still decided to stay the path and started acting in theatre with the support of Barry John. Later on, he and NK Sharma formed the Act One theatre group.
10. Irrfan Khan
Irrfan Khan has achieved international fame now, but his journey wasn't an easy one. He earned a scholarship to study at NSD, and after graduating moved to Mumbai where he kept acting in theatre until hitting mainstream success.